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Contraception: The New Abortion

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Researchers using federal data have found two interesting trends that chart the relationship between abortion and contraceptives.

Between 1994 and 2001:

1. The rate of unplanned pregnancies rose by 30 percent among poor women. The abortion rate also rose.

2. The rate of unplanned pregnancies fell 20 percent among affluent women. The abortion rate also fell.

Gee, imagine that. Reduced use of contraceptives leads to more abortions. Sounds like common sense, doesn’t it? So why am I writing about it?

Because some people — some relatively influential people — disagree. Some Christian conservatives are starting to jump on the same bandwagon that Catholic groups have occupied for decades: Life begins at fertilization and anything that interferes with that is abortion. And they’re willing to use laws and government regulations to force everybody to conform to their beliefs.

This weekend’s New York Times Magazine had a cover story on the phenomenon. Some quotes:

“We see contraception and abortion as part of a mind-set that’s worrisome in terms of respecting life. If you’re trying to build a culture of life, then you have to start from the very beginning of life, from conception, and you have to include how we think and act with regard to sexuality and contraception.” — Edward R. Martin Jr., a lawyer for the public-interest firm Americans United for Life

(snip)

Dr. Joseph B. Stanford, who was appointed by President Bush in 2002 to the F.D.A.’s Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee despite (or perhaps because of) his opposition to contraception, [wrote in] a 1999 essay: “Sexual union in marriage ought to be a complete giving of each spouse to the other, and when fertility (or potential fertility) is deliberately excluded from that giving I am convinced that something valuable is lost. A husband will sometimes begin to see his wife as an object of sexual pleasure who should always be available for gratification.”

This dispute came to the fore during the FDA’s consideration of Plan B, the “morning after” pill. The agency’s advisory committees voted overwhelmingly in favor of an application to sell Plan B over the counter. The standard procedure at that point is a pro forma approval of the application.

But one member of one of the F.D.A.’s Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee had reservations: Dr. W. David Hager, a Christian conservative whom President Bush appointed to lead the panel in 2002 (outcries from women’s groups forced him to give up the leadership post, but he remained a panel member.)

His reasoning? Not safety or efficacy. No, Dr. Hager said he feared that over-the-counter Plan B would increase sexual promiscuity among teenagers.

His objection drew flak on a number of fronts, as the Times article recounts:

F.D.A. staff members presented research showing that these fears were ungrounded: large-scale studies showed no increase in sexual activity when Plan B was available to them, and both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Society for Adolescent Medicine endorsed the switch to over-the-counter status. Others argued that the concern was outside the agency’s purview: that the F.D.A.’s mandate was specifically limited to safety and did not extend to matters like whether a product might lead to people having more sex.

Hager had support within the FDA leadership — though one might question the rationality of that support:

Dr. Janet Woodcock, deputy commissioner for operations at the F.D.A., had also expressed a fear that making the drug available over the counter could lead to “extreme promiscuous behaviors such as the medication taking on an ‘urban legend’ status that would lead adolescents to form sex-based cults centered around the use of Plan B.”

Sex-based cults, huh? O-o-o-o-kay. But fine, there are a few nuts in every tree. At least they’re minority opinions that don’t carry much weight, right?

Wrong. In May 2004, the F.D.A. denied the application, citing some of the same reasons as Hager. Two months later the drug’s manufacturer reapplied, this time restricting over-the-counter sales to women 16 and older — thus addressing the adolescent issue. That application is the one that the FDA famously refused to rule on. To this day Plan B is only available by prescription.

Why the opposition to Plan B? The stated reason is that it is an abortifacent, on the theory that at least occasionally it prevents the implantation of a fertilized egg. But since Plan B is simply a higher dosage of regular birth-control hormones, the same arguments could be applied to the Pill. And IUDs. (And breastfeeding, BTW). And never mind that many of these same groups also oppose other forms of contraception such as condoms and diaphragms. Or that this represents a moving of the goalposts in the abortion debate.

