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Oct 21 2011

Santorum Goes After Contraception

I’ve said for years that the ultimate goal of the anti-choice folks is not to end abortion, it is to end the use and legality of contraception as well. Rick Santorum let that cat out of the bag in his campaign this week, saying he would go after birth control if elected.

Rick Santorum pledged to repeal all federal funding for contraception, during a recent interview with CaffeinatedThoughts.com editor Shane Vander Hart, arguing that birth control devalues the act of procreation. “One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country,” the former Pennsylvania senator explained. “It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be”:

SANTORUM: [Sex] is supposed to be within marriage. It’s supposed to be for purposes that are yes, conjugal…but also procreative. That’s the perfect way that a sexual union should happen…This is special and it needs to be seen as special.

Then see it as special. But stay the hell out of everyone else’s private lives. ThinkProgress points out why this will increase the number of abortions massively:

An overwhelming majority of Americans — virtually all women (more than 99 percent ) aged 15–44 have used at least one contraceptive method — rely on contraceptives to prevent unintended pregnancies and limit the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases. In fact, the Guttmacher Institute estimates that contraceptive services provided at publicly funded clinicshelped prevent almost two million unintended pregnancies. Without funding from Medicaid and Title X, “abortions occurring in the United States would be nearly two-thirds higher among women overall and among teens; the number of unintended pregnancies among poor women would nearly double.”

And they’re fine with this. Because it’s not really about abortion, it’s about imposing their moral code in every way, including making sure no one ever has sex in any manner that their imaginary friend disagrees with.

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  1. 1
    raven

    An overwhelming majority of Americans — virtually all women (more than 99 percent ) aged 15–44 have used at least one contraceptive method —

    99% of all US women of relevant ages have used contraception. It’s 98% for Catholics. Presumably the other 1% are nuns or didn’t understand the question.

    I can’t see why anybody sane with basic human survival instincts would vote for Santorum. But he was a US senator at one time.

  2. 2
    ManOutOfTime

    Never mind, all you “independent voters”: Republicans and Democrats are all the same. Thanks, liberal media, for maintaining the illusion and letting these frauds get away with their hate and larceny.

  3. 3
    raven

    I suspect in Rick Santorum’s New Dark Age kooky world, we would go back to the old system.

    Before modern medicine, families simply took their unwanted or unable to care for babies somewhere remote and left them. Maybe they would get picked up but mostly they just died.

    Xians would have special hillsides with a cross at the top for their abandoned children.

  4. 4
    Larry

    …in any manner that their imaginary friend disagrees with.

    Rather, that they, themselves, disagree with and, amazing as it may be, their imaginary friend disagrees with, as well.

  5. 5
    pHred

    Clearly in his world a woman should be expected bleed to death after a miscarriage, right? There would be no reason for a D&C or for her to take the pill to control bleeding for several months.

    And of course in his world, there are also no medical reasons, that have nothing to do with sex, why some women are prescribed contraceptives.

    I am generally a very peaceful person, but shit like this makes me want to go totally postal.

  6. 6
    Brain Hertz

    Presumably the other 1% are nuns or didn’t understand the question.

    …or they were lying.

  7. 7
    kyoseki

    It’s supposed to be for purposes that are yes, conjugal…but also procreative.
    My God! Frothy wants to outlaw blowjobs!

  8. 8
    Brain Hertz

    And of course in his world, there are also no medical reasons, that have nothing to do with sex, why some women are prescribed contraceptives.

    You forgot to mention that all of this is Rick Santorum’s business and he has the right to oversee it. Just to make sure you’re not doing anything that his imaginary friend might disagree with. In Rick’s judgement.

  9. 9
    Deen

    Never mind all the married women who already have children who use contraception.

  10. 10
    raven

    I am generally a very peaceful person, but shit like this makes me want to go totally postal.

    I know the feeling.

    A great aunt died young long ago, before I was born. Nobody really ever talked about her.

    The very old people are dying off now and a few family secrets are coming out.

