Skip to main content

As Gail Collins writes, in today's column "Behind the Abortion Wars," GOP leaders just can't seem to bring themselves to talk about contraception when they decry the evils of abortion.

This is important because it speaks to a disconnect in the entire debate we’ve been having about women and reproduction. For eons now, people have been wondering why the two sides can’t just join hands and agree to work together to reduce the number of abortions by expanding the availability of family-planning services and contraception.

The answer is that a large part of the anti-abortion community is also anti-contraception.

Over the past three decades, anti-choice activists have succeeded in pushing back the moment that life begins to the point of conception, and rally to defend the fertlized egg.  What I don't understand is why anyone thinks they're likely to stop there.

Obviously the real problem in the minds of some social conservatives is not the rise in teen and unintended pregnancy per se but rather sex divorced from pregnancy itself.  The pill, for example, allows sex without pregnancy, therefore the pill is similar to abortion, and therefore wrong.

As Gail Collins notes,

Many anti-abortion activists believe that human life and, therefore, pregnancy begin when the human egg is fertilized and that standard birth control pills cause abortions by keeping the fertilized egg from implanting in the womb. This isn’t the general theory on either count. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists defines pregnancy as beginning with the fertilized egg’s implantation. Dr. Vanessa Cullins of Planned Parenthood says that the pills inhibit the production of eggs or stop the sperm before they reach their destination. “There is absolutely no direct evidence that there is interference with implantation,” she said.

Beyond the science, there’s the fact that many social conservatives are simply opposed to giving women the ability to have sex without the possibility of procreation.

And that's where they diverge from the vast majority of the American public (and why we never hear the full articulation of their radically anti-contraceptive views).  As Sarah Brown (of the National Campaign to Reduce Teen and Unwanted Pregnancy said yesterday,

over 70 percent approve of making it easier for people at all income levels to obtain contraception. And, in fact, 90 percent of evangelical Christians have no objection to hormonal methods of contraception. Even many members -- over 90 percent of the board of the National Association of Evangelicals approve of contraception. So, unfortunately, the sort of sweet spot of being pro-life and pro-family planning has not been carefully articulated. Planned Parenthood is indeed an abortion provider, but their own numbers say that that's about 3 percent of what they do.

For radical social conservatives, the only valid kind of sexual experience is the kind that leads to pregnancy. But there are lots of kinds of sexual experiences that don't lead to pregnancy.

I'd say it's beyond time for a clear label for the conservative GOP position.  They call it "pro-life" and we call it "anti-choice" but I think it's more complex than that.

I suggest pro-"Pregnancy-Inducing Sex" or perhaps (since the outcome is not always certain) "Potentially Pregnancy-Inducing Sex" (PPIS).  

To achieve the PPIS utopia, the methods are therefore clear, and can be summarized as "Ban Sexual Experiences That Are Disconnected From Potentially Pregnancy-Inducing Sex."

Calling it the pro-PPIS position helps makes the social conservative take on lots of issues so much clearer.

--Opposition to Gay Sex
--Opposition to Masturbation
--Opposition to Contraception
--Support for Abstinence-Only Education

Calling it the pro-PPIS position explains why the conservative wing of the GOP advocates abstinence-only education for teens, despite overwhelming evidence that abstinence just doesn't stop everyone from having sex, and even makes abstainers more vulnerable to negative consequences when they do have sex.

But there are even larger implications of the pro-PPIS position.  What about married couples who do not adhere to the pro-PPIS position:  infertile couples, older couples, couples with a breast-feeding infant.  

Must everyone who's not able to get pregnant stop have having sex?

And how to enforce this?

I ask this (only partly tongue-in-cheek) because it seems to me that the invasion of privacy is only beginning. The attack on Planned Parenthood is the first assault in the conservative GOP war on the privacy of people's sexual lives.

Frankly, I'd like to see the GOP be forced to own their true rationale for opposing Planned Parenthood's contraceptive services.

Updated by political junquie at Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 07:55 AM PDT

"I Have Sex" video, per means to an end in the comments:

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  If they don't want people to have sex (14+ / 0-)

    without pregnancy, let them say so clearly.

