Demagoguing contraception

Pro-abortion advocates are claiming that what pro-lifers and Republicans in general really want is to outlaw birth control.  As evidence they are citing Rick Santorum’s stated belief as a Roman Catholic that he does not believe in contraception (even though he underscored that he is not trying to make it illegal), efforts to cut federal funding for Planned Parenthood (for its abortion clinics), and proposals to allow Catholic organizations to have a “conscience clause” so they won’t have to provide health insurance that includes contraception coverage.

Roman Catholics, as well as other Christians and members of other religions, do not believe in practicing artificial birth control.  But I am not aware of any Catholics, social conservatives, pro-lifers, or Republicans  who are trying to outlaw contraception.

The pro-abortionists, continuing to lose the arguments about the humanity of the unborn child, are resorting to demagoguery, trying to rally women by alarming them with an out-and-out falsehood.

For an example of what I’m talking about, see this column:  Conversation over abortion continues 39 years later – The Washington Post.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • SKPeterson

    Unfortunately for Santorum, his other efforts advocating for government interference have hampered his ability to get this message across; he’s become the poster boy for big government conservatism so anything he might be in favor of automatically gets the “the government under Santorum will try to force you to behave like this” smear from those who are already predisposed to hysteria on the opposing side (which seems to be almost all of them).

  • SKPeterson

    Unfortunately for Santorum, his other efforts advocating for government interference have hampered his ability to get this message across; he’s become the poster boy for big government conservatism so anything he might be in favor of automatically gets the “the government under Santorum will try to force you to behave like this” smear from those who are already predisposed to hysteria on the opposing side (which seems to be almost all of them).

  • Michael B.

    If someone is pro-birth-control, you can almost take it as granted that they are pro-choice. Imagine a hypothetical woman, and we find out that she wants to educate newly married couples on birth control, such as using condoms, spermicide, etc. We haven’t heard anything about this woman’s view on abortion. If I gave you first bet, would you bet she’s pro-life or pro-choice?

  • Michael B.

    If someone is pro-birth-control, you can almost take it as granted that they are pro-choice. Imagine a hypothetical woman, and we find out that she wants to educate newly married couples on birth control, such as using condoms, spermicide, etc. We haven’t heard anything about this woman’s view on abortion. If I gave you first bet, would you bet she’s pro-life or pro-choice?

  • Tom Hering

    A group is using falsehoods to defeat its political opponents? I can’t believe it! You’d almost think they’ve been watching and learning from the competition for the Republican nomination. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    A group is using falsehoods to defeat its political opponents? I can’t believe it! You’d almost think they’ve been watching and learning from the competition for the Republican nomination. :-D

  • nativetexasn

    There is a big difference between using preventive methods of birth control and being pro-abortion. As a nurse, I would gladly educate people about preventive birth control methods. As a pro-lifer, though, I am totally against abortion at any stage or “birth control” methods that destroy a fertilized egg.

  • nativetexasn

    There is a big difference between using preventive methods of birth control and being pro-abortion. As a nurse, I would gladly educate people about preventive birth control methods. As a pro-lifer, though, I am totally against abortion at any stage or “birth control” methods that destroy a fertilized egg.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    But don’t people easily see through such blatant demagoguery these days? Are the demagogues trying to make themselves look silly and irrelevant?

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    But don’t people easily see through such blatant demagoguery these days? Are the demagogues trying to make themselves look silly and irrelevant?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @5

    I doubt they see through it. Consider the idiotic notions that some college profs foist on students, and the students swallow it whole.

    I would guess the average level of credulity to be rising not falling, sad to say.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @5

    I doubt they see through it. Consider the idiotic notions that some college profs foist on students, and the students swallow it whole.

    I would guess the average level of credulity to be rising not falling, sad to say.

  • Rose

    What a sad state of affairs.
    Many women get hysterical at the thought of childbirth, which is their Scriptural curse and redemption. Similarly, some men reject the work of supporting their family.
    Looking ahead to Sanctity of Life Sunday, I recommend the book Men and Abortion: A Path to Healing. Men can eliminate most abortions, although it isn’t mentioned much.

  • Rose

    What a sad state of affairs.
    Many women get hysterical at the thought of childbirth, which is their Scriptural curse and redemption. Similarly, some men reject the work of supporting their family.
    Looking ahead to Sanctity of Life Sunday, I recommend the book Men and Abortion: A Path to Healing. Men can eliminate most abortions, although it isn’t mentioned much.

  • Jon

    I didn’t know that the Lutheran synods were against their membership using artificial birth control. I’d appreiciate it if someone would point me to the LCMS or WELS ruling on that subject.

    In Griswold, SCOTUS held that contraception use could not be made illegal. There is a privacy right to it. Sanctorum has said he believes that Griswold was error, and that, once the case is overruled, state legislatures should have the authority to criminalize the use of contraception. I guess he hasn’t actually said he believes it should be criminalized, but he hasn’t said it shouldn’t be. If a candidate said the 2d amendment should be repealed and that the states should determine whether to criminalize gun ownership, one might suppose the candidate didn’t have a high opinion of gun ownership. The NRA and Paul McCain would, rightly so, go ballistic. Apply that rationale to the conception question.

  • Jon

    I didn’t know that the Lutheran synods were against their membership using artificial birth control. I’d appreiciate it if someone would point me to the LCMS or WELS ruling on that subject.

