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Sep 25 2011

Texas Republican Admits War on Birth Control

I have long said that the ultimate aim of the anti-choice crowd is to eliminate birth control. Why else would they be so opposed to teaching about birth control in sex ed classes? Why else would they still complain, after more than 40 years, not just about Roe v. Wade but about Griswold v. Connecticut, which struck down state laws against the use of contraception, as well? Now a Texas Republican legislator has finally come out and admitted that:

The goal is to get government money out of the abortion process and if contraceptive services have to suffer a bit of collateral damage in the process, so be it. When The Texas Tribune asked state Rep. Wayne Christian (R-Nacogdoches), a supporter of the family planning cuts, if this was a war on birth control, he said “yes.”

“Well of course this is a war on birth control and abortions and everything, that’s what family planning is supposed to be about,” Christian said.

Family planning clinics are routinely referred to by many Texas Republican legislators as “abortion clinics” even though none of the 71 family planning clinics in the state that receive government funding provide abortions. Texas and federal law prohibits that, but most women’s health clinics will refer women or teens who want an abortion to a provider.

“They’re sitting here, referring women out to receive abortions,” Christian said in an interview with NPR. “Those are the clinics, including Planned Parenthood, we were targeting.”

I already knew that, but it’s nice to see it out in the open. Ultimately, what they want is to eliminate a woman’s ability to control her own reproduction. Because in their view it’s up to God — and their husbands — to decide when they give birth and when they don’t.

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  1. 1
    Gordon

    If they were really against abortion they would be pro-birth control.

  2. 2
    baldape

    The broader problem here is that what sounds to the left like an admission of some kind of wrongdoing is, to the right, a statement of high principle.

    When I read The Family, I was struck by the fact that the very things that I would find horrifying would be considered by a large fraction of the US population as desirable.

    It really is culture war, and it’s hard to see it ending well.

  3. 3
    Ellie

    Of course they want to get rid of legal birth control. I don’t know why this should come as a surprise to anyone. There is a faction who’s been trying to get rid of Griswold v. Connecticut since 1965. Does anyone here remember Loretta Lynn’s song “Mama’s Got The Pill?” It was banned on radio stations across the country, and it was about a married woman, not some young sinful girl out cruising the singles bars! That was in 1975.

    The main thought is, if women want to have sex, they should suffer pregnancy. Doesn’t matter if they’re married or not. At least this misogynist is honest about his feelings and doesn’t tap dance around it.

  4. 4
    Michael Heath

    I disagree the Christianist base currently wants to get rid of birth control. However, I think that increased political influence by their leaders would have them more successfully deploying policies reducing birth control availability. But I don’t think opposition to birth control in general is a present, conscious, and dominant position, or even a position taken by a significant minority within the Christianist movement.

    Instead I think Christianists (aka the religious right) predominately supports access to birth control for married couples while having no consciously rational position at all regarding pre-marital birth control. Their opposition is instead for a previous transaction, planning to have pre-marital sex. For example, the dominant argument I’ve heard against greater availability for birth control of student-age people is the attendant requirement for sex education which they [falsely] assert leads to pre-marital sex, which is in opposition to their holy dogma.

    I do think support to deny even married couple access to birth control would possibly be at risk if fundies increased their political influence since the nature of such groups who are increasing their power forces all of them to take ever-more theologically pure positions; especially since we’re so distant from those edicts now. This is a classic slippery slope argument where opposition to birth control is a natural regressive step after successfully criminalizing abortion. If Christianists gain more power, the odds are good such a descent could happen where support for birth control dies out given the nature of this group; which is slavish, child-like, delusional submission to their authority figures and dogma. But the current cognizance needed for this to happen is not currently present as best as I can tell (with some relatively trivial exceptions of course).

  5. 5
    hunter

    What surprises me is that they’re willing to be that honest about it — or else that joker is clueless.

  6. 6
    ManOutOfTime

    I believe that any man desiring to have unprotected sex with a woman other than his wife should first have to witness an obstetric ultrasound and watch a video of a woman giving birth.

    It’s unbelievable how much the Xtian Taliban goes on about sex an d abortion and contraception as if the woman is the only person involved. Every sex act that has a risk of pregnancy involves at least one male. Indeed, every sex act between two people, with the exception of hot lesbian action, involves a least one male! Given cultural if not biological norms, males are typically the initiator of sexual congress – a fact very much on my mind as a father of five girls. It’s perverse and sick that the religious are all about the women being Jezebels and having to be virginal and motherly – they make me want to vomit. What a disgrace.