    Apparently she was a Catholic. Got pregnant, had an illegal abortion, and started bleeding. She was taken to a Catholic hospital where (the claim is) they knew what had happened and just let her bleed to death. At any rate, one thing is for certain. She ended up dying young.

  11. 11
    pHred

    It is amazing how completely neurotic and insane people in the US are about sex and anything even distantly related to naughty bits. (Oh my God – there is a woman breastfeeding her baby – quick shun her, ostracize her, throw her outta here!)

    Things like raven’s story (10) make me so angry on so many levels that I want to bash my keyboard apart – not that it would help anything.

    I just keep mentally screaming – where in the hell do these people get the balls to think that this is even peripherally their business.

  12. 12
    barry21

    The odds of Santorum becoming president are about the same as the odds of any Dispatches commenter becoming president. That said, I like him sticking around; he’s like a pinata full of bullshit and self-pity. He’s getting hit on both sides, and the shit n pity are flowing free.

  13. 13
    dochopper

    Okay so lets ask our selves what the heck is this guys real problem ?

  14. 14
    Who Knows?

    For the true believers, there is little difference between preventing conception and aborting a pregnancy. Either way, you are interfering with “God’s” plan for your life and God creating a new life.

    Whenever I discuss the issue of abortion I call it a reproductive rights issue. Because that is where it all began, women fighting for the reproductive rights and it will not end until reproductive rights are severly restricted.

  15. 15
    Raging Bee

    “It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be”

    Yeah, same goes for all those war-cripples who want artificial limbs to replace what they lost in battle. Get your legs back after they’ve been blown off? That’s not how things are supposed to be!

  16. 16
    d cwilson

    The workings of Santorum’s mind are truly frightening. He definitely does not have a healthy attitude toward sex and reproduction. This is guy who when his wife allegedly miscarried, took the fetus home and had all his kids cuddle with it.

    I have to disagree with Ed about one thing though, his ultimate goal is not to deny people access to contraceptives. It’s to burn any woman who might actually enjoy sex at the stake for witchcraft.

  17. 17
    Raging Bee

    She was taken to a Catholic hospital where (the claim is) they knew what had happened and just let her bleed to death.

    A woman I know once went to a Catholic hospital because of bleeding caused by uterine fibroids (which were later removed). The doctor prescribed a birth-control pill to reduce or prevent bleeding in the future — then said the hospital’s own pharmacy would not fill that prescription because it was contraception, which violated the doctrine of the hospital’s owners. Yes, Catholic doctrine forbids the use of contraceptives even for non-contraceptive life-saving purposes. This isn’t about abortion, it isn’t even really about birth control; it’s about blind, vindictive contempt and dehumanization of women.

  18. 18
    A. Noyd

    And I think having procreation forced on everyone who has sex devalues the act of procreation. But that’s because I’m not a delusional fascist. 

  19. 19
    Nemo

    As batshit as this sounds, it is of course merely the official doctrine of the Catholic Church that he’s spewing here.

  20. 20
    Aquaria

    Clearly in his world a woman should be expected bleed to death after a miscarriage, right? There would be no reason for a D&C or for her to take the pill to control bleeding for several months.

    I would be one of those who would die without access to contraception/hormone therapy (not to mention blood transfusions). There were the four miscarriages of course, then, about 15 years ago, I developed something called dysmenorrhea.

    That’s what Rick Santorum wants for me with this insanity about no birth control: To literally bleed to death–slowly, until I have a heart attack.

    Oh, and ask about his wife’s abortion, and the fetus they took home to have their six or whatever children cuddle with for six hours.

  21. 21
    eric

    You get the idea Santorum would fit right in with the puritans who complained that Franklin’s lightning rod prevented God from smiting the unworthy.

  22. 22
    pHred

    @20 Aquaria

    I would also probably among the dead, which is probably why I have a perfectly rational hatred of people like him, since as far I can tell, they want me dead.

  23. 23
    Raging Bee

    Actually, from what I’ve heard, the Puritans would have been a little too loose for Santorum. Didn’t they advocate “hedonism within marriage?” I kinda get the feeling that they would not have had much of a problem with lawfully-wedded spouses using birth control.

