More Proof That Contraception is the Real Target

My friend Robin Marty, writing at Cosmo of all places, looks at protests in Richfield, Minnesota against a Planned Parenthood clinic that doesn’t perform abortions at all. It does provide family planning services, but the protesters want it shut down.

It started with a Facebook page and an online petition. Next came the meetings, prayers, phone calls to the Chamber of Commerce, and a protest at the clinic’s grand opening. Now neighbors are coming home to door hangers warning them about a new provider “preying upon your community,” and abortion opponents have maintained a constant presence at the clinic’s door.

All of this to stop a clinic that doesn’t even offer abortions.

At a time when family planning and sexual health clinics are being stripped of funding, forcing many to close their doors, the opening of a new facility is a rare occurrence. But after the property owner of Centro de Salud in South Minneapolis decided to convert that clinic’s building into a technology center, the community worried that the Hispanic community, which represents at least 7 percent of the population in Hennepin County and which has almost doubled since 2000, would be left without easily accessible contraception, family planning, and sexual health services. Minnesota’s new Planned Parenthood affiliate in Richfield, which opened at the end of June, was expected to fill that gap, as well as extend services to those who reside farther away, since it can be reached via public transit.

But Pro-Life Action Ministries (PLAM), an abortion opponent known for its efforts to protest the few abortion providers in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul, is now taking its same “sidewalk counseling” and public protesting tactics to the area’s newest family planning clinic. The group began protesting the affiliate in early June, and though the petition didn’t come anywhere close to its target of 1,000 signatures, the group moved forward with its efforts. A few weeks later, a prayer rally near the site of the clinic reportedly had 150 people in attendance, and just days before the center’s official launch, PLAM urged abortion opponents to condemn the Richfield Chamber of Commerce for “advocating for abortion” by holding an official ribbon cutting for the building. On the day of the opening, approximately 100 protesters gathered for a prayer vigil and demonstration, although the protesters were required to stay at least 100 feet from the clinic doors.

Two weeks after that, anti-abortion activists claim to have hung nearly 14,000 leaflets on doors throughout the neighborhood, urging residents to avoid the new Planned Parenthood, which they say offers “dangerous contraception,” “promotes and encourages sex without limits,” and is “destroying families.” The flyer also encourages those who want “real reproductive health care” to go to First Care Pregnancy Center, a crisis pregnancy center, or Sagrada Familia Services, a Catholic church program, neither of which offers STI treatment or hormonal contraception. In fact, Sagrada Familia Services explicitly forbids any form of contraception, stating, “We believe that sexual expression is a natural, powerful way for two committed persons to share their love for one another. This action does not require medication or barrier devices if it is practiced between persons who are committed to one another in marriage and open to new life.”

Just more evidence that the real goal is not to prevent abortion but to prevent women from controlling their own reproduction in any way at all. If they wanted to prevent abortion, they’d be cheering on a clinic that provides birth control.

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Chiroptera

    Just more evidence that the real goal is not to prevent abortion but to prevent women from controlling their own reproduction in any way at all.

    Yeah, it all comes down to making sure women don’t have sex at all except for the legally wedded husbands. I mean, they’ve already tipped their hands when they are so opposed to the HPV vaccine. They practically come out and directly say that it is better for women to die of cervical cancer than to not to be able to use it as a threat to keep their own daughters from “straying.”

    I don’t know how to test the idea, but I bet that if women never, ever had sex with anyone other than their officially, legally wedded husbands, birth control and even abortion would be perfectly legal…as long as the husband has a say in using it.

  • raven

    If they wanted to prevent abortion, they’d be cheering on a clinic that provides birth control.

    True.

    Planned Parenthood has prevented more abortions in one day, then the female slavers/forced birthers have in one year.

  • erichoug

    Sorry but I think you’ve missed the point. It has nothing to do with either abortion or contraception.

    What these people are all about is punishing women who dare to express any sort of sexuality or any sort of independence. For the most part, these protesters harbor a deep seated hatred of women and especially women who do not remain quite and submissive and in the home pumping out babies.

    Every step they take in this battle proves that they don’t give a shit about children, or reasonable morality or any of the other things they claim to be concerned with. The only thing they care about is making sure “sluts” are punished and suffer.

    If they really cared about ending abortion, they would be STRONGLY in favor of planned parenthood, comprehensive sex ed along with free and easily accessible contraception. The fact that they are opposed to all of those things tells you everything you need to know about them.

  • raven

    Birth control is part of our modern civilization, right up there with clean running water, indoor plumbing, and electricity. It is used by 99% of relevant female cohorts and widely popular with just about everyone.

    It is quite possible that the fundie xian/extreme Catholic War on Birth Control is going to backfire on them. I don’t need some undereducated guy, with glassy eyes, and wearing a tinfoil hat telling me how many kids I should have. It is none of his business!!!

    This isn’t just a guess. During one of the Tea Party/GOP wars on Planned Parenthood, in a few days, my local one raised…one half million dollars!!! They didn’t even ask for it, people like me just sent them a check.

    PS I’m not in Richfield, Minnesota, but if I was, the Planned Parenhood would be getting a donation.

    Cost of PP donation = a few bucks.

    Ticking off the fundies = Priceless

  • Akira MacKenzie

    I have to admit that the idea that opposition to contraceptives being targeted toward female sexual is relatively new to me. Growing up, I was taught by my arch-Catholic father that “fornication” was forbidden regardless of gender, and a man who has sex before marriage was as hellbound as the unmarried woman who does the same. According to Dad, there was no “boy-will-be-boys” attitude that provided moral dispensation for men.