The article sums up the underlying issue nicely:

The conservative [viewpoint is] that giving even more government backing to emergency contraception and other escape hatches from unwanted pregnancy will lead to a new wave of sexual promiscuity. An editorial in the conservative magazine Human Events characterized the effect of such legislation as “enabling more low-income women to have consequence-free sex.”

And that is relevant how? Is it the government’s business how people choose to conduct their sex lives? Does effective contraception reduce the risk of pregnancy and thus reduce a barrier to sex? Undoubtedly. But that’s a personal choice and nobody else’s business. It’s something to be addressed by education and persuasion, not legislation and regulation.

I have no problem with people believing that contraception is against their beliefs. I have no problem with people trying to persuade others to feel the same. But I have a big problem with using the regulatory process to try to impose those beliefs on others. If you don’t want to use contraceptives, don’t; but don’t try to get them legally restricted so that others can’t use them, either.

I also find this argument unpersuasive:

Rector says that abstinence programs can’t properly be combined with other elements in a comprehensive sex education program because the message is lost when a teacher says: “One option you might want to consider is abstaining. Now let’s talk about diaphragms.”

If you can’t make the case for abstinence compelling in context, then it’s a weak argument. It’s almost a “victimology” response to argue that information on contraception must be muzzled in order for abstinence education to be effective.

True, it may be a matter of emphasis. But I doubt most sex ed classes throw abstinence away as a one-liner. And if they do, the answer is to provide curricular guidelines. Spend time emphasizing the advantages of abstinence. Discuss the risks and downsides, from pregnancy to STD to social and mental impacts. Then say “If despite all that you’re going to have sex, here’s what you can do to reduce but not eliminate some of the risks.”

And never mind that study after study have found abstinence-only programs to be ineffective. The researchers I mentioned at the beginning of this article cite the shift toward abstinence-only education as the probable cause of decreased contraceptive use (and thus higher abortion rates) among poor women.

The good news is that the social conservatives described here still represent a minority view. The article mentions that 98% of sexually-active women have used some form of birth control. And as far as sex education goes, a 2004 poll by NPR found that 95 percent of parents want schools to encourage teenagers to delay sex until they are older — but 94 percent also think kids should learn about birth control in school.

As most parents seem to recognize, abstinence and learning about birth control are not opposing concepts. The article notes that countries in which abortion is legal and contraception is widely available tend to rank among the lowest in rate of abortion, while those that outlaw abortion — notably in Central and South America and Africa — have rates that are among the highest. The country with the lowest rate of abortion? The Netherlands which is often held up as a pariah by social conservatives.

I repeat: feel free to be personally against contraceptive use. But don’t use the levers of government to force everyone else to conform to your beliefs.

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About Sean Aqui

  • Dawn

    Dude, you are preaching to this choir. The best way to prevent unwanted pregnancies and subsequently abortion, is to provide reliable, effective, easily accessible and cheap contraceptives.

    How hard is this for people to figure out. Sheesh!

  • Dave

    The best way to prevent unwanted pregnancies is to make [me] swallow it.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Ah, the right wing view, presented with refreshing honesty. Except, no; not really refreshing. Comment #3 is more nauseating than refreshing.

    But its honesty is certainly… unusual.

  • Dawn

    Once again, I missed a little troll action.

    I am married, I don’t have to swallow :)

  • Roscoe collins

    abortions are in both ways wrong and right. Its the wrong way to prevent pregnancy. Condoms and pills are good ways but abstinence is the best. just pulll out before you cum. those are better than abortions.

    lets say your 12 years old and you were raped by your psyco uncle. would you want to have that child? hell no! i think we need to limit abortions and have a stricter limit on them. 1 abortion per person. if your one of those people who have had like 3 why dont you just get spayed?

  • Baronius

    “And never mind that study after study have found abstinence-only programs to be ineffective.”

    Actually, that statement is inaccurate. Abstinence pledges have been found to be ineffective. Abstinence-only programs are hit and miss, as are ABC programs. Abstinence-only programs with mentoring have been shown to be successful.