  24. 24
    Chiroptera

    I’ve said for years that the ultimate goal of the anti-choice folks is not to end abortion, it is to end the use and legality of contraception as well.

    Actually, the ultimate goal is to turn women back into mere baby factories who will also clean the house and cook the meals for the mens.

  25. 25
    D. C. Sessions

    I suppose we could go back to limiting fertility the way they used to do it when the Roman Church ruled Europe: with pelvic inflammatory disease and malnutrition.

    Life must be very rosy in ol’ Frothy’s world. In real life, couples run into rather more complicated situations. For instance a couple who, after two difficult pregnancies, are told by the obstetrician that any more will at best produce dead babies and at worst a dead mother. Perhaps, since copulation is right out, they should do like all postmenopausal women do and give up sex for the rest of their lives.

    Right, Frothy?

  26. 26
    dochopper

    Do the casual followers of Conservatism have a clue of what life will be like if folks like Rick gain the least bit of control ?

  27. 27
    Noadi

    Okay so lets ask our selves what the heck is this guys real problem?

    Google.

  28. 28
    vmanis1

    OK, I didn’t believe this 98 or 99% figure, so I went looking for some real data. According to a WHO report (which I found here), the 2005 data show that in the USA, 76.4% of women who were married or in a heterosexual union used a `modern’ method of contraception, and a further 6% used a `traditional’ method such as rhythm. One would expect the overall rate to be somewhat lower if one includes those who don’t engage in heterosexual (or any) sex.

    None of this makes Mr Frothy-Mix any less of an idiot, but I do like to have accurate figures.

  29. 29
    vmanis1

    Please excuse a little bit of cluelessness in my previous posting. I should have said `potentially procreative’ rather than `heterosexual’.

  30. 30
    Michael Heath

    Rick Santorum’s going nowhere, in fact I think he helps the women’s rights and other liberty-lovers’ side by raising this issue.

    Rachel Maddow did an excellent segment last evening of a great American citizen challenging Mitt Romney’s support at a Town Hall meeting: http://goo.gl/bwqu. Gov. Romnney’s position effectively puts him in the criminalization of contraceptive camp which this lady clearly pointed out to which Romney cowardly changed the subject; but it was too late, she had exposed him. She also exposed him by not letting it go after he initially changed the subject, showing how incompetent the media is at exposing positions they know in advance such candidates hold. I hope Ed does a blog post on this one, President Obama should relentlessly go after Mr. Romney on this.

  31. 31
    raven

    @vmanist. I never trust random internet trolls myself. So I went looking for the original report which is recent and I and a few million other people read.

    This BTW, took a whole 5 seconds on google.

    Contraception … – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention w ww.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/…/contraception.htmCached – Similar

    by G Button
    Jun 29, 2011 – In the United States, most women of reproductive age use birth control.
    Between 2006–2008, 99% of women who had ever had sexual …

    The source here is the US CDC, a government agency, Center for Disease Control which collects a lot of statisics. Perhaps you should tell THEM they are wrong. Or crawl back under your rock.

  32. 32
    wobert

    I wonder if Santorums wife has ever had an orgasm? She obviously needs one, or several.

  33. 33
    D. C. Sessions

    According to a WHO report (which I found here), the 2005 data show that in the USA, 76.4% of women who were married or in a heterosexual union used a `modern’ method of contraception, and a further 6% used a `traditional’ method such as rhythm.

    So how many of those who don’t use contraceptives are postmenopausal or otherwise sterile?

    Assuming for purposes of approximation that a woman has a 30 years of sexual activity while potentially fertile. Also assume that she has about 60 years of adult life during which she remains sexually active. Your 76% is more than the expected portion of women who are potentially fertile out of those who are sexually active, so it’s not at all incompatible with 100% of all sexually active women who are potentially fertile using contraceptives.

  34. 34
    unbound

    Sadly, most people look at politicians as smart people.

    The problem is that contraception methods have more uses than just preventing pregnancy.

    A condom remains the most effective method of preventing the transmission of diseases. And before the xtians pipe in about not having sex except with your spouse, take a long, hard look at your own groups. Your highly regarded (and supposedly moral) priests are statistically the worst at keeping their snakes sheathed.

