Life and Sex

One of the most controversial posts I ever wrote was a post in 2010--Pro-Life or Anti-Sex?--where I made an argument that much within the Pro-Life movement is backlash in response to the sexual revolution. To be clear, I don't want to say that the Pro-Life movement reduces to this impulse. Just that this impulse is present in the movement. And I think we've seen this impulse working in the background over the last year or so in the public debates about universal health insurance and contraceptives as well as in the recent debates about narrowing the definition of rape (e.g., abortions are only legal if it is "forcible rape").

For example, when someone says "I don't want my tax dollars to pay for someone's birth control so that she can sleep around" we see a concern about the sexual revolution. In a similar way, in the discussions about rape versus "forcible" rape there is a worry among conservatives that abortion is being used as a form of birth control. That is, a promiscuous woman sleeps around and gets pregnant. To get clear of the pregnancy all she has to do is tell a story about, say, date rape, that the sex wasn't fully consensual. By narrowing the legal definition of rape to "forcible rape" the hope among conservatives is to remove this loophole to make the promiscuous woman face the consequences of her sexual behavior. Again, we're back to the sexual revolution.

The problem, as I hinted at in 2010, is that this concern about sex muddles the logic of the Pro-Life movement. It's hard, from a policy stance, to be both for life and against the sexual revolution at the same time. For example, you want to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies but you don't want tax dollars to go toward contraceptives. Or you start questioning the stories of rape victims to make sure the woman isn't getting away with something. In your zeal to roll back the sexual revolution you become callous toward and skeptical of victims needing your help. That's a tragic place for the church to be--calloused toward victims.

This isn't to say that the conservative concern over sexual ethics is wrong-headed. It's just that it has been folded into the Pro-Life conversation in a way that confuses the picture. You think you're talking about life when we are often talking about sex (and its consequences). In my personal opinion, you can't have it both ways from a policy perspective. If you want to protect life then that's the priority, that's what you have to do. Even if that means swallowing a bitter pill, like seeing tax dollars go toward contraception. And really, is that so hard a pill to swallow given how much of our tax dollars go to, say, defense spending? Last time I checked condoms were less expensive than bombs.

So as best I can tell a coherent Pro-Life stance would be to vote for policies that reduce unwanted pregnancies, even if that means allowing people to have sex without consequences. Policy-wise, don't try to roll back the sexual revolution by forcing women to "face the consequences" of sex. (Which is really what this whole debate about "forcible rape" is about.) Just reduce pregnancies however you can.

And what about the sex?

Well, I'd recommend preaching about it. Put those pulpits to good use. We don't have to reduce everything to a vote.

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31 thoughts on “Life and Sex”

  1. Good points in this post, Richard.  There is so much more than sex here.  I teach juniors in high school, and I have had young women who are pregnant with their second, yes, second child.  Do the math and the first one showed up about their freshman year.  It seems about March to April the new 'mothers' will start appearing and the cycle continues.  These young women will face a hard life of low incomes and poverty as the cruel hard statistics show.  What is so disturbing is when you watch or read the news, those arguing about contraceptives or whatever, do not have to face this cruel statistic.  The are at the +2 standard deviation above the norm-able to afford and life the live that that they desire-one of not facing the consequences. 
      You comment about condoms costing less than bombs is so true, but in that statement is the fact that fatherless babies are still being born, even tho the condom can often be obtain with nothing more than some effort to get to the place they are handed out.
        I have read, often, that this is the third generation of children without a dad-raised solely by mothers and grandmothers.  We have more of a problem than "contraception wars". 
      We have a deep moral problem, that as you write, needs to be preached about, not voted about.
    Thanks for the post. 

  2. While there is much to laud here, I think a word could have been said about the relationships among gender, power, and social status.  The second-wave feminists, middle and upper-middle class white women (by and large), were demanding social status and perks similar to those enjoyed by men of similar social position, including the right to act out sexually without fear of social consequence.  Historically, men have had the privilege of continuing their sexual exploits after they are married without fear; women, however, are labeled "adulterers" and castigated as sluts, with aggrieved men using state power to deprive them of parental rights and so forth.  I am not arguing that we should be permissive to extra-marital sex; rather, I am saying we need to understand the dynamic at play and talk about how that, too, plays in to the sexual revolution.  A healthy attitude toward sex among some on the right would be nice; a healthy attitude toward marriage and extra-marital sex among some on the left would be nice, too.  And that should be preached as well.