  7. 7
    Kevin S

    And yet there’s an interesting counter current developing in Texas:
    Texas schools are switching to more comprehensive Sex Ed.

    Apparently it only takes about a decade of abstinence only sex ed for Texans to realize it’s not working and decide they don’t want their teenage daughters pregnant before they’re out of high school. What will be really, really interesting is what happens when even more communities move to comprehensive sex ed. You’d think that’d shine a brighter light on the lack of access to the contraceptive tools needed for safe sex and spur increased support for family planning clinics. But then again, it took Texans this long just to start realizing abstinence only is a failure.

  8. 8
    Michael Heath

    ManOutOfTime:

    Given cultural if not biological norms, males are typically the initiator of sexual congress – a fact very much on my mind as a father of five girls.

    I wouldn’t count on that stereotype being true. I can’t remember a time when women weren’t willing to be as forward as men; the old movies frame it as such but reality certainly didn’t during my lifetime.

  9. 9
    raven

    Religious Faux Pas? Most Catholics Use Contraception | Religion …www.livescience.com/13708-catholics-contraceptives.htmlCached
    You +1′d this publicly. Undo
    Apr 13, 2011 – Catholic women overwhelmingly use birth control, despite an official ban by the … The analysis is based on a nationally representative U.S. …

    Overall, the survey found that 99 percent of women have used birth control, and …

    This religious kook is way out of touch with modern American values.

    A recent survey showed that 99% of US women use birth control. It’s 98% for Catholics, despite the priests telling them they are going to hell.

    If these evil clowns ever managed to gain power and do what they say they want to do, eventually their own followers would burn them at the stake.

    Fundie xians are dumb and all and can and do cheerfully shoot both their feet off. But they must draw the line at shooting their brains out while slitting their own throats.

    (Hmmm, well that is just a theory without a lot of support. Maybe they are that dumb.)

  10. 10
    raven

    Apparently it only takes about a decade of abstinence only sex ed for Texans to realize it’s not working and decide they don’t want their teenage daughters pregnant before they’re out of high school.

    Texas had nearly the highest teenage pregnancy rate in the USA. It was though, going down slowly until the xian kooks started their abstinence only mistake. It then started right back up.

    Without comprehensive sex ed and easily available birth control, Texas would be flooded with teenage single mothers, many of them poor. Already Texas has the highest child poverty rate in the USA, an astounding 1 in 4, 25%.

    So who pays for all these children and mothers? Welfare does much of the time. And Texans will be paying that in their taxes. One way or another. If they don’t, they will pay for police, security guards, courts, and prisons as hordes of young, poor, uneducated, poorly socialized children and young adults commit crimes and get imprisoned.

  11. 11
    D. C. Sessions

    The main thought is, if women want to have sex, they should suffer pregnancy.

    Say what? Who asked her?

    That’s the problem today: the bitches think they should have a say in things.

  12. 12
    dingojack

    Yes Gordon (#1) ‘If they were against abortion…’ But they’re not, they are against women. – Dingo

  13. 13
    MollyNYC

    But I don’t think opposition to birth control in general is a present, conscious, and dominant position, or even a position taken by a significant minority within the Christianist movement. (Michael Heath @4)

    I disagree with you about the “significant minority” part.

    Pretty much ALL public policy having to do with sex, however tangentially, stands on a foundation belief that sex is horrible! horrible! horrible! The most immoral thing ever! [1] Something we shouldn’t allow at all if we could avoid the species dying out some other way–and therefore, the possibility of making babies is the only circumstance under which we can condone it!

    Now obviously, this is not merely a minority view, but batsh|t crazy besides. Nevertheless, it underlies laws about abortion, birth control, every type of sexual expression (how many states had laws about oral or anal sex before Lawrence?), “abstinence” ed, etc.–because up until fairly recently, we’ve been willing to accept it as a normative view of sex.

    And its adherents certainly think so–how much GOP legislation, both state and federal, has been about micromanaging Americans’ sex lives (especially women)?

    Anyway, “minority,” yes; “insignificant,” no.

    __________
    [1] You may have noticed that people who get this bent out of shape over sex almost never get upset about lying, cruelty, theft, torture, violence, etc.

  14. 14
    Trebuchet

    This religious kook is way out of touch with modern American values.

    They all are, and on pretty much all issues.

