This week, Republican front-runner Mitt Romney doubled down on his pledge to cut all funding to Planned Parenthood if he's elected president. At its heart, he explained, this would merely be a prudent deficit-reduction measure.
Also, this week the Arizona Senate Judiciary Committee endorsed Republican Debbie Lesko’s proposed HB2625, a law that would give employers the power to demand that the women they employ, whose birth-control prescriptions are covered under the company's insurance plan, provide proof from their doctors that they're taking the pills for non-sexual reasons.
HB2625, like the recently killed Blunt Amendment (which would have allowed not only religious groups but any employer with a moral objection to opt out of health-care coverage requirements), is being framed as a freedom-of-religion issue. Rick Santorum, who won the Alabama and Mississippi primaries this week and who's on record proclaiming his fears about the moral “dangers of contraception,” has said that while he disagrees with the 1965 Supreme Court decision that struck down a ban on contraception, he does so only because he believes that the states should have the right to pass whatever laws they choose.
Americans are being assured all these measures are about states' rights, religious freedoms and balanced budgets. Certainly they have nothing to do trying to restrict a woman's right to control her fertility. And since I don't think it's productive to be paranoid about these things – it's 2012 after all, and surely our birth-control battles are behind us – here's a rundown of a dozen measures Americans can probably expect in the future. Yes, they all seem to be all about your uteruses but, lordy, why are you girls so touchy?
The Jobs Creation in Crappy Unlicensed Daycares Program. The goal of this initiative would be to encourage economic growth in the windowless-basement-abutting-a-partly-fenced-yard/ “Hey kids, keep the hell away from the rusted-out schoolbus on cinderblocks – Dale's not sure how secure that sucker is” sector of the daycare industry.
This program, run by the federal government at zero cost to the taxpayer, would work by ensuring a steady increase in the number of babies born to parents who either cannot afford children or are ambivalent about having them, giving America's traditional crappy daycares the boost they need.
The No Sperm Left Behind Act. An act of Congress ensuring that every sperm be given equal opportunity to fertilize an ovum regardless of its issuer's economic status or desire to take care of a baby. Unlawful detainment of sperm through any barrier method would result in a fine. And no spilling.
Ask, Tell. An official government policy allowing your employer to be nearer to his God by staying fully informed about all aspects of your medical history (but you totally know he's only going to ask you about the sex stuff).
Bill S198. A bill to reauthorize federal highway-aid and highway-safety programs and for other purposes, such as making you have a baby.
Bill Just Not That Into Him. A law allowing employers with moral or religious objections to birth control to demand that their female employees provide text messages from the girls down at the hair salon stating that while the employee is in fact having sex for non-procreative purposes, she's not really enjoying it that much and really wishes “he wouldn't keep doing that thing.”
S.J. Res. 31. A joint resolution that you are having too much sex and should have a baby instead. That'll learn you.
The Maternity and Kitchenware Stimulus Package.
Bill S673. A bill to educate America's youth about some Senator's grandmother who had 22 children and lived to be 87 and was the happiest woman he ever knew.
The Sex Act. Just stop doing it. You sluts.
A Motion to Amend Your Ability to Finish College. A proposal by the United States Department of Agriculture, working with the Food and Drug Administration, to reclassify ketchup, pizza slices and ramen noodles as hormonal birth control.
The New Deal. Which is that birth-control pills have to weigh a minimum of one pound each, come in a childproof bottle and taste like sour milk.
Bill S251: The Defence of Unhappy Marriages Act. An initiative designed to define a marriage as the original framers of the Constitution intended – as the boring, resentment-filled, economically disadvantageous partnership between two people who grew up believing that you can't get pregnant the first time you have sex or if you do it standing up.