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Verle Reinicke, Bismarck, Published April 05 2013

Letter: Religious fervor drives the agenda

Usurpation by righteous religious fervor has driven us over the precipice once again. A century ago, it was the same kind of energy to ban alcohol, and a national law was passed only to be overturned in less than a score of years. Now, it is the trio of abortion-related bills recently signed into law by our governor. It is a curious disconnect that the impetus for the trifecta of legislation comes from the same quarter that consistently rails against government interference in our lives.

These laws are certainly intrusion into the lives of women. It would seem that all can be abrogated when it comes to this moral high ground – the same high ground not obtained when it came to sexual orientation and discrimination, however.

Another disconnect. For decades, Right to Life language has been used to frame this issue. It’s an extremely narrowed notion of life, however, limited primarily to conception to delivery. Before that and after, there is little concern, hostility even. Most who laud the legislative turn of events do not support policy and funding for prevention, such as sex education and contraception. That, too, often has been the stuff of righteous religious fervor. Then, too, there has often been resistance and hostility to programs that would support that precious life that has such a right to be – programs such as child care, Head Start, WIC, social safety nets of all sorts.

Seen from this perspective, the “victory” seems decidedly hollow and short-sided.