    Although I have been fixed, my wife has to remain on strong contraception to prevent anemia. Her periods were too long and too intense, so she was losing too much iron as a result.

    The world of black and white is great for a simple explanation to help the young begin their understanding of the world around them. But that philosophy breaks down quickly when facing the real world. This is why xtians continue to remain confused with what happens around them, and perhaps even encourages the need for an invisible friend to fill in the gaps that a black and white view of the world simply can’t describe.

  35. 35
    Modusoperandi

    “God created Adam lord of all living creatures, but Eve spoiled it all. Women should remain at home, sit still, keep house and bear children. And if a woman grows weary and, at last, dies from childbearing, it matters not. Let her die from bearing; she is there to do it.” — Martin Luther

  36. 36
    d cwilson

    @Modusoperandi:

    I was raised Lutheran. That is one of the many, many statements from him that we never, ever learned about in catechism. So glad to be free of that nonsense now.

  37. 37
    Modusoperandi

    D Cwilson, not surprisingly, Luther had trouble picking up chicks. Which way the line of causality laid (as it were) remains in dispute.

  38. 38
    vmanis1

    My reason for my original comment was that I dislike seeing figures without any citation, so I attempted to get some data to confirm these numbers. The WHO report I cited was consistent with the 99% figure, and my comment didn’t clearly state that.

    The original TP story Ed cites says: `An overwhelming majority of Americans — virtually all women (more than 99 percent) aged 15–44 have used at least one contraceptive method — rely on contraceptives to prevent unintended pregnancies and limit the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases.’. Raven #1 says `99% of all US women of relevant ages have used contraception.’ These statements are simply impossible. However, when I dug into the actual CDC report, it said something different: `More than 99% of women 15–44 years of age who have ever had sexual intercourse with a male (referred to as ‘‘sexually experienced women’’) have used at least one contraceptive method.’

    Perhaps those three statements look alike to some people. They don’t to me, because the latter filters out women who are celibate and those who only engage in same-sex relationships,and that’s why I wanted to get some real data.

    The WHO report I cited and the CDC report used different methodologies. In my haste to post, I didn’t clearly say that. The WHO report is about `is presently using’, while the CDC report is about `has used’. Even so, the WHO figure of 76% for modern’ methods (the `traditional methods’ are notoriously unreliable, leading to the old joke `We have a technical term for women who practise the rhythm method, we call them mothers’) is not inconsistent with the CDC figure .The two reports between them show that an overwhelming majority of women in heterosexual relationships practise, and have practised, contraception. That was my point.

    Raven: kindly don’t refer to me as a troll. Thank you.

  39. 39
    dingojack

    Mr. Frothy’s World. – Dingo

  40. 40
    Aquaria

    A great aunt died young long ago, before I was born. Nobody really ever talked about her.

    The very old people are dying off now and a few family secrets are coming out.

    Apparently she was a Catholic. Got pregnant, had an illegal abortion, and started bleeding. She was taken to a Catholic hospital where (the claim is) they knew what had happened and just let her bleed to death. At any rate, one thing is for certain. She ended up dying young.

    I have a ton of stories from the pre-Roe days, since my mother was an RN or CRNA in those days.

    1) The orphanage in Dallas she took me to that was all but deserted in 1979, but that only 10 years previously had held hundreds of children who hadn’t been wanted.

    2) The surgeries she did scrub work on where rich women had paid thousands to get perfectly safe abortions under the guise of a “D&C” for a miscarriage, while poorer women were bleeding to death in back-alley abortions.

    3) Septic ward detail. Go to any old hospital in a large US city and ask where the septic ward is. They’ll look at you like you’re crazy. Once upon a time, though, just about every big city hospital had one. It was where the women who’d developed sepsis from illegal abortions were kept. Usually to die.

