The antiabortion T-shirt is here–is the no-birth-control bumper sticker next?

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Bet you don't know what day Tuesday, April 25, is. It's the American Life League's National Pro-life T-shirt Day. Seems as if interest groups on the left and right and in the messy middle have turned every day, week, and month of the year into some cause-related marketing event. Are there any days, weeks, or months left unclaimed? Perhaps, but this event was still news to me.

In an Internet missive last week, the American Life League described the message on the "sold-out" T-shirt as follows: "Help cure abortion. Abortion: leading cause of death in America. 1,200,000 a year." The league has promised that tens of thousands of precollege and college students would sport the T-shirt nationwide, and offered, "The Thomas More Law Center is ready to assist any students who have their free-speech rights suppressed by public school administrators who may not feel comfortable with the shirts. In years past, the center has been able to show that if public schools permit students to wear 'message' clothing, they cannot exclude messages the administrators may not agree with."

Hmm. Isn't it possible that even antiabortion administrators (and parents) would object to children's exposure to so strident a message? Then there is the question of necessity. Now that abortion opponents seem so close to their goal (overturning Roe v. Wade), is this sort of fuss, well, necessary?

And while we're on the topic, is overturning Roe really the ne plus ultra of the antiabortion movement, or is abolishing birth control next? Despite at least two written requests last year from female members of Congress to clarify his position on birth control (Democratic Reps. Carolyn Maloney of New York and Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida), President Bush refused to say whether he's for or against birth control. Pretty simple question. No answer.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer columnist Susan Paynter writes today that birth control is the next target for religious conservatives (and by inference, their president). She received an E-mail from a Christian antiabortion group called No Room for Contraception. She writes that it said, "There can be no common ground [on birth control], the No Room folks objected, insisting that no 'artificial contraception' of any kind can be effective in preventing abortion."

She goes on, "And, just recently when Page [an abortion-rights author] was debating Jim Sedlak of the American Life League, she asked him about the sweeping South Dakota abortion ban. His response? It isn't a perfect law. If it were a perfect law, it would ban contraception, too, he said."

So, ladies and gents, hang on to, or perhaps, stock up on, your pills, IUDs, and condoms, 'cause they're next.