  • Dawn

    Does mentoring mean chaperoning?

    Until we find hormone suppressing drugs for teens, young adults & adults of child-bearing age, unwanted pregnancies are going to happen.

    How about effective birth control? Oh wait, that violates G*d and man.

    There is zero hope helping some people figure out the friggin’ obvious.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Dawn,

    Where is it written that Christians of any stripe have a monopoly on G-d? The argument for birth control, if it must be made, should be made on religious grounds first, and then on practial and utilitarian grounds.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I’m for the hormone suppressing drugs. Let’s make all the boys into chemical eunuchs until they’re 18!

    Dave

  • RedTard

    “I repeat: feel free to be personally against contraceptive use. But don’t use the levers of government to force everyone else to conform to your beliefs.”

    It’s a one way or the other deal. Either you’ll force your values on conservatives or they’ll force theirs on you. Conservatives have long contended that sex education should be limited and schools should teach math and science instead. In fact, it is your side who is trying to force your view of sexuality on everyone through sex education, not the other way around.

    It’s hard to be on the offensive and play the victim at the same time but you pull it off well.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com Michael J. West

    have long contended that sex education should be limited and schools should teach math and science instead.

    One could very reasonably argue, RedTard, that sexuality IS science–biology, if you’ll recall. Indeed, it is one of the two or three most important processes in all of human biology.

  • zingzing

    um… redtard… sex education is pretty damn important. would you rather be in south africa or somewhere where they act like it doesn’t exist. kids need to understand the process and how things happen… teenage pregnancy, aids, stds… these are not things you should remain ignorant about. that should be pretty obvious. ignorance isn’t a conservative value, is it?

  • ss

    In RT’s case…
    you be the judge.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    The contention of mainstream conservatives – not religious wackos – who have opposed sex ed in the schools is that it is something they would rather have parents teach kids than strangers. Much the same attitude I have towards religion in school. I don’t want my kids to learn about it from other kids proselytizing for cultlike churches at public school. IMO it’s a perfectly reasonable position to take. Much better than trying to keep it in the schools and warp the curriculum to fit a political or religious agenda.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    hrm, and i think that it’s pretty damn obvious that parents don’t always do the best job. not only is it uncomfortable, they aren’t trained (either in biology or psychology) to do it. if you treat it clinically, rather than the dreaded “birds and the bees” conversation, it is more likely to stick. plus, with all of those other kids around, questions can be asked (and answered by a professional) and materials (such as actual biological texts, pictures of stds, etc) can be accessed. it’s not “warping the curriculum to fit” any agenda. it’s a health issue.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com Michael J. West

    I think it has to be a joint project of educators and parents.

    We don’t have to deal with any moral/emotional aspects of sex in school, but leaving everything–including the biological/physiological aspects–to the parents has been proven, over and over and over and over again, not to work. It results in generation after generation growing up woefully, appallingly ignorant about sex–the central fact of human existence.

    Leave issues of whether sex is clean or dirty, sinful or healthy, natural or perverted, to parents. School has no business discussing those things, as Dave intimates, for the same reasons that they have no business dispensing religious dogma. But if we deny them formal, institutional education about sex from people who actually know the physiology of it, we are doing our kids a spectacular disservice.

  • RJP

    “abstinence and learning about birth control are not opposing concepts.”

    Sean that statement couldnt be farther from the truth – they are diametrically opposed. Lets see – one says – sex is reserved for married partners and carries with it a responsibility to raise children. It teaches skills and virtue neccessary to prepare oneself for such a commitment.

    The other says – sex is for pleasure only, and you must rely on these companies and these technologies to spare yourself from the natural consequence of this pleasure. You are incapable of
    waiting until you are ready for marriage. You are a slave to your base desires, and they must be obeyed.

    Abstinence teaching – responsibility, stable family societies.

    Contraceptive teaching – slave to your desires, a generation of single mothers and absent fathers.