  3. Reminds me of this article I saw yesterday:

  4. Frank Schaeffer's "Sex, Mom, and God:  How the Bible's Strange Take on Sex Led to Crazy Politics -- and How I Learned to Love Women (and Jesus) Anyway" comes to mind.  For that matter, all of Frank's autobiographical books were very enlightening to me.  I enjoy Frank's writing.  Some people intensely dislike and criticize his cynicism and accuse him of being "bitter," or a "spoiled brat."  Similar to Anne Lamott, Frank's confessional honesty is refreshing.  He calls it as he sees it (and has seen it), but doesn't pretend to be holier than thou himself.  I like that in a person.  I also like his tenacious faith.

    If I were in a terrible bind, forced to choose between giving birth to a baby conceived by rape, or giving birth to a child that I knew I could not provide for, and having an abortion, I like to think that I would not be able to abort my child.  But I've never been in that position.  I have enough empathy for those who have been there to refrain from moralizing judgments against them.  I am against violence and poverty, however.  And political corruption (at both the church and state levels).

    Would you mind giving an example of exactly how the church should preach about sex?  I have had a bad experience with this, evangelical style...  Sermon topic:  God is crazy in love with homosexuals, BUT...  One of the memorable points was reference to a study which showed that domineering mothers cause homosexuality in boys.  In my current church (evangelical in a different way), I once heard our pastor mention in brief that he was disturbed by the pressure that girls/women are under to find their self-worth in relationship with a boy/man.  I love our pastor, for this and many other ways that he has earned my respect and trust!

    But I'm leery when I hear that preaching on sex needs to be happening from the pulpits.  Often, that is where the problem originated to begin with.  ~Peace~

  5. I'm not sure preaching about Christian morality and its relation to sex is too useful an approach. "Morality" seems already to have damned many who might be listening out of the range of the pulpit --- that would include a majority of my LGBT brothers and sisters as well as various heterosexual categories. To outsiders what's coming from inside the churches seems increasingly a desperate attempt to hold on to power rather than a reflection of Christ-like concern. Yes, yes, I know you "love" me.

    I wonder if might be possible to talk about sexual ethics without using various Christian morality constructs as a crutch. Rather than "the Bible tells me ...." perhaps "common sense and an objective look at results tell me ...." (no fudging the truth, underplaying or exaggerating outcomes allowed on either side of a debate). That does not mean Christian morality, whatever yours is, is irrelevant --- just that "Thou shalt not" when a majority already is (and isn't really listening to you anyhow) seems to be getting the cart ahead of the horse.

  6. To add a clarification. In my final lines I'm really just gesturing at the moral witness of the church and making a distinction between that and political action. The message of any given "pulpit" (my shorthand for a congregation's moral voice) could be liberal or conservative.

    My basic point is less about pulpits being liberal or conservative than about the conflation of the pulpit with the polling booth. I think too many Christians conflate the two. That is, a Christian community might (and I think often should) forgo the political route (voting into law Christian values) and stick to being a counter-culturalal community, a contrasting Kingdom in the world.

    For my part, I'd argue that Christians should be politically liberal but personally holy. But then again, I'm probably going to hell...

  7. Is there an underlying assumption that the "politically liberal" are not, on average, as conscientious of "personal holiness" as the politically conservative?  And is even that (convergence of liberal politics and personal holiness) the ultimate "perfect" Christian identity and position?  How is your ideal Christian community going to make it easier for those struggling with sexual issues, both insiders and outsiders of your group, to "be good" (i.e., "personally holy)?

    Ched Myers has me thinking and critiquing some of my own former (mis)understandings of my place in the locus imperii...  Ched also writes very honestly and humbly of his "experiments with communities of discontinuity."  Are you saying that the Christian community should be counter-cultural, while engaging in liberal politics?  Ched critiques the liberal -- especially white, middle class -- political ideology and historical action, some of which I recognize in myself.  But then, what is the better alternative?  Taking an apolitical or conservative political approach?

  8. The problem is that there are a great number of Christians who honestly believe that using something like an IUD where a fertilized egg is evacuated from the uterus is akin to murder.  How do you reason with a person like that who equates a blastocyst with a fully-formed human being?  And then there are a number of Christians who believe it is sinful to even use a condom because it violates God's command to go forth and multiply.  So you have a significant number of people who think that sex should only take place inside a marriage (I agree) and that one should never attempt to thwart God's will in the number of arrows He will put into your quiver (I disagree).  They believe the only solution is to fight against contraception and advocate only abstinence as a solution to preventing unwanted pregnancies.  Sorry, that genie is not going back into the bottle.

