Anti-choice organizer: Defunding Planned Parenthood is about sex, not abortion

Anti-choice activists are planning harassment rallies at Planned Parenthood clinics across the country this weekend, and Dr. Monica Miller of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, one of the event’s main organizers, took to the radio earlier today to explain why.

In a not-so-shocking twist, it didn’t have very much to do with abortion.

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As she said, quoted by RightWingWatch:

Planned Parenthood from the top to the bottom is a corrupt organization…corrupt in its view of the sanctity of human life and corrupt in its view of human sexuality. And I say even if Planned Parenthood didn’t perform one single abortion, just the mere fact that its sexual ethic is corrupted means right there, should be the reason right there, that they should not receive any federal money. The kind of sexual ethic that Planned Parenthood promotes is sex for recreation, sex for mere pleasure.

You hear that, ya sluts? The problem here isn’t that abortion is bad. The problem here is that women are having the wrong kind of sex. You know, the fun kind that doesn’t imply that they’re a man’s property, good for submissive on-demand sex within the confines of marriage and not much else. To get an idea of what that looks like, here’s some advice Michelle Duggar says she got at the beginning of her marriage, posted late last week on her blog:

And so be available, and not just available, but be joyfully available for him. Smile and be willing to say, ‘”Yes, sweetie I am here for you,’”no matter what, even though you may be exhausted and big pregnant and you may not feel like he feels. “I’m still here for you and I’m going to meet that need because I know it’s a need for you.”

As has been clear throughout the ongoing conservative push to dismantle Planned Parenthood that those who take issue with the organization have their sights set far beyond this particular policy debate. These are the same folks who want to “take their country back,” remember? And that means taking the country back to a time in which the “availability” of Michelle Duggar was the “availability” expected of all women: not ’til marriage, and then always after that, with no choice in either case. As Vox’s Sarah Kliff asked after she watched twelve hours of the Planned Parenthood “sting” videos:

Planned Parenthood, via Fibonacci Blue / Flickr

Planned Parenthood, via Fibonacci Blue / Flickr

…imagine, for a second, that Planned Parenthood came out tomorrow morning and said that the Center for Medical Progress had caused them to reconsider their position, and henceforth, they would no longer participate in fetal tissue research. Does anyone think Republicans would stop trying to defund Planned Parenthood? Or that the Center for Medical Progress would believe it had won?

Of course not. Planned Parenthood workers are comfortable with fetal tissue research because they are comfortable with abortion — they don’t believe a first-trimester fetus to be a living, feeling human being, and so they see the donation of fetal tissue for medical research to be an obvious, unalloyed good. Their critics oppose abortion — they believe abortion to be murder and fetal tissue research to be a form of desecration. Where you fall on the Planned Parenthood videos really reflects where you fall on the fundamental questions of abortion.

Kliff is right, but the context in which she was writing didn’t lead her to go far enough. Where you fall on Planned Parenthood really reflects where you fall on the fundamental questions of sex. After all, from STD screenings to providing access to contraception, making sure that sex is safe accounts for far more of what the organization does than performing abortions. Social conservative activists may put abortion on the face of their campaign, but at its core is a far broader vision of cultural regulations.

It’s nice of them to at least hear them say so once in a while.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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11 Responses to “Anti-choice organizer: Defunding Planned Parenthood is about sex, not abortion”

  1. gratuitous says:

    It’s P in V for pregnancy
    Anything else is deviancy
    But men have needs
    So gals your deed
    Is to be available
    Smile for your man
    Even if tired and wan
    You must always be nailable

  2. BeccaM says:

    The fundamentalist Christians still haven’t wrapped their brains around the notion that women aren’t property.

  3. fry1laurie says:

    Of double standards, this is the oldest.

  4. Bob Munck says:

    Mrs. Duggar ‘”Yes, sweetie I am here for you,’”no matter what, even though you may be exhausted and big pregnant … because I know it’s a need for you.”

    So males are allowed to have needs that aren’t connected with reproduction, but females are not.

  5. The_Fixer says:

    Spread this news (not really news) far and wide; quote these people when they announce their true intentions,

    By my reckoning, the recreational sex crowd vastly outnumbers the prudes living in the 17th century. Mobilize those who don’t want to be told when, how, and with whom they can have sex, and these people would be shut down in a heartbeat.

  6. BeccaM says:

    It’s never been about the fertilized eggs and fetuses, else as I keep saying, these people would be at the forefront of demanding quality health care be available to women, particularly when pregnant. Like Trevor Noah and The Daily Show put it recently, for the forced-pregnancy fetishists, for them a fetus is like a mint comic book. As soon as one takes that fetus out of its wrapper, it becomes worthless.

    If reducing the number of abortions was the goal, proper contraceptive use and quality sex education would be a priority — but their position truly does seem to be they want there to be as many unplanned pregnancies as possible.

    Boiled down, the goals are twofold. One of course is punishment for having sex — including WITHIN a marriage but where the couple either don’t want any or any more children. And of course to resurrect the old cultural belief that women are the owned property of men and exist primarily for the purpose of producing babies, even when it is medically inadvisable to do so.

    The 3% of abortion services provided at Planned Parenthood — services which by law may not be funded with federal revenues at all — is just the pretext. (Of course they also want everyone to forget that abortion is, for now, still legal in America.) The anti-woman crowd really objects to the other 97% — the cancer screening referrals, the medical exams and OB/GYN care, the HPV vaccinations, and of course anything having to to with planning parenthood.

  7. I swear the whole Brian Williams freak out (where what he said: we were under fire, and got hit by RPGs and bullets is 100% true; 4 helicopters left and “they” suffered RPGs and bullets)…

    was actually all because of that rimming scene his daughter did in “Girls.”

  8. Indigo says:

    It’s the sex-is-naughty crowd all over again. They’re always around, one way or the other. It’s probably good to unveil them from time to time, they’re getting too clever with their disguises.

  9. keirmeister says:

    Yeah, the LAST thing I want is for these bigoted, hypocritical sexual moralizers the control how, when, or with whom I shag.

  10. JaneE says:

    At least they are finally admitting it. It has always about controlling women when it comes to sex. We should never be allowed to enjoy it. Men have “needs”. As if women don’t. They have never gotten over the fact that women can have sex without “fear” of pregnancy. They get their jollies when women (or girls) get worried over late periods, or wind up living in poverty as single parents, or have to watch their children slowly starve because dad can’t make enough money to support them.

  11. Gindy51 says:

    As far as I am concerned some people need to be PAID to have abortions. Sex? It can be whatever the of age, consenting participants want it to be and the fucking puritans like Miller need to stfu and grow up already. This is the 2015’s not the 1815’s.

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