Why are Republicans taking away birth control?

Why are Republicans taking away birth control? Because they don't want women to have it

Forget the excuses for ending Planned Parenthood's grants — the goal has always been to take away birth control

The reason Republicans keep trying to take birth control away from women is simple: They think birth control is bad and you shouldn't be able to get it.

This should seem obvious, but apparently it is not. Every time Republicans find some new avenue to take away birth control, there is always some elaborate excuse — dutifully repeated by the mainstream media as fact — for why they don't want to take away your birth control, but simply have to for some other reason that is always, they claim, not about birth control. Birth control is never the target, they swear. It's always just the unfortunate collateral damage of some fight over, they swear, something else.

Don't buy it. The reason Republicans keep taking away birth control is because Republicans want to take away your birth control. They hate the power it gives women, especially young women and low-income women.

Conservatives are modern Puritans and, as H.L. Mencken famously said, they are driven by the "haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy."

This fact is getting lost in the coverage of Donald Trump's administration stripping away Title X funding from Planned Parenthood. Title X is a program that covers a lot of reproductive health care — though, importantly, not abortion — but it was mainly set up in 1970 to help low-income women who don't qualify for Medicaid obtain low-cost birth control. But the anti-choice activists who control the Republican Party don't like that this program provides birth control to women who need it. So they are finding ways to slash away at the program until it can no longer accomplish the goal it was set up to accomplish.

The cover story this time is about abortion. The Trump administration passed a new Department of Health and Human Services rule terminating Title X funding for any clinic that offers abortion referrals to patients who might need one. Planned Parenthood, along with any other clinic that follows responsible health care practices, is now facing the loss of this extremely important source of contraception funding.

This is being framed by conservatives as an effort to reduce the abortion rate. That makes about as much sense as taking away measles vaccines from clinics that also treat measles cases.

No doubt it's ironic that all this is happening under Trump, a known libertine who has been married three times and seems to have enthusiastically cheated on all his wives. But it's not quite accurate to accuse Republicans of being hypocrites. The anti-choice movement has never been interested in punishing straight men for having sex. Instead, it's about punishing women and LGBTQ people for trying to lay claim to the sexual autonomy that the right believes belongs to heterosexual men alone.

Trump may like having sex with women, but he doesn't want them to have any power. Groping women on a one-at-a-time basis may be fun, but taking away their birth control? That's how you "grab them by the pussy" on global scale.

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