    Maybe it’s a Protestant thing, or maybe my father was just egalitarian with his sexual repression.

  • D. C. Sessions

    I don’t know how to test the idea, but I bet that if women never, ever had sex with anyone other than their officially, legally wedded husbands, birth control and even abortion would be perfectly legal…as long as the husband has a say in using it.

    Considering that it took a Supreme Court decision — one that was vehemently condemned — to make contraception legal for married couples, I’d say you’d lose that bet.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Maybe it’s a Protestant thing, or maybe my father was just egalitarian with his sexual repression.

    Theoretically, men are as damned as women for screwing around. Practically, they don’t get pregnant and so it’s left to them and God (who is pretty forgiving). Women, on the other hand, are ruined for life and must bear the burden of their sin publicly.

    And that’s why no contraception: it takes away the proof of women’s sins.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    The flyer also encourages those who want “real reproductive health care” to go to First Care Pregnancy Center, a crisis pregnancy center, or Sagrada Familia Services, a Catholic church program, neither of which offers STI treatment or hormonal contraception.

    When my car broke down they recommended I go to St Christopher’s Garage, also a Catholic church program. Nice place. Clean and spacious, which isn’t that hard to pull off, admittedly, when you run a garage with no lift, no tools and mechanics who aren’t mechanics.

    It turned out that the problem was I was a dirty, dirty driver. Apparently it’s God’s will, and my punishment for sin, that I take the bus.

  • http://anexerciseinfutility.blogspot.com tommykey

    I think it goes beyond contraception. These people believe that their god only permits sex between a married man and woman for the purposes of procreation. Any sex that takes place outside of those parameters is a sin. Therefore, anything that makes it possible to have sex outside of those parameters is enabling sin in their eyes.

  • John Pieret

    No, no! Don’t you understand? Some forms of contraception ARE abortions because they (may) keep fertilized human eggs BABIES from implanting in the uterus wall, therefore killing them!

    God hates that so much that, despite His control of everything, ONLY 50% of fertilized human eggs spontaneously fail to implant ABORT!

  • stever

    It goes beyond punishing female sexuality. It’s all about promoting misery. The core of the Cult of the Cross can be summed up as “You must SUFFER through life, but if you do a good enough job of it, there will be pie in the sky when you die.” Boil off all of the imaginative rhetoric, and that’s what’s left. Read the history of obstetrics for a look at the ancestors of today’s antisex crusaders.

  • Sastra

    I’ll add another component to the anti-abortion- contraception- women- freedom- and- happiness pile and suggest the one of the strongest motivations for protests like this is establishing one’s identity.

    “I’m a Christian; I’m a loyal comrade; I will stand up for God in a way that gets noticed.” It wouldn’t matter if this particular Planned Parenthood handed out party hats and lollipops instead of birth control and medicine. Hell, it might not even matter if the building was actually a store named “Plan Your Parent’s Party.” The point is to display your commitment.

    And do it in a way that shows a direct and exclusive connection to piety. Anyone can help others; that’s humanism. But it takes a dedicated true believer to discover that what looks like benevolence when viewed through the eyes of the world … is actually evil. Thus they can convince God, their churchly neighbors, and themselves that they’re really, really serious about this faith shit.

  • smrnda

    @raven

    You are 100% right that contraception is a technology without which we would not have civilization. Without it, we would collapse into the dark ages.

    Hating contraception is hating sex for pleasure, hating women, and it’s also hating modernity. Modernity means people can actually choose what they want in life. Regressives hate that, particularly they hate women having that ability.

    I also don’t get how they look at contraception as a casual sex issue. Married couples use contraception. Not all married couples are going to have as many kids as they can.

    Which means they hate modern marriage, which is about a relationship meant to be about satisfying the people who are in it.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Which means they hate modern marriage, which is about a relationship meant to be about satisfying the people who are in it.

    As distinct from going full-on Quiverfull, with every woman dropping a baby every couple of years from puberty to menopause (or death, whichever comes first.) Figure a typical brood of twelve or so.

  • freehand

    erihoug and stever have it right; it’s all about punishing the fallen women by making them visibly miserable for the rest of their lives. Some of the other stuff speculated on here is also happening, but fundamentally it’s “punish the slut” all the way down

  • http://www.facebook.com/cosmicaug augustpamplona

    Quite frequently, there are protesters at the Planned Parenthood clinic in saint Cloud, MN and they do not provide abortions (though they will do referrals). I doubt it’s uncommon for other clinics but I could be wrong since, despite the university, it is part of a very conservative district [cough]Bachmann[cough]).

  • plutosdad

    Not only that, but specifically to keep contraception away from poorer and non-white women.

    Their purpose, of course, is not to increase the income gap between Hispanic women who need free health care, and middle class white women who don’t have to spend money on unplanned for children or pay for services due to increased health risks, that is just a pleasant side effect.

    I also agree with the poster above who said these same people often promote suffering as good. Look at Mother Theresa, and many others who are against pain medication as “weak” even if they don’t think their objection is religious. They love suffering and think it’s noble in an of itself. Suffering will happen to us all every day, and we can learn from it, but that is not the same as forcing others to suffer more.

  • Pingback: Immunotherapy for STI treatment: Agenus CEO on its genital herpes vaccine | Herpes Survival Kit()