The War on Sex



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Much has been written about American theocrats and their growing threat to personal freedoms and liberty. Nowhere is their passion more pronounced than in their desire to control women's bodies. We all know they've launched a full-frontal assault on abortion rights, but did you also know they want to control sex in general? Here's some food for thought, and an excerpt.

Take Leslee Unruh, the South Dakota native considered the primary force behind the near-total ban on abortion in her state. Unruh is, in many ways, the perfect representative of the modern pro-life movement. She is lauded in pro-life circles as the president of the Abstinence Clearinghouse, a group that promotes abstinence-until-marriage. Under Unruh's leadership, the Abstinence Clearinghouse has spearheaded campaigns to stop people from using the condom. On the organization's website, supporters of family planning are derided as the "safe sex cartel" and "condom-pushers." Her medical advisory board consists of physicians who pledge not to prescribe contraception to sexually active teens. The group's new project, "Abstinence Africa," discourages condom use in African countries like Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho where, on average, one in three adults is infected with HIV.

Unruh and her pro-life colleagues have moved beyond attacking the condom, too. For example, when pharmacists refuse to fill birth control prescriptions, the pro-life movement has responded with a favorite tactic: it has moved aggressively to welcome their deeds as acts of "conscience."

The movement has helped pass laws allowing pharmacists to refuse on moral or religious grounds to fill birth control prescriptions in South Dakota -- no surprise there -- as well as Arkansas and Mississippi. Additionally another 19 states have moved to protect anyone who decides to stand in the way of a woman getting birth control; this conceivably includes cashiers who could choose to refuse to ring up your prescription.

You have to wonder what the Libertarian fringe of the right wing has to say about all this. And I mean that literally, because as near as I can tell, they simply prefer to duck the issue so they can avoid alienating the social conservatives who bankroll their think tanks.

Comments

Leslee Unruh...

is one of the creepiest-looking people I've seen in a long time. She's also incredibly out of touch with reality. She has some ... off-the-wall quotes in this video, "Abstinence Comes to Albuquerque," a documentary on one high school's experience with these "educators" who say that condoms don't work.

This is one of my Issues. I think it would be great to be a health educator and teach teens and young adults about safer sex, or to do research for someplace like the Guttmacher Institute. But I need a few more years of school for that, and I'm nt quite ready to go back.

CD

My UNC professor wife is largely focused on how teens learn about and get involved in sex. I daresay she's a rock star in the field and regularly consults with companies, NIH, Congress and others about teen health implications of public policy. If you ever want to get connected, let me know. She's even cooking up a new center at UNC to focus on the health communications . . . a cross-discipline program with the medical school, the School of Public Health, the School of Journalism and (I think) the School of Public Administration.

That sounds incredibly awesome.

I'm planning to apply to SPH in a year or two for the masters in HBHE. This whole multi-disciplinary thing sounds awesome. Throw in Pharmacy, though ;)

Is the morning after pill

on her hit-list? I've heard stories of pharmacists refusing to fill those prescriptions forcing rape-victims to shop around town while the time for its effectiveness wanes.

 
“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.”
So enjoy the Drama.

Oh god yes.

The 'morning after pill' is right up there with abortion and sex on their hit list. Their bottom line: Unless you're trying to make babies, sex is not permitted.