  15. 15
    Michael Heath

    MollyNYC,

    You have a point where I would agree it might knock my down a bit. In fact I wrote my post in light of your point here. Therefore I was careful to parse out birth control from all relevant issues like having sex, abortion, and sex ed. E.g., I pointed out that they don’t need to ponder their position on birth control for pre-marital sex so much [beyond not wanting taxpayer funds being expended] because they oppose the entire idea of young people planning to have sex until marriage. Even then the rate of securing birth control remains very high which is why I disagree the group as a whole or an influential minority is already at or pre-ordained to move them further to the right.

  16. 16
    slc1

    Re Michael Heath @ #15

    Actually, IMHO, most of the fundy theocrats consider that pregnancy is just punishment for a girl/woman engaging in premarital sex. This is why the oppose anything other then abstinence sex education.

  17. 17
    matty1

    Because in their view it’s up to God — and their husbands — to decide when they give birth and when they don’t.

    Given that this is the official position of the largest anti choice organisation in the world I find it hard to believe it would surprise anyone that it is common in that movement.

  18. 18
    bananacat

    I believe that any man desiring to have unprotected sex with a woman other than his wife should first have to witness an obstetric ultrasound and watch a video of a woman giving birth.

    Surely you realize that most married couples use some kind of pregnancy prevention, and that it’s quite common for pregnancy to be unwelcome even if the woman is married. You really should change that, and any couple who aren’t actively trying to conceive should have birth control on their minds.

  19. 19
    bananacat

    Given cultural if not biological norms, males are typically the initiator of sexual congress – a fact very much on my mind as a father of five girls.

    You’ll be in for quite a surprise someday when your daughters become sexual people just like nearly everyone else. If you have any sons, I kind of feel bad for them that you won’t know how to talk to them when they face unwanted pressure for sex from girls. It really isn’t true that men initiate sex, and it kind of makes me wonder what your relationship is like with the mother of your five daughters if you really had to do the initiating most or all of the time.

  20. 20
    386sx

    Actually, IMHO, most of the fundy theocrats consider that pregnancy is just punishment for a girl/woman engaging in premarital sex.

    Oh yeah I forgot about that. They also think the whole childbirth thing is a punishment. A punishment of the victim of the serpent con artist in the garden of Eden. Poor Eve gets conned and then all women get punished for Eve being a victim. Thanks for reminding me how stupid religion is. :P

  21. 21
    Pierce R. Butler

    Michael Heath @ # 4: I don’t think opposition to birth control in general is a present, conscious, and dominant position, or even a position taken by a significant minority within the Christianist movement.

    Do you not define Catholicism as part of Christianism?

  22. 22
    darkmatters

    From the pastor supporting abtinence-only education featured in the link Kevin S posted:

    Like Tortolero, he said the key to talking to students about sex education was giving them proper knowledge to make decisions — though for him, that means learning about the pratfalls of so-called safe sex.

    “Will a condom protect your heart? As a female, will a condom protect your reputation?” he said. “It might protect you from getting pregnant, it might protect you from getting a disease, but there’s no way it will protect your heart, mind, emotions, and reputation. There’s no way. So how can we call it safe?”

    Grrrrr…how anyone, so knowingly, can be willing to sacrifice the future, physical health, and possibly the very life of even one child on the alter of their god is beyond me.

  23. 23
    Michael Heath

    Me earlier:

    I don’t think opposition to birth control in general is a present, conscious, and dominant position, or even a position taken by a significant minority within the Christianist movement.

    Pierce Butler:

    Do you not define Catholicism as part of Christianism?

    I’m using the term Christianist for [politically] conservative Christians, so many Catholics are Christianists though one can’t tell merely by noting someone’s Catholic. That’s contra most evangelical denominations who are predominately politically conservative. The most obvious Catholics meeting this definition are Fox News’ Catholics, especially President Roger Ailes along with Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity.

    However all that’s irrelevant given that Catholics are as inclined to use birth control as the rest of the U.S. population; in spite of the Vatican’s admonitions.

  24. 24
    Pierce R. Butler

    Michael Heath @ # 23: The most obvious Catholics meeting this definition are Fox News’ Catholics…

    No, the most obvious such Catholics are people like JP2 & Benny Hex (not officially on Rupert M’s payroll – though they do take his money…).

    Going back before the days when priests & bishops would sic the cops on Margaret Sanger and company, up through recent events such as JP2 telling Italian pharmacists not to stock condoms in their stores (no changes were reported), the Vatican hierarchy has made concerted explicit efforts to restore Church dominion over private sex – through state mechanisms wherever possible (of late most visibly in Poland).