  9. Your point is certainly a valid one. However the real issue comes down to the question "does the availability of contraceptives reduce the probability of abortion?". CDC statistics, along with other research tends to indicate that the idea that free contraceptives will reduce the abortion rate is a sophism and has little or no real affect on the rate of abortions. Much like the war on drugs does not reduce drug use and is therefore a waste of resources (from a pragmatic stand point), so will monies spent on making contraception wholly available be wasted. A novel solution to the issue is to make it mandatory that all abortion providers must perform the procedure wholly free of all costs. The provider must absorb 100% of all costs and overhead. If their moral outrage over pro lifers trying to interfere with the reproductive rights of women is real then they would step up to the plate and provide their services for free as a mitzvah of sorts.

  10. After looking at the highly controversial post, "Pro-Life or Anti-Sex?" from 2010, and ensuing comments, I believe that it is best for me to say goodbye, after a very long time here.  If my overly positive responses have in the past creeped anyone out, please accept my apology.  If recent negativity in my comments has offended anyone, I am sorry to have exhausted the Christian charity of others.  I am grateful for the season of friendship that was extended to me daily at this blog.  And for the generosity of spirit in which my no doubt overwhelming presence was received.  I wish everyone well, and will choose to remember with gratitude and prayers of blessing.  ~Peace~

  11. You'll be missed. Thank you for all your kind, challenging, supportive and prophetic words. Grace and peace.

  12. I hope you don't go Susan. While Richard's thinking and writing was the magnet that drew me here, I think it has been the community of those who share their lives below the comment line that has been a goodpart of the glue that has kept me here. I have enjoyed getting to know and love you through your words here and will miss you.


  13.  I think one of the most terrible things about the pro-life movement is the idea that children are supposed to be a feared, negative consequence of sex. That such a horrible way to think of children. Even worse, is the idea that coerced adoption should also be feared as a potential consequence of sex. The fact that the pro-life voters seem inclined to pull the rug out from under programs that are supposed to help women raised the result of pregnancies they are unprepared for makes me feel sick inside. Children should be reason for celebration and treated as a sacred responsibility, not as a punishment.

    I also believe that Christians have no business acting as the bedroom police. We can, and should, regulate our own behavior according to our conscience, but I think the only place in which it is appropriate for us to attempt to influence other people isn't leading by example. That means that if a woman wants to use contraception while sleeping with a different man every night, that isn't our problem. Our problem is what happens in our own hearts and our own homes.

    But it's the notion of children as a punishment that really sickens me. I have a child of my own. The idea that I should see him as a punishment… frankly, I cannot come up with enough vivid words to describe how sick and wrong that idea feels. It's like rot eating away at the edges of Christianity itself, not just its public image. I believe this attitude lies at the core of a lot of contempt for the pro-life movement,  disgust at the idea that children are God's punishment for whores. Not punishments for men, whose rights should involve a kind of financial abortion (being able to abdicate parental responsibility at will), but punishments for women who have sex that certain people don't approve of.

     What those women do is between them and God, including their marital status and any use of contraception. What we do is between ourselves and God, not just what we do in bed, but the attitudes we espouse in our daily lives. The attitude that children are a punishment is something I believe will have to be answered for, and I am at a loss as to what kind of sensible answer could be offered. Yeah, I know the bit about the pain of childbirth being part of Eve's punishment for disobedience, but that is a whole different kettle of fish from children being a punishment for sex.

  14.  Whoops! That should be “is leading by example,” not “isn't.” I hate the typos that spellcheck can't catch!

  15. Some good points here, Richard. Mind if I push your thinking some?

    Certainly there are lots of impulses that go into the Pro-Life movement. And certainly "don't kill babies" is an easier, simpler message than "face the consequences of having sex." But however muddied the waters might get, many of us have found that it's hard to say, "Don't kill babies, but keep thinking that you have an absolute right to never face the consequences of having sex." Because, ultimately, as long as people think they have an absolute right to never face the consequences of having sex, people will never stop killing babies. Only a few people (a minority even of Catholics, at least in this country) really have a problem with birth control, or really want sex penalized the way it was before the sexual revolution. Yet birth control, as good as it is, can become a selfish expression of entitlement mentality--an entitlement mentality that thinks I have the right to prevent anything I don't want in my life. Eventually, that results in babies dying.