    •  Please, they never say anything clearly (6+ / 0-)

      I'd like for them to state what they mean by the US is a "Christian Nation", like what will that change, exactly what does that mean.  How does that affect economic and foreign policy.  No one's asked that question. Well of course we know it really means nothing more than white male supremacy, at a great cost to women, minorities and gays, all under the guise of vague statements like "good Christian values"

    •  How to force the issue: (4+ / 0-)

      Go to the places these creeps hang out, and rub their noses in sex, using explicit but wholly G-rated language.

      Promote another 1960s-style escapade of "free love."  Stage public readings of Lenny Bruce's "Did you come good?" rant.

      Go full-on sex positive (with contraceptives).  Demand unlimited free condom distribution in STD clinics in cities and rural areas alike.  Promote oral sex and masturbation specifically.  

      Promote masturbation for high school students so they can put off the other stuff until they're 18.  Demand that it be included in sex ed curriculum.  

      Then watch the rightie-tighties explode.  They'll start sputtering and spewing their real agenda, and if the video cameras are running, it will make for much entertainment as well as political points with middle-of-the-roaders.  

      Key phrase for use putting these people down after playing short clips of them insisting on their puritanical agenda: "Just who does s/he think s/he is?"   This has a similar effect to Reagan's famous "there you go again!" line: it works wholly at the emotional level and there is no effective comeback to it.

      •  "I Have Sex" (3+ / 0-)

        students speak out against ideological attack on Planned Parenthood

        I've got this on my "Fav" list on Youtube, just because of its sex-positive message combined with happy, healthy young people. I remember being their age, and all the help that Planned Parenthood gave me!

        A great Youtube video; sorry that my embed skills are still non-existent.

        Another great resource is Amanda Marcotte, who really seems to have the sex-fundie's number.  See for example her War on Joy, and The War on Joy, II.

        Basically, no, they do not want anyone to be fulfilled or happy sexually. Period. This dovetails with subjection of women and misogyny, which is at the heart of it all.

        I'm saving the "Who does s/he think s/he is?" line. A keeper!

        Life is a school, Love is the lesson.

        by means are the ends on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 07:44:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

          •  Many thanks! nt (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            political junquie

            Life is a school, Love is the lesson.

            by means are the ends on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 08:41:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Splendid! (0+ / 0-)

            Just wonderful!  All those cute kids saying "I have sex!" also ought to drive the pedophile priests and their protectors, as well as the bluenose puritans, batshit crazy with frustration!  

            That video needs to go viral.  

            And yeah it's time to stop being squeamish about high school kids having sex.  As long as it's healthy relationships with their peers, with birth control and safe sex and testing, it's all good.  Main thing to watch out for there is peer pressure, but the way to deal with that is "it's OK to say not yet."  Because saying No really is a valid choice, just as long as there's a choice.

        •  bingo! the War on Joy. (0+ / 0-)

          That's exactly right.  Red eyes vs. blue noses.  Hot passionate red eyes, vs. cold puritanical blue noses.  

          See also James Prescott, Body Pleasure and the Origins of Violence, complete article posted here:

          Bottom line is: the more a society embraces physical pleasure, the less violence there will be in that society; and the reverse is also true; correlation somewhere between .98 and 1.0, which is to say, causative.

          So if we want to reduce crime rates, for example, we need to encourage healthy sex-positive and pleasure-positive attitudes.  IMHO if we legalized pot, the crime rates would also drop, not just gang-related stuff, but overall.  

          What we also need are some really blunt slogans in circulation, such as bumper stickers that say "Physical pleasure is good for you!" and so on.  Short, sweet, and to the point.  

          This can also be tied into anti-consumptionism, e.g. "Physical pleasure: enjoy your body, you don't need to buy anything!"

          Re. "Who does he think he is?!" and "Who does she think she is?!"  yeah spread those memes.  When spoken in a tone of parental disapproval, they can stop the rightie-tighties in their tracks.  Useful first-hand at events where righties are speaking:  "Who do you think you are?!"   Really puts them on the defensive, and once they start playing defense, they lose.

      •  I love this one especially (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        We Want Change, G2geek
        Promote masturbation for high school students so they can put off the other stuff until they're 18.  Demand that it be included in sex ed curriculum.  

