Bush and DHHS Secretary Leavitt have put forth a proposal that reframes medical terminology to try to take away reproductive control from women. The proposal states that abortion should be redefined because lots of Americans think that pregnancy begins when the egg and sperm meet. Specifically, this is what it says:
Abortion: An abortion is the termination of a pregnancy. There are two commonly held views on the question of when a pregnancy begins. Some consider a pregnancy to begin at conception (that is, the fertilization of the egg by the sperm), while others consider it to begin with implantation (when the embryo implants in the lining of the uterus). A 2001 Zogby International American Values poll revealed that 49% of Americans believe that human life begins at conception. Presumably many who hold this belief think that any action that destroys human life after conception is the termination of a pregnancy, and so would be included in their definition of the term "abortion." Those who believe pregnancy begins at implantation believe the term "abortion" only includes the destruction of a human being after it has implanted in the lining of the uterus.
This is simply not true. It's right up there with the "pill kills" marketing campaign. Seriously people, learn a bit about medicine. Or at least talk to a doctor for 5 minutes.
But this isn't the worst of it. This proposal also forces all facilities that receive federal funding to accept/condone the fundie view that women don't know what's best for themselves and should therefore be denied access to abortion. It's not just for Catholic hospitals anymore! Nope, now all hospitals will be forced to allow their practitioners to deny medical prescriptions based upon their morality. And due to the ever-expanding definition of pregnancy, this now applies to your birth control as well.
If this proposal is accepted, women all across the country may no longer be able to use any other form of birth control than condoms. And how long do you think it will be before those are banned as well?
If this upsets you, please contact your Senators and/or Secretary Leavitt. NARAL has a handy form letter for the Senators, and you can email the Secretary directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This isn't just a womens issue folks, this affects everyone who doesn't want to be a parent before they're ready. Please spread it far and wide.