    4) and the most tragic: One day when my mother was in anesthesia school, she was called down to assist with a surgery. An unconscious woman had been dumped on the sidewalk by the hospital’s emergency room entrance as if she were garbage; she was hemorrhaging to death from an illegal abortion in Mexico. The staff knew she’d had an abortion there because the only thing in her purse was plane ticket to Mexico. Everyone knew what it meant. The woman didn’t survive, dying as she was being taken into the operating room. They did try, anyway, but they were too late.

    Nobody came forward to identify her. There was nothing that indicated even her name. She was buried in an unmarked grave wherever Tarrant Couny buried the poor and the anonymous back then.

    I happen to know the daughter of Gerri Santoro, probably the most famous victim of illegal abortion. She died from her boyfriend trying to do the procedure himself in a motel room. Police took photos of her body in the motel. Everyone take a long, hard look at what illegal abortion looks like, here.

    She’d risked that, because the abusive husband she’d left was coming back to town, and there she was, at least 5 months pregnant with another man’s child. And she knew he’d kill her when he learned that.

    She left behind 13 brothers and sisters, 3 daughters and a mother who died grieving the senseless death of her daughter. And it broke my heart when her youngest daughter, Joannie, told me that she had never known of anybody else who had asked what I thought was the only pertinent question: What did her mother’s death do to the people who loved her and needed her? Imagine someone living for nearly 40 years with no one ever asking aloud what affect her mother’s brutal death had on the people she left behind.

    My contempt for woman-hating scumbags like Rick Santorum, who cares fuck all for that kind of devastation and suffering, knows no bounds.

  41. 41
    anfractuous

    wobert at 32: “I wonder if Santorums wife has ever had an orgasm? She obviously needs one, or several.”

    Yeah, a good fucking by Santorum’s magic penis, (or yours maybe?) will fix her right up, amirite? Jerk!

    And yes, I did consider wobert meant he just feels sorry that poor Mrs S may not be sexually satisfied, given Santorum’s fundie idea that sex should be, not for fun, but for making babies only. Yes, wobert’s just being empathetic… really?

    But wobert went on to add the “Golden Oldie” that “she obviously NEEDS one, or SEVERAL.” (Emphasis mine) And then wobert just happens to have the cure for what ails her right there in his pocket, nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Yup, what them thar wimmens NEED is a robust thrust of my rugged rod ‘o manmeat! WTF!?

    Am I being unfair to wobert? Probably so, judging by the usual classy tone of commenters around here. Sorry wobert if I’ve assigned you motives you don’t hold (unless you really do – in which case, I take my “sorry” back), but you did write that crap down and pushed “submit,” uh, accidently?

    The necessity to challenge relentless tropes that diminish women’s agency and humanity is frustrating as hell! We wimmenz are getting seriously, seriously tired of the incessant contempt directed at us in media, from institutions like religions and government, in person from both strangers and those who supposedly love us, etc. So if you don’t want to be shoved into the cave with the other rebarbative troglodytes, quit throwing feces!

  42. 42
    drdale

    In addition to the nickname Frothy for Santorum, Dan Savage has a video on Funny or Die (http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/602a41c3d7/dan-savage-s-new-threat-to-rick-santorum) about renaming Rick. A reader wrote in that a better and shorter definition of rick is, “Orally cleaning santorum.”

  43. 43
    julietdefarge

    You don’t have to be sexually active at all to need birth control pills. Thousands of women going through menopause use them to control heavy periods that cause anemia.

    If anyone is thinking that the herbal abortifacients of the pre-industrial age will fill the gap, be aware that they are very hard on your system.

    It would be cool if women would just declare that they won’t have sex with their husbands until they are ready to have a child, but if you depend on a man for your support, you don’t have that option. The Catholic church does publish a book on family planning – and I’m sure we’re all eager to add lying quietly in bed while we take our temperature and record it to our morning routine.

  44. 44
    wobert

    Anfractuos@41
    “Yeah, a good fucking by Santorum’s magic penis, (or yours maybe?) will fix her right up, amirite? Jerk!”

    Did I say that, dickhead.If you thought that’s what I was implying, you missed the whole point.