    I also wonder whether you've rightly understood the "forcible rape" question. You see, in the context of the abortion argument, conservatives do not bring up rape. They aren't looking for an opportunity to bring up rape so they can start being skeptical about victims who need their help. Rather, rape is brought up by the other side--as an excuse for killing babies. Any time you say, "Hey, let's not kill babies," the other side just yells the word "Rape!" and looks smug, because they know you're going to look like a jerk if you actually say that raped women need to care for the babies in their own bodies. And most conservatives have ceded that ground, in order not to look like a jerk. "O.K., O.K., you had this terrible violence done to you, it's O.K. for you to kill babies if you want to."

    Yet in doing so, they have also just given someone permission to. . . . kill babies. So there's a sense of outrage that comes out when we find out that in more than half of the cases, the "rape" in question is a 16 year old girl consensually sleeping with her 20 year old boyfriend, which counts as statutory rape. And we still have sympathy for her. And we still are mad at the boyfriend. And we still want to give her all the help we possibly can. We just aren't sure--in these tricky, difficult, painful situations--that we want to give her the Kill-babies-for-free card.

    I don't know. Maybe I hang around a better class of conservative than you do. But I have family members and friends who have worked with pro-life "crisis pregnancy centers," and they spend about 5% of their time opposing abortion (because, you know, killing babies is still not a good thing), and they spend about 95% of their time helping victims--young Moms who decided to have the baby, young women who aborted their baby, young women who have been forcibly raped, young women who have been subject to statutory and other kinds of rape. They get in these peoples' lives, they hug them, they hang out with them, they forgive them, they act like family. Yet by the standards of our culture, they aren't being loving, because they are not supporting people's right-to-do-whatever-I-want-with-no-consequence entitlement attitude. And that makes many of us, myself included, feel very uncomfortable.

  16. Great point, Richard. I like, also, that you do not make an absolute distinction--that you do in fact encourage Christians to integrate their whole lives, such that what is preached from the pulpit might affect the voting booth, too. I think on only a few key issues, like abolition and abortion, we can't leave the fight for the innocent in our pulpits; we have to take it to our political structures.

    But this is because it is a justice issue, preventing actual human oppression--not a sexual purity issue. I'm SOO glad that actual sexual chastity is not, and will never again be in this country, mandated by law. Leave that to the pulpit.

    That said, I wonder--is it possible that in order to prevent actual human oppression, we may sometimes have to also confront an out-of-control sexual revolution? That prostitution, abortion, and other forms of violence toward women and children are occurring because we are leaving sexual purity to the pulpit? I don't know, but it worries me.

  17. Wow, Ann, I'm so sorry you've run into this. I've run into the very opposite--the pro-choice message that "Hey, you shouldn't have to be punished by having to have a child." And a lot of pro-life women running into the room saying, "That baby is not a punishment, it is a precious gift. We will give you diapers, formula, friendship, babysitting, and--if you need it--an adoption option, because we are celebrating the precious gift of your child."

    That's what I mean by the "Pro-life" movement. Yikes--are there really people out there saying God is punishing people by giving them a kid? Yuck yuck yuck.

  18. Isn't that what "consequences of having sex" is? Babies aren't just wonderful. They are also awful, a burden as well as a gift. They are time-consuming, expensive, frustrating, infuriating and sometimes frightening--and that's just the normal, healthy ones. That's why they are also a sacred responsibility that should not be taken on without a whole heart, and absolutely should never be forced on anyone for any reason, including upholding sexual morality.

    Nice about the baby stuff handouts. But they won't make up for the economic and social hits faced by women who aren't ready to be mothers. Diapers, formula and babysitting only go so far. They do not replace lost diplomas, degrees or certifications, never mind jobs. Those things aren't just a woman's future, they're her children's future, too, and they are her retirement as well. Remove birth control, and pregnancy outside of ideal circumstances becomes a life sentence. That's a punishment, and one that hits everyone but women in the upper middle class and higher. Denying access to reliable contraception (by which I do not mean condoms, which aren't great and require male cooperation) doesn't just mean that bad teenagers or drunk college chicks can't have sex. It means that an awful lot of husbands and wives can't have sex, especially not in this economic climate.