  • zingzing

    not knowing condems exist – AIDS

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com Michael J. West

    Abstinence teaching – responsibility

    Unless telling someone “There’s such a thing as sex, but don’t engage in it” is your idea of sex education in its entirety. That’s damned irresponsible.

  • http://midtopia.blogspot.com Sean Aqui

    Replies to various people:

    #10: It’s a one way or the other deal. Either you’ll force your values on conservatives or they’ll force theirs on you.

    Nonsense. For one thing, many schools allow parents to opt their kids out of sex ed. For another, it’s not about values; it’s about giving kids knowledge. For a third thing, who is the single biggest influence on kids? Their parents. The school telling a kid about birth control isn’t going to overcome that. It’s like conservatives are arguing that their parental influence is so weak that they can’t explain to their children, “yes, condoms can reduce the change of pregnancy. But premarital sex is still a bad idea for the following reasons.”

    #17: Sean that statement couldnt be farther from the truth – they are diametrically opposed. Lets see – one says – sex is reserved for married partners and carries with it a responsibility to raise children. It teaches skills and virtue neccessary to prepare oneself for such a commitment. The other says – sex is for pleasure only, and you must rely on these companies and these technologies to spare yourself from the natural consequence of this pleasure. You are incapable of waiting until you are ready for marriage. You are a slave to your base desires, and they must be obeyed.

    I suppose if you teach it that way, you’d be right. But that’s just not reality. Especially the “sex is for pleasure only” part.

    I trust teens to make smart decisions if they’re given accurate information. If you put up a chart showing the advantages of abstinence vs. other forms of birth control, abstinence wins on the merits. So trust that. And be happy that the folks who fail at abstinence aren’t making a bad situation worse by getting pregnant.

    You seem to think that only telling people about abstinence will somehow keep them from finding out about sex. It has never worked that way.

    Schools provide the information; parents provide the values. That’s the way it’s supposed to work. Conservatives want schools to either provide their values or not provide anything. Neither choice is a good solution.

  • Baronius

    Zing, should the government do everything that parents aren’t always the best at?

  • Josh

    G.K. Chesterton once said, “The first two facts which a healthy boy or girl feels about sex are these: first that it is beautiful and then that it is dangerous.”

    Michael, what RJP says is not irresponsible. While it is true that teenagers may have sex, the goal of abstinence is to convince them to take it seriously and realize that it is not a game. The major goal is to get across that sex requires an absolute commitment.

  • zingzing

    baronius–of course not. by your reasoning, the govt shouldn’t put warnings on cigarettes, they should just expect mama to tell you it’s bad for you.

    why is it bad for me, mama?

    i don’t know, it just is!

    parents should definitely back it up. but, unfortunately, many (many) parents will either skirt the responsibility, or they will screw it up. if every parent was a good parent, we would have died off long ago…

    acknowledging that sex exists, and talking about it in a non-judgmental group of people is the best way to educate our youth on the subject. let’s face it… a lot (not all) of the people that don’t want sex talked about in class are the same people who won’t talk about it at home. they are the same ones who would judge their children for wanting to know (even if they didn’t want to judge them). they are the same ones who will spread dangerous ideas (like describing abstinence, then forgetting to add the “BUT! if you do, you should use a condom,” because we all know that kids will do exactly what their parents tell them NOT to do.)

  • Kiel

    This is rediculous, why should the government believe they should have any control over what we do in our personal lives. This is simply the damned christian zealots trying to enact control over our entire lives. If you want to use contraception cool, if you don’t well no skin off my back. If you want to try and contol mine and others descion to well,.,.,.,fuck you!

  • Kiel

    Also one more thing, demonizing sex, like many (not all abstinence) programs do is a greeeat way to encourage kids to have sex, since most rebellous teens will do what there told not to. The best way to do anything is provide all the information, the ins and outs if you will. Then let people make a descion on there own.

  • Dawn

    If religious fundamentalist don’t want their kids to learn basic biology and how reproduction occurs, or in otherwords, the very basis of life, then they shouldn’t send their children to public schools.