    … all that’s irrelevant given that Catholics are as inclined to use birth control as the rest of the U.S. population…

    What the hell do the personal preferences of the sheep have to do with the policies & politics of the shepherds? Catholic women abort their pregnancies in proportions comparable to the rest of the population, but RC organizations still constitute the largest bloc within the anti-choice (& anti-contraception) movement.

  25. 25
    Aquaria

    I disagree the Christianist base currently wants to get rid of birth control. However, I think that increased political influence by their leaders would have them more successfully deploying policies reducing birth control availability. But I don’t think opposition to birth control in general is a present, conscious, and dominant position, or even a position taken by a significant minority within the Christianist movement.

    There have been anti-birth control rumblings from the christarded right since the 80s, and that’s when I became aware of it while volunteering at a clinic in Dallas. Like Ellie said, they’ve been at it for decades, and I’d venture to say that it went back before Griswold, to the introduction of the Pill in 1960. They were fighting to prevent women from having access to it, and that’s why Griswold had to be argued. Hell, they were arguing against it in Sanger’s day, and before!

    I think you’re forgetting the christards’ absolute horror of the sexual “permissiveness” that started in the 60s, and they fervently believe that the Pill was the beginning of the that, with Griswold v Connecticut sealing the doom. And they are horrified about sexual permissiveness because they are such utter imbeciles that they think anything that results in humans enjoying about life, particularly sex, is evil.

    You know, there may have been a reason to be skeptical about their lust to make women brood mares in the 80s and 90s, but, at this point, there is no excuse for being so dangerous ill-informed and naive about the real, and ultimate, goal of these scumbags.

    They are after Griswold, and they will slam the door shut on access to birth control, given the chance. They have been working towards it for decades, chipping away at everything about abortion, to the point that 90% of America doesn’t have an abortion clinic, now they’re setting up waiting periods and other obstacles to access to abortion, slowly but surely making it nearly impossible to acquire one, they’re gunning for the largest organization providing inexpensive birth control, they have thousands of scumbag thugs in place to protest filling prescriptions for bc, but you and the rest of the squishy middle and moderates still refuse to listen when the feminists and pro-choice crowd warn them what these christarded scumbags are after, like we’ve been doing for decades.

    Would you please start listening to us NOW?

    Sheesh.

  26. 26
    eric

    Ed:

    Ultimately, what they want is to eliminate a woman’s ability to control her own reproduction.

    I partially disagree. I think the movement wants to punish both men and women for sex out of wedlock. As Aquaria said, they’re opposed to sexual permissiveness. If lightning struck people in the act, I’m sure they’d be happy it struck the men too.

    Now because they’re misogynists, they have no problem with women bearing the brunt of that punishment. So they may only prevent unmarried women (and not men) from buying lightning rods. But ultimately they want everyone to pay for their sins.

  27. 27
    MollyNYC

    They also think the whole childbirth thing is a punishment. (386sx @ 20)

    As long as you (and slc1) are bringing that up–what could be less pro-life (in any real sense of the term) than using babies and parenthood as a form of punishment?

    Forgive the OT, but one thing on the pro-choice movement’s bucket list should be going after the phrase “pro-life.” It’s a term of spin–period. We actually are for choice, and life too, when you get down to it. The anti-choice types hate life, no matter what words they’ve managed to hide behind; the only form of “life” they support is defined so abstractly as to be meaningless in any practical sense.

  28. 28
    Captain Mike

    “…they’ve been at it for decades, and I’d venture to say that it went back before Griswold, to the introduction of the Pill in 1960.” – Aquaria

    At least. We have documentation that the tight asses went into a massive tizzy way back in 1861, when the New York Times printed an ad for Dr. Power’s French Preventatives. People lost their tiny minds.

  29. 29
    Rob Monkey

    Now wait just a minute. I can believe conservatives want to ban (or effectively limit) access to contraception. They rail constantly about how immoral our society has gotten, blah blah blah, and I know they blame a lot of this immorality on evil sexual relations. But Captain Mike, you will never get me to believe that conservative Americans were ever opposed to something called a “French Preventative.” Hell, we should rename all birth control to “French Preventatives” and Rush Limbaugh and his gang of idiots will be hawking that shit like it’s a gold scam on old people! “Be sure to buy some French Preventatives, or your daughter will be giving birth to some sort of frogperson!”

  1. 30
    “There are eight million stories in the naked city…” « Decrepit Old Fool

    [...] these decisions, and the consequences surrounding them.  There’s no place for preachers or politicians to insert their [...]

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