    Oh, and adoption via economic or social coercion? That goes beyond punishment. That's into cruel and unusual. Worth noting that adopted children are at higher risk of abuse, not to mention adoption's unique psychological challenges to children. It should not even be considered unless the circumstances are exceptional, no matter how many people are in line waiting for a baby.

    For the record, my child was conceived within marriage, over a year after the wedding, so don't go off on the "Sorry you had a bad experience but we're better than that" thing. I'm not talking about my experience. It was, in this respect, pretty good. I'm talking about the experience of all of those women across the country who have lost contraceptive and reproductive health care access because of pro-lifers who think that birth control should be pulled off the table. Women are not incubators. It's something most of us can do, but it's not all we can do, and the loss of our other contributions to a scramble for survival benefits no one.

    Sex is not merely reproductive. It can be, but the odds of conception with any given act of intercourse are so low that I think we need to consider what else it does, and why people might benefit from engaging in it when they don't want children. Most married couples use contraception. Those who leave it to chance or go celibate whenever they don't want kids are rare, and for good reason.

    Also for the record, I'm not actually in need of contraception right now, so again this isn't about me. It's about attitudes that destroy more than they create. I'm grateful that I lived out my prime reproductive years in a time and place that allowed me to limit the number of children I had to what I could actually manage without depriving myself or my husband of the connection, joy and bonding of sex. In my case, it's doubly valuable because my kid wasn't a normal, healthy child. Had I had more than one, I would have neglected them, not out of lack of love but from lack of time and resources. As it is, he is doing very well, and we owe that to contraception. I will state that again, just to be clear: My son owes his current well-being and his promising future to the time, energy and resources contraception freed me put into his care. I was able to meet that sacred responsibility because I used reliable birth control. My good experience with motherhood was due to contraception.

    I am anti-abortion, anti-death penalty and anti-war, but not pro–life.

  19. The oldest profession was around when sexual purity was demanded by law as well as the pulpit. Prostitution isn't new and I don't think it's wise to blame that on an "out-of-control sexual revolution".

  20. I'm Pro-Life and there's a difference between killing an innocent child in utero and capital punishment.  
    I'm all for social programs to help "the least of these".  CHIP program, WIC, Medicaid.  As the QF mother of 8, I have taken advantage of these programs and they are a blessing to the poor on a shoestring budget.OTH, Really bothers ME that politicians want to FORCE the Catholic Church to pay for contraceptives.  Legally allowing contraceptives and paying for them are two different things.  When the heavy hand of govt forces insurance coverage to pay for Viagra and contraceptives, but not eyeglasses for a child who would be crippled without them, it does seem to be about "sex".  Why can't people pay for their own contraception and Viagra?  Generic contraceptives are not expensive.

  21. You think it's revelatory to say that the there's a connection between the Pro-Life movement and the sexual revolution?  That's like an investigative journalist discovering a connection between recent sandbagging efforts around the city and the rising river.

    The sexual revolution would be more aptly named the sexual rebellion - rebellion against the ethic Jesus taught and practiced: (that is, sex is for marriage between one man and one woman for one lifetime).  Fortunately for his contemporaries, their society was not quite the moral cesspool we have today so He didn't have to spell out His views in the most excruciatingly embarrassing prose we're pushed to today.  Our age is inundated with all sorts of Orwellian euphemisms for sexual deviancy (e.g. "gay," "homosexual marriage," "domestic partner rights") that thoroughly corrupt public discourse on the subject.

    The abandonment of restraint and wanton pursuit of sexual pleasure leads to all sorts of ills - of which the taking of innocent human life is but one.

    Jesus had it right.  To ignore His call for purity and simultaneously call oneself a Christian is a disservice to the name.

    You want to purify the Pro-Life movement?  You're focused in the wrong place.  Focus on the sexual revolution (yet another corrupting euphemism) - that's what needs fixing.

  22. hmmm...something think about, thank you.  If health care providers are a business service then forcing them to give away products is not coherent with the market place as such. But, if abortion is legal, then the only barrier to purchasing the product is something to trade with. If the product provider is SO morally outraged this great product is wholly inaccessible they can drastically discount it or give it away if they so choose. But guess what?...They want to get paid. As it should be. Should society someday see fit to provide "universal health care" to all as an entitlement not to be marketed in then "free" it shall be.