        Actually it should be included in abstinence education!

        •  and there are ways to teach that stuff... (0+ / 0-)

          ... without straying from G-rated material.

          Even simple tips such as "wash your hands before and after," and "use water-based lubes, which you'll probably use later with a parter," and "make it a game but not a competition," and "don't try too hard or it might hurt," and so on.

          Remove stigma, exit closet, and make it "no big deal."  

          And kids who have healthy relationships with their own hands, are probably much better equipped to resist and speak out, and go to the police, if some icky grownup tries to make a move on them.   I'd bet that terrifies the icky grownups.  

    •  There's more to it than that (2+ / 0-)

      Basically, a conservative wants people to have sex only when married, to continue the traditional family model.  In this model, the men go off to the plant to work, while the women stay home and build a community of families to rear the children.

      Only one problem: the plants are now closed, or more accurately, operating overseas.

      The reason the abortion issue is such a lightning rod for the conservatives is that if you equate abortion with murder, then there's no moral ambiguity.  So, sex before marriage isn't necessarily wrong, but if you're lucky (or unlucky) enough to get pregnant, the shotgun wedding ensues, and you live your life accordingly.

      The shotgun is crucial, because as we know, when it comes to sex, men can be dicks (figuratively). Too many men don't see pregnancy as their problem.  They should.

      Okay, off my soapbox, or I'll write a comment longer than this diary.

      "People should not be afraid of their government; governments should be afraid of their people." --V

      by MikeTheLiberal on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 07:48:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Stay on it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        How many of the GOP shitheads have had affairs, or are having them now?
        How about all the closet gay congress shits that vote against gay rights, but see no problem having boyfriends, or girlfriends?
        The only reason that this is even an issue for many of them is because it brings in votes.
        If they were serious about no abortions then they would provide women with prenatal care, funds, and then more funds after the child is born.
        And why the fuck is Viagra covered by insurance?
        Because they are hypocrites.
        If McConnell is straight, then I am a lizard.

        Obama,how many innocent people did you kill today with your drones for the corporations?

        by snoopydawg on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 09:01:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Of course! It makes perfect sense: (4+ / 0-)

    * Tell people not to use contraception;
    * Then tell them they can't have access to abortion;
    * Then outlaw the use of the word uterus in federal buildings;
    * Then defund any and all programs to help the not-wealthy deal with the costs of child-rearing;
    * And then, once all that has sunk in, outlaw sex for any purpose but procreation.

    It ALL makes sense -- especially taken together!

    So he says to me, do you wanna be a BAD boy? And I say YEAH baby YEAH! Surf's up space ponies! I'm makin' gravy WITHOUT THE LUMPS! HAAA-ha-ha-ha!!!

    by Cenobyte on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 07:11:49 AM PDT

  •  Other label suggestion (4+ / 0-)

    Perverts in your bedroom
    Creeps obsessing about your love life
    Big government loving weirdos legislating your uterus.

  •  So... (5+ / 0-) small government principles only apply when they want them to.

    Oh, there you are, Perry. -Phineas -SLB-

    by boran2 on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 07:37:22 AM PDT

  •  Labeling (3+ / 0-)

    these people "Pro" anything is a misnomer.

    They are ANTI anything-outside-their-incredibly-narrow-world-view.

    They are most especially anti-women-as-sexual-beings.

    "There are always 10% screaming about something"--Hollydem's Dad.

    by pvlb on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 08:16:40 AM PDT

  •  POOR women should not have sex ... (4+ / 0-)

    ...whether married or not, but ESPECIALLY if they are not married.  This has been the meme against low income women for decades.  If a low income women is married and the father abandons the family, well that is HER fault and HER responsibility.  If she is not married and even if she is raped, this is HER fault and responsibility.  If she cannot get access to contraceptions, this is HER fault.  

    Therefore punish her with punitive "help" when there is no other people in her "village" and treat her children as if they are her "hobby" as if  it is "not doing anything" to be raising the next generation to take care of us when they are adults ~ pay our Social Security, fight in our wars and run our infrastructure.