    In Griswold, SCOTUS held that contraception use could not be made illegal. There is a privacy right to it. Sanctorum has said he believes that Griswold was error, and that, once the case is overruled, state legislatures should have the authority to criminalize the use of contraception. I guess he hasn’t actually said he believes it should be criminalized, but he hasn’t said it shouldn’t be. If a candidate said the 2d amendment should be repealed and that the states should determine whether to criminalize gun ownership, one might suppose the candidate didn’t have a high opinion of gun ownership. The NRA and Paul McCain would, rightly so, go ballistic. Apply that rationale to the conception question.

  • –helen

    Michael B @ 2
    If someone is pro-birth-control, you can almost take it as granted that they are pro-choice.

    Not in my generation, or at least in my circle of acquaintance (primarily church related) which I admit has no personal interest in the argument currently. Preventive methods for spacing the children you intend to have, within a family are one thing.
    Destroying a conceived child, whether intentional or by birth control “failure” is quite another.

  • –helen

    Michael B @ 2
    If someone is pro-birth-control, you can almost take it as granted that they are pro-choice.

    Not in my generation, or at least in my circle of acquaintance (primarily church related) which I admit has no personal interest in the argument currently. Preventive methods for spacing the children you intend to have, within a family are one thing.
    Destroying a conceived child, whether intentional or by birth control “failure” is quite another.

  • DonS

    Jon @ 8: There is a big difference between opposing the entirely fabricated Constitutional “right to privacy”, and advocating for statutes prohibiting contraception. Santorum has never advocated that any governmental entity prohibit contraception. That’s the simple truth.

  • DonS

    Jon @ 8: There is a big difference between opposing the entirely fabricated Constitutional “right to privacy”, and advocating for statutes prohibiting contraception. Santorum has never advocated that any governmental entity prohibit contraception. That’s the simple truth.

  • DonS

    And, Jon, are you seriously comparing the 2nd Amendment, written in black and white in the Constitution, with the entirely judge-made “right to privacy”? Tell me where that right is in the Constitution, Jon. Which amendment? Hint — you won’t find it. Closest you will come is the 4th Amendment right to protection from unreasonable search and seizure. But nothing that says moms have a fundamental right to kill their unborn babies.

  • DonS

    And, Jon, are you seriously comparing the 2nd Amendment, written in black and white in the Constitution, with the entirely judge-made “right to privacy”? Tell me where that right is in the Constitution, Jon. Which amendment? Hint — you won’t find it. Closest you will come is the 4th Amendment right to protection from unreasonable search and seizure. But nothing that says moms have a fundamental right to kill their unborn babies.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I guess he hasn’t actually said he believes it should be criminalized, but he hasn’t said it shouldn’t be.”

    Actually Santorum has said it shouldn’t be and further said that he would vote against criminalizing contraception.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I guess he hasn’t actually said he believes it should be criminalized, but he hasn’t said it shouldn’t be.”

    Actually Santorum has said it shouldn’t be and further said that he would vote against criminalizing contraception.

  • Jon

    @12, Sg, I found a National Review (NR) article which quoted Santorum on Fox News saying that states should have the right to criminalize contraception, but that he would not vote for it. Assuming NR’s accuracy, I take Santorum to mean that he would not support criminalizing birth control. Fine. I’ll correct my previous comment to that extent. But, his opposition to it notwithstanding, he still, apparently, thinks that birth control should be something subject to criminalization. That is, states can make condom use a felony, it’s just that he wouldn’t vote that way.

    Having said all that, I give Santorum credit for cynically tossing red meat to the base – he knows there’s no chance Griswold will overruled; his comments on birth control have no practical value, but they do give some insight into how far he thinks the bedroom could be monitored by Big Brother.

  • Jon

    @12, Sg, I found a National Review (NR) article which quoted Santorum on Fox News saying that states should have the right to criminalize contraception, but that he would not vote for it. Assuming NR’s accuracy, I take Santorum to mean that he would not support criminalizing birth control. Fine. I’ll correct my previous comment to that extent. But, his opposition to it notwithstanding, he still, apparently, thinks that birth control should be something subject to criminalization. That is, states can make condom use a felony, it’s just that he wouldn’t vote that way.

    Having said all that, I give Santorum credit for cynically tossing red meat to the base – he knows there’s no chance Griswold will overruled; his comments on birth control have no practical value, but they do give some insight into how far he thinks the bedroom could be monitored by Big Brother.

  • DonS

    Jon @ 13: Santorum also believes that drinking a Coca-Cola “should be something subject to criminalization”. So does Barack Obama.

    All Santorum is saying is that the Court shouldn’t make up Constitutional rights that aren’t there. There is no constitutional right to drink Coca-Cola, and there is no (legitimate and real) constitutional right to use birth control. But just because he doesn’t think the Court should make up rights that aren’t there doesn’t mean he thinks those activities should be criminalized.

  • DonS

    Jon @ 13: Santorum also believes that drinking a Coca-Cola “should be something subject to criminalization”. So does Barack Obama.

    All Santorum is saying is that the Court shouldn’t make up Constitutional rights that aren’t there. There is no constitutional right to drink Coca-Cola, and there is no (legitimate and real) constitutional right to use birth control. But just because