    Honestly, I agree with zingzing and the others who suggest parents reiterate what the life sciences teach their children with good old fashion communication.

    Again, this is just so obvious.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    Josh,

    I think you missed what I was getting at. I wasn’t sure what RJP was saying…but it sounded very close to saying that school should teach kids “don’t have sex” and that’s it. A three-word sex education course, without giving them the important facts about sex. And if that’s the case, it’s the HEIGHT of irresponsibility.

  • Josh

    Sorry, Mike, I misinterpreted what you said.

  • http://torrentspy.com owned

    bring out the old school chastity belt. like bullet proofing ur daughter’s cooch or sheathing ur sons wiener.

  • hello

    Dr. Janet Woodcock??!?!?!

    that can’t be real.

  • RedTard

    From the sum of the responses since my post I get the distinct impression that most on the left do want the government to indoctrinate kids with sexual values but only those of your choosing. You guys are really sad.

    You’re so scared of freedom, always afraid that somebody will exercise theirs in a way you consider ‘wrong’. You gasp at the thought that parents teach their children anything themselves. Only government is capable of doing anything properly, families, communites, and individuality are weaknesses that must be destroyed. Everyone must conform, must be identical robotics cogs in the great socialist machine.

  • http://bacalar.blogspot.com Howard Dratch

    The conservatives are right.

    There should be no education about sex. Birth control information and access to supplies should be closely guarded. The Plan B pill should be restricted.

    Legal abortion should be stopped.

    War should be stopped.

    Corruption in government should not exist.

    Violence and bigotry should be removed from our society.

    People should not be addicted to anything — starting with nicotine, caffeine and chocolate.

    There should be no divorce.

    All children should be wanted, loved, cared for, and have enough money to be healthy and happy.

    Until all these things come about open discussions of sex and contraception and the availability of anything medical science has to offer should be available to prevent pregnancy. Abortion must remain legal and available to prevent unwanted children (those the right loves to protect from inception and hates to take care of). The millenium could be just around the corner. Then we won’t need these freedoms. All the adolescents will stop being interested in their hormones. Won’t they? All the passion of youth will be channeled into religious paths. Won’t it?

  • Baronius

    Okay, let’s at least acknowledge that the rate of out-of-wedlock pregnancies varies by culture. Some times/places/groups have had more, some have had less. Young people are capable of behaving responsibly. Not all the kids, not all the time, but overall a culture can encourage or discourage restraint. So the argument that “they’ll do it anyway” is facetious.

    And it’s a cheap shot to say that the right wing only cares about children up until they’re born. It is possible to care about children and disagree with Johnson-era social policies. For the sake of civil conversation, I’m going to assume that the left wing is trying to destroy this country because they don’t know any better. Please do me the same courtesy, and assume that I’m acting in good faith too.

    One last one, then I’ll shut up for a bit. Contraception isn’t the “new” abortion. Historically, the debate about contraception predates the current abortion debate by about 100 years. Before 1920, all the major Christian denominations opposed contraception. It was argued that if contraception were permitted, abortion could be next. But that was dismissed as a scare tactic, and one by one, denominations accepted contraception.

    The Supreme Court’s ruling in Griswold forbid restrictions on contraception. The naysayers argued that abortion would be next, but they were written off. Then the Supreme Court based its Roe ruling on Griswold. Now, many churches are drifting toward a pro-choice position. The naysayers as usual were right.

  • http://nicholasstixuncensored.blogspot.com/ Nicholas Stix

    This essay is deeply dishonest. It is based on the notion that there is something called “emergency contraception.” Pray tell, what that might be?

    ‘Wait a minute, baby, let me put on a condom — stat!’

    Or, a man runs across town to reach a drug store and buy a condom, just in the nick of time!

    Or a woman tells her lover during the act, “Pull out!”

    Sean approvingly quotes the term “emergency contraception” and himself uses the term “contraception.” But that isn’t what Sean means at all. He is writing in support of an abortifacent.

    And he even opens that decreased use of contraception leads to an increase in abortions.

