When a writer as profoundly able as Plante pens a lament for his lost companion, the result is a fierce encapsulation of grief, the fundamentally private wrought wrenchingly public. This sublime remembrance - more a compilation of memory fragments than a linear life story - evokes a whole man (in truth, two whole men).
Today's post is from Kathryn Joyce, author of Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement. Joyce received her B.A. from Hampshire College and her M.A. in cultural reporting and criticism from New York University. Her freelance writing has appeared in The Nation, Mother Jones, Newsweek, The Massachusetts Review, and other publications, and she is former managing editor of The Revealer, a daily review of religion and the media.
Next Thursday, September 25th, is the cut-off date for public comments on the Department of Health and Human Services' proposed regulations concerning the expansion of the so-called "conscience clause" of the 2004 Weldon Amendment, which would ban federal funds from medical establishments that "discriminate" against health care providers or institutions by requiring them to participate in or provide referrals for abortion services – very broadly defined. In an early draft of the regulations leaked in July, the HHS proposed that abortion, under its definition, included any procedure, action or drug "that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation." This follows an extremist antiabortion belief that some forms of contraception function as abortion by hypothetically preventing the implantation of a fertilized egg. By defining abortion to include any contraceptive that could prevent pregnancy by preventing implantation rather than fertilization – though it's virtually unknowable whether a particular contraceptive is functioning this way – the HHS broke with the American Medical Association's longstanding definition of pregnancy. Instead, the administration chose to side with a growing anticontraception religious movement, which only numbers in the tens of thousands but has an outsized influence in spreading its ideology through the growing support of churches and religious bodies.