    “But wobert went on to add the “Golden Oldie” that “she obviously NEEDS one, or SEVERAL.” (Emphasis mine) And then wobert just happens to have the cure for what ails her right there in his pocket, nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Yup, what them thar wimmens NEED is a robust thrust of my rugged rod ‘o manmeat! WTF!?”

    Again, if you think I was implying that I was the boy to do the job, you are mistaken, but steroetyping people on one comment WTF

    So according to you, women shouldn’t be criticised, really,so Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann shouldn’t be called out on the nonsense that they espouse. And the vast amount of legitimate criticism directed at them IS justified.Meanwhile Hillary Clinton, has been villified and dumped on for a couple of decades, most of it not justified. Yet she soldiers on courageously. Unbeknownst to you, people,even women, who put themselves up as leaders in any field are going to cop criticism, Santorums wife is hoping to become First Lady of the US.(slim chance)She obviously supports Santorums views on these issues,or she would have cleared out long ago.Atleast a couple of Rush Limbaughs wives didn’t agree with him on various issues and had the courage of their convictions and cleared off.

    Santorums views on gay rights and other social issues are borderline despicable, and now this one on contraception.(we want smaller government and less regulation, yet we want the government checking every bedroom) What a tard, and she is complicit by association,through either ignorance or downright stupidity.If I was to espouse the same views as Santorum on the contraception issue, all my belongings would be in two garbage bags at the back door.With a don’t bother coming back message,fair enough to.And my better half and a few of her friends would have some rather pertinent questions to ask of her.

    You should see the relentless bagging of our “wimmenz” Prime Minister , most of it unjustified and irrelevant(unmarried and an athiest to boot)yet she courageously keeps going. She even had one of our shock jocks appoligise to her because she didn’t run off and meekly cry in the corner, and earned a lot of respect for her efforts.More gumption than any of the blokes bar one.

    If i’ve misconstrued your comments I’m sorry,if have’nt I take my sorry back,and if you dont want to come out of your cave, slip over to Sarah or Michelles place and watch the starbursts.

  45. 45
    bananacat

    SANTORUM: [Sex] is supposed to be within marriage.

    This is something I hear constantly, even from liberals sometimes. Or even those that think it’s ok to have non-marital sex, they still have to wring their hands and say that marital sex is better somehow.

    And yet nobody considers that this very premise is flawed. No conclusions drawn from a flawed premise can be meaningful. I don’t think sex is supposed to be within marriage. Santorum needs to convince me otherwise before anything else is even worth listening to.

  46. 46
    dingojack

    wobert – “More gumption than any of the blokes bar one.”
    [Thinks long and hard, but eventualy has to give up]. And that would be…?
    Dingo

  47. 47
    wobert

    Warrigal John@46
    Bob Brown. Have a look at some of the court cases against large companies that he’s had a crack at as an indiviual. No corporate backing, or backing from green organisations. Let alone the shit he copped from shock jocks and a lot of snide innuendo from the media in general for being gay.

    The episode where previous PM John Howard back dated some new laws, which meant that a court case that Bob Brown had previously won,was going to be reversed and the costs were going to bankrupt him.This would mean being turfed out of parliament, I lost a lot of respect for John Howard after that particular act of political bastardry. Better half and I donated a few scheckles on a matter of principle over that, but then Dick Smith paid the whole $240000 on a matter of principle. I feel a whole lot better towards Dick Smith than I used to many eons ago.

  48. 48
    stace

    In addition to the nickname Frothy for Santorum, Dan Savage has a video on Funny or Die (http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/602a41c3d7/dan-savage-s-new-threat-to-rick-santorum) about renaming Rick. A reader wrote in that a better and shorter definition of rick is, “Orally cleaning santorum.”

    Not cool, Urban Dictionary is already unkind enough to us Ricks.

  1. 49
    top power washer

    top power washer…

    [...]Santorum Goes After Contraception | Dispatches from the Culture Wars[...]…

  2. 50
    Stay focused

    Stay focused…

    [...]Santorum Goes After Contraception | Dispatches from the Culture Wars[...]…

  3. 51
    fshion wanita

    fshion wanita…

    [...]Santorum Goes After Contraception | Dispatches from the Culture Wars[...]…

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