    Correct. And yet, he supports more and easier abortions for people, including kids, who failed to use contraception.

    His rhetorical trick is to redefine some abortions as non-abortions via rhetorical sleight of hand. And he has the nerve to mock Christians as benighted?

    “Some Christian conservatives are starting to jump on the same bandwagon that Catholic groups have occupied for decades: Life begins at fertilization and anything that interferes with that is abortion. And they’re willing to use laws and government regulations to force everybody to conform to their beliefs.”

    That anything that interferes with fertilization after the fact is abortion, isn’t a “Christian conservative” doctrine; it’s the definition of abortion.

    If you support the over-the-counter sale of “Plan B,” aka the abortion pill aka the morning after pill, to minors, then be honest about it, without making false claims that it isn’t an abortifacent.

    There is no such thing as “emergency contraception.”

    It’s really simple: Anything that prevents conception before the fact is contraception. Anything that stops conception after the fact is an abortifacent.

    And then Sean engages in all this scare-mongering rhetorical a whoopin’ and a hollerin': Only ignorant, authoritarian Christians would even consider an abortion pill anything but a contraceptive, etc.

    “Why the opposition to Plan B? The stated reason is that it is an abortifacent, on the theory that at least occasionally it prevents the implantation of a fertilized egg. But since Plan B is simply a higher dosage of regular birth-control hormones, the same arguments could be applied to the Pill. And IUDs. (And breastfeeding, BTW). And never mind that many of these same groups also oppose other forms of contraception such as condoms and diaphragms. Or that this represents a moving of the goalposts in the abortion debate.”

    The above “argument” is a combination of sophistry and smearing. ‘Since drinking a dealdy dosage of 10 ounces of 80 proof liquor in one gulp is simply a higher dosage of regular alcohol, the same arguments could be applied to all alcohol.’

    No, the same arguments do not apply to a higher dosage of something that in lower doses has a different purpose, different consequences, and is in this case in virtue of the different dosage, a different thing.

    And to say “many of these same groups also oppose other forms of contraception such as condoms and diaphragms” is both shameless and irrational. In case you don’t win your case on the sophistry, you’ll do it by embarrassing people who aren’t conservative Christians and who don’t want to be associated with them. ‘That’s the sort of thing they would say.’

    It is Sean who is moving the goalposts.

    BTW, why does Sean feel the need to misrepresent conservative Christians as ignorant bumpkins? (If he says, “that’s because they are,” it will simply mean that he knows nothing about them — and also that he grossly exaggerates his own level of enlightenment.)

    That’s all pretty desperate, epsecially coming from someone who claims to be fighting for enlightenment against the powers of darkness.

    And since Sean has brought sex ed into the argument, that means he wants kids to be able to buy the abortion pill over the counter. There’s no other reason for mentioning it.

    Sex ed is not about giving kids “information”; it’s about using the power of the state to promote attitudes favorable towards premarital sex. That’s what it has always been about. At the beginning of the sex ed movement, sex “educators” were open about their aims. They wanted to revolutionize society. But once premarital sex, ever younger sex, and illegitimacy exploded, and most adults failed to see the beauty in such developments, the “educators” lied, in denying that that had been their goal, and changed their story to one in which education merely “mirrored” society. Nonjudgmentally, natch.

    “Non-judgmental” teaching of kids about sex — what a crock. Talk about peeing on someone’s leg, and telling him it’s raining!

    What I’d like to know is, why do people who are so sure that they occupy the moral and intellectual high ground feel the need to lie and otherwise deceive?

  • Concerned Person

    That is really dumb. Personally I think all american’s should be prevented from procreating and imposing this bullshit on the rest of earth

  • Bliffle

    Beyond abortion and contraception lies the real target of We The Righteous: celibacy. Anyone who refuses to procreate when so prompted, or who refuses another persons Holy Urge to procreate is no better than a murderer.

    They should be hung in the public square to warn other mortals of what happens to sinners who deny Gods Holy Goal.

  • Druxxx

    Wow Nicholas.