    What is puzzling about the religious wingnuts is that they refuse to recognize that all people want to be loved, they have a sex drive that is natural and given to them by their GOD.  To deny that is in essence saying that "God made a mistake" as they do the same with people who are born gay.  But worse when they are poor, well then every woman should live as a nun simply because she is exploited in her job and life.

    Really?  Hey wing nuts, how can you trust your God if you actually believe he made a mistake? And you think in contrast to your own prophet that the poor should be punished and marginalized for being poor by being denied any support after denying contraceptives? And what if when there is a mistake, perhaps it is the choice to do the most loving thing you can do in order to not make another miserable life to grow up and face YOUR cruel, twisted and disgusting attitudes?  

    GAWD I hate right wingers.  Their sanctimonious, hypocritical ways just make me sick.

    Cat in Seattle

    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they hurt you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi

    by mntleo2 on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 08:22:11 AM PDT

  •  Men are pigs! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    My Name Isnt Earl

    They don't put their women in 'burkas' or, the christian equivalent, 'habits' because the women are whores.  They do it because men are pigs and they know deep inside they're pigs.

    Don't get me wrong, I love men and sometimes I love that inner swine-man mentality.

    I especially enjoy it when 58 yo Mr. Oopsa gets piggy with it.

    Jesus, what the hell am I talking about.  

    apparently due to ancient hardware and the transition to dk4 I can't recc tip jars or comments any longer so in lieu of the 'standard nod' you'll see a variety of replies until this gets fixed or becomes a mighty big fucking pain in the ass

    by oopsaDaisy on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 08:48:23 AM PDT

  •  The new goalpost (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    political junquie, Calamity Jean

    So, women should always consider themselves "pre-pregnant" according to the Forced Birthers, just in case they get knocked up on the way to the corner store or something.

    I'm thinking their goalpost is way too far forward. We need to realize that the egg and sperm are two parts of a whole, and both are alive. Therefore, all men should consider themselves pre-pregnant as well. They are, after all, carrying millions of potential believ.. I mean, children with them at all times, far more than the number of eggs in a woman.

  •  Memo to People (3+ / 0-)

    GOP are hypocrites. All the Family Values bullshit is just that. Bullshit. To get votes. Abortion? NO!. Viagra paid for by insurance companies? NO PROBLEM
     Marriage only between man and women. Doesn't matter how many times you get divorced, or just screw around with other people if you are married.
    Serial marriagers like NEWT, Mr. 9/11 and just way to damn many to list here.
    That is the hypocrisy of the GOP and their followers are just too damn stupid.
    Even good ole McCranky left his wife after she was horribly hurt in an accident.

    Obama,how many innocent people did you kill today with your drones for the corporations?

    by snoopydawg on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 08:57:06 AM PDT

  •  Hypocrisy (0+ / 0-)

    The ONLY effective way to cut down on abortions is better access to birth control.

    Research has shown that the overwhelming majority of Americans get it on before marriage. Which is fine with me, but freaks out the right wing no end.

    And, of course, your diary reminds me of...

    FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. Read the PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRAT Newsletter

    by mole333 on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 09:26:46 AM PDT

  •  Hypocrisy is only decried by the left. (0+ / 0-)

    Moral relativism makes hypocrisy its greatest sin. Moral absolutism already knows it sins, and that "we are forgiven". So they can just keep on sinning. But calling them hypocrites is ineffective at best. Anyway, the one and only reason pro-lifers are against birth control is their unholy alliance with the Catholics. Every single one of their supreme court appointees is Catholic. Litmus test much?

  •  see "1984"--Junior Anti-Sex League (0+ / 0-)

    Memo to GOP:

    "1984" was a novel, not a recipe book

  •  I don't have as much sex as I'd like to, (0+ / 0-)

    but I'm not at much risk to get anyone pregnant: I'm one of teh gayz that the GOP loves to hate.

    But seriously, this war on womens' reproductive health and rights is really disgusting.

    Craft is what emerges when you hit inspiration over the head with a stick.

    by commonmass on Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 10:13:31 AM PDT

  •  Need a poll! (0+ / 0-)

     The question:  Have ever had sex that was not to procreate?  Yes or No!  Use any and all demographic information.

       Be sure to include John Ensign and David Vitter.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site