If you liked my last post, you might also want to take a look at this. It’s right at the end that Clark-Flory hits it: “the war on sex.”
I have previously written that the pro-life movement isn’t really about abortion, but about punishing sin and advancing a certain puritanical view of sexuality. I still believe that.
I’m reminded of it as I watch Republicans in my state and in others take measure after measure to curtail not only abortion, but birth control as well. The number two guy running for the GOP presidential nomination came right out and said birth control is “not OK.” The frontrunner has said he was going to “get rid of” Planned Parenthood. Here in Wisconsin, Republicans not only made it illegal for private health insurance to cover abortions, they have again made it OK for Wisconsin schools to teach “abstinence only” sex education and totally forgo any mention of contraception at all.
Why all the controversy about contraception, anyway? You’d think that anyone who wishes to prevent unwanted pregnancy (and thus abortion) would be all for it. And yet they aren’t. When I have confronted conservatives about this in the past, often they flatly assert that it isn’t true, that they are “fine with” contraception. But they are liars. Just take a look around you.
This is why it’s so hard to engage and work with these guys. They aren’t about what they say they’re about. They are not dealing in good faith. They say they’re about saving babies, but when push comes to shove they’re really about stepping on women’s faces and making sure that they bear unwanted children as their due consequence for having sex. The subterfuge is so airtight that I think large numbers of them do not admit the truth to even themselves.
The differences between Republicans and Democrats may be marginal on economic issues. Both parties seem to be entirely owned by wealthy corporations and individuals (although the Republicans are strangely proud of it.) But on social issues like these there is a huge difference. Vote accordingly.
You may remember my “magic button” question, which, I maintain, makes clear one of the most vexing characteristics of many pro-lifers: contrary to popular belief and their own statements, they are more interested in punishing sin than in preventing abortion. Only when you understand this do many of their behaviors begin to make sense. Ever wonder why they are so often against the very things known to prevent unwanted pregnancy such as sex education and contraception? It’s because hey want to keep sex risky in an effort to discourage people from doing it (outside of married procreation). Could they prevent a lot of abortions by championing contraception and sex ed? Without doubt. But that would be letting the sinners off the hook. Diseases and unwanted pregnancies would no longer strike down the wicked if they all used condoms.
I was reminded of all this when I read about this Colorado Republican who wants to let babies get HIV as punishment for their “promiscuous” mothers.
I’ve written about abortion a few times over the last six years here at scottfeldstein.net. I have also participated in many online discussions about it elsewhere. The experience has shown me that there is often a very great distance between the two sides in this debate. Is there any common ground to be found? You would think so. But that common ground never materializes because one side–the pro-life side–isn’t being honest about it’s motivations and intentions.
What common ground might there be? Contraception. It prevents unwanted pregnancy, and thus abortion, but pro-lifers are usually no friend to the cause of sex education and contraception. When you think about it, such contradictory positions are hard to fathom. In the past I have used a hypothetical question to throw this point into its sharpest relief: if there were a magic button which would make it so that no sexually active couple ever became pregnant unless they explicitly wanted to, would you push it? Pro-lifers almost universally say no.