    But what really got me thinking was the thought of seeing "abortion pantries", "abortion kitchens", "abortions not bombs", "the abortion outlet", "the abortion depot" , an "abortion in every pot"(perhaps I've gone too far with this one...). It seems to me society as a whole has not chosen this as collective norm for the good of the whole. Abortion is not a societal good. It is at best the ugliest of all "lesser of two evils".

  23. "In my personal opinion, you can't have it both ways from a policy perspective. If you want to protect life then that's the priority, that's what you have to do. Even if that means swallowing a bitter pill, like seeing tax dollars go toward contraception. "

    A very simple question:  why not simply expect people to arrange for their own contraception, meaning putting it in their monthly budget if it's THAT big an expense?
    Is that really so far-fetched?  Mercy.  This is an area in which, surprisingly, you seem to have abandoned your characteristic tendency to see the interrelatedness, nonlinearity, and second-order effects of things.  

    The assumption you are making is that if something is inarguably good (e. g., preventing unwanted pregnancy, thereby acknowledging and protecting the sanctity of life), then THE STATE MUST BE THE VEHICLE BY WHICH THAT GOOD IS SECURED.  Down that path lies the fatally shrunken human, who bears little to none of the responsibility for her/his own virtue, as well as the ever-burgeoning state, the limits to which advance ever further toward a vanishing horizon.


  24. Oh, of course. I just know real people who are really trying to fight prostitution and run into the "anything sexual belongs only in the pulpit" meme as a reason not to fight prostitution. On the whole, I'm a fan of the sexual revolution, and certainly don't blame it for sexual misbehavior. But I do blame it--occasionally, in its more severe form--for inability to confront sexual misbehavior.

  25. I think you're over-reading here, qb. Richard is simply going statistical on you. In general, from a policy perspective, it's fine to wish everyone would buy their own contraception--just as it's fine to wish that all nursing mothers bought their own healthy food. But from a policy perspective, if you've decided that contraception is important enough, or that healthy food for nursing mothers is important enough, you're going to spend a few tax dollars (as you put it, this isn't that big of an expense) to cover that percentage of the population that will NOT do it themselves unless the government gives them a hand.

  26. Hey, Ann. I'm not sure I disagree with you in any regard. Just don't know what you mean by "pro-life," since in my circles, all that means is anti-abortion. I am not (and about 90% of pro-life people are not) anti-birth-control. And I think it's fine that the government helps give away birth control.

    You have confused me--in the first post you seemed mad at pro-lifers for thinking babies were "punishments," and in the second post you seemed mad at me for thinking they aren't. So color me confused. I simply disagree that "consequences" means "women deserve to be punished"--or even "women should not use contraception."  I think it simply means that "people" (men and women) "can't simply kill babies in order to avoid the outcomes of their decisions, but rather should be helped to live with the outcomes of their decisions." This includes every help we can give--including trying to help women feel less coerced into giving their children for adoption, but also including helping women feel safe about giving their children for adoption. Whatever helps.

    Anyway, I'm not sure we disagree. The only reason I said you had a bad "experience" is that you seem to be characterizing pro-lifers as trying to stick a punishment on people for having sex, rather than trying to help people live with the outcomes of the things that happen in their lives. The only sticking point comes when society tells us that access to the ability to kill babies is the only way of helping that is truly loving--but as someone who is anti-abortion, it sounds like you do not agree with that message, either.

  27. I don't care all that much *what* it costs. The piont is that it's not simply a matter of "wishing" at all. It's a matter of *expecting* people to take responsibility for themselves rather that letting an already metastasizing nanny state pretend to foster virtue while it exacerbates and subsidizes the lack of

  28. Do you have any clue how much it costs to get *reliable* contraception without subsidies? Do you know how much doctors charge for the initial check-up, how much birth control pill prescriptions cost per month?

    People who claim to be "pro-life" should Thank God for Planned Parenthood, because it offers subsidized and even free check-ups and birth control to those in need. Planned Parenthood's charity has PREVENTED more abortions than all the clinic-bombing, doctor-harassing, "slut"-shaming "pro-life" activists put together.

    No one says that "the state MUST be the vehicle"... but when political candidates, under the guise of being "pro-life", say they'll cut *existing* funding to Planned Parenthood (which covers a TON of medical care to poor women that's totally unrelated to preventing pregnancy, too), that is NOT "pro-life".

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