    Who is trying to scare whom? IMO people who favor comprehensive sex ed in public schools are looking for one of two things to happen; Abstinence or responsible sex.

    What is wrong with giving kids the facts? Why does biology scare you?

    How a baby is produced is scientific fact. Wait, for you it must be some miracle and we’ll leave it at that. Teaching science may lead to teaching evolution and that’s bad.

    Maybe abstinence will be more realistic if you give kids a good reason to abstain. If an activity could kill me, I would make dam sure I either avoided it, or if I decided to do it anyway, I would use all safety devices at my disposal. Just telling a kid to wait until marriage is not going to be a good enough reason to wait.

    Unfortunately, we cannot count on parents to get kids all the needed facts. We can leave ethics and morals out of sex ed. Why is it so hard to understand that telling kids about available methods of STD and pregnancy protection due not in themselves encourage sex? Sex does not need to be encouraged to happen.

    Conservatives like to think by teaching abstinence only we will eventually find ourselves in a utopia where sex only happens as part of marriage and people will be willing to accept all of gods miracles that he gives us. If we all waited until marriage there would be no need for STD prevention of contraceptives. Oh wait, don’t married couple use contraceptives because most women don’t want children in the double digits.

    Sex should not be put on a pedestal. It is something that should be respected, not feared. If I want to have sex purely for pleasure, that is my right. But I do have to deal with any of the consequences of my decision. I have a feeling I will make better decisions if I am educated about all the facts.

    The problem with sex is not that people have it, it’s that they have sex irresponsibly.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    most on the left do want the government to indoctrinate kids with sexual values but only those of your choosing.

    Because I want qualified educators to teach kids about the biological and physiological processes associated with sex? God, what fiendish propaganda I have in mind!

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    Nicholas, you actually had some reasonable arguments going on, until you undermined your credibility with the vast-left-wing-conspiracy garbage.

    Of course, if you believe that, you can certainly understand why someone believes the following:

    Abstinence-ed is not about teaching kids “commitment and responsibility”; it’s about using the power of the state to promote attitudes unfavorable toward sex as a whole. That’s what it has always been about. Even now in the abstinence-ed movement, many abstinence “educators” are open about their aims. They want to instill religious values that sex is sinful, dirty, and should never be undertaken unless specifically to produce children (and in that case it should not be thought of as something to enjoy). But once most adults protested about such indoctrination being brought upon their kids, the “educators” lied, in denying that that had been their goal, and changed their story to one in which abstinence education was merely about promoting responsibility by reducing the occurrence of adolescent sex.

    I don’t think you believe the above, Nicholas, but it is not one iota less ridiculous than your statement.

  • troll

    it’s all a gnostic plot…only through total celibacy (or infertility) can humans put an end to this tale of woe – this twisted existence created by that flawed demiurge…Sophia’s unnatural spawn

    troll

  • http://nicholasstixuncensored.blogspot.com/ Nicholas Stix

    The difference, Michael, is that my statement is factual.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com Michael J. West

    Your statement is absurd.

  • Blue Meanie

    Nicholas states: “They wanted to revolutionize society. But once premarital sex, ever younger sex, and illegitimacy exploded, ”

    Now, there are some interesting arguments going on here, but I felt forced to point out the sheer idiocy of the quoted statement.

    Let me put this in simple terms;
    How long during human history, even christian history, has the age of marriage been above the early teens?

    Biology at war with theology it seems. I’m for education.

  • http://midtopia.blogspot.com Sean Aqui

    #34: Nicholas, a detailed response:

    Sean approvingly quotes the term “emergency contraception” and himself uses the term “contraception.” But that isn’t what Sean means at all. He is writing in support of an abortifacent.

    You are free to believe that. But you ignore certain facts about biology, such as a) it can take several days after intercourse for an egg to be fertilized, or b) breast feeding has exactly the same effect as Plan B. Not to mention the countless times a fertilized egg fails to implant for other reasons. That’s why the medical definition of pregnancy involves implantation, not fertilization.

    And he has the nerve to mock Christians as benighted?

    I don’t recall mocking anybody.

    That anything that interferes with fertilization after the fact is abortion, isn’t a “Christian conservative” doctrine; it’s the definition of abortion.

    Incorrect, since the medical definition of abortion involves implantation.

    It’s really simple: Anything that prevents conception before the fact is contraception. Anything that stops conception after the fact is an abortifacent.

    Even using your definition of “pregnancy”, Plan B is not a pure abortifacent. Most of the time it works the way birth-control pills work.

    BTW, why does Sean feel the need to misrepresent conservative Christians as ignorant bumpkins?

    Please show where I did that. I think the folks who oppose contraception are following a principle off a cliff, and I further think this is an inappropriate use of the regulatory and legal process. But I never said they were stupid.

    And since Sean has brought sex ed into the argument, that means he wants kids to be able to buy the abortion pill over the counter. There’s no other reason for mentioning it.

    First, it’s not “the abortion pill.” RU486 is “the abortion pill.” Plan B is not.

    Second, sex ed was a minor tangent in my piece, which became the main topic of discussion in the comments. But for the record, I think the drugmaker’s second application (restricting the sale to those 16 and over) was reasonable. I wouldn’t raise a fuss if the age limit was raised to 18. That defeats some of the public health purpose of making it available OTC, but is still better than keeping it prescription-only for everyone.

    Sex ed is not about giving kids “information”; it’s about using the power of the state to promote attitudes favorable towards premarital sex.

    Says you. For a more fact-based analysis, you should look at what is actually taught in schools. Here, for instance, are the Washington State guidelines. Don’t rely on the web page summary; download the guidelines and read them yourself. They’re really quite reasonable. And if you still don’t like them, most school systems allow you to opt out of sex ed. The schools are not interfering with your parental prerogatives in the least.

  • zingzing

    whoo-hoo! let nick be against sex! may he never procreate!

    okay, that was silly… (seriously, though, nick… don’t do it…)

    nick is paranoid. did you ever take sex ed, nick? what was it like?

    was it some old health teacher wandering around naked, folding back his foreskin to show off his smegma?

    or some hoary old goat with a vulva hanging down to her ankles showing you 8×10 ft pictures of horrible horrible cases of syphillis?

    or maybe all the cheerleaders got up and showed you what “lesbian” means.

    or maybe “lesbians” weren’t mentioned at all.

    maybe you looked at boring textbook drawings of a woman’s spread naughties and a man’s hangdown with perfect views of their assholes… maybe it was a glorified biology class with special attention paid to nasty diseases THAT ATTACK YOUR CROTCH and ways to avoid said nasty diseases (INCLUDING ABSTINENCE) should you run into the possibility of the biological process outlined in the earlier chapters… trust me, i’m young enough to remember it, and other than a little bit on canker sores, i don’t remember popping a smile once, much less popping a boner or thinking, “i’m gonna go do this tomorrow!”

    if they instilled any values in me, it was to avoid getting incurable rotting rashes on my penis. may you avoid that fate as well.

  • http://figjam.3-a.net PolarBear

    I haven’t got through all the comments yet but I feel the need to say this:

    Someone mentioned that the people pushing for the removal of sex ed programs in school are conservatives who feel that parents should be teaching the kids, not strangers/teachers.

    The sad irony of this is the fact that many of the conservative people who are in this group are too embarassed to talk about sex with their kids in the way that it needs to be done.

    You can’t expect uptight people with strong “morals” about sex to have that frank and open discussion that is needed with their (OH MY GOD) children.

  • http://blog.myspace.com/manonmaru Manon Maru

    I’m kinda with C.S. Lewis where the idea of abstinence and the sanctity of life and all that is beautiful, but it you don’t believe in it, then it is better to live in “sin” rather than make a promise you don’t intend to keep, and abort or prevent a pregnancy that you don’t intend to nuture.

  • Nature rules

    This is just an evolutionary process. We are just animals like all other creatures, so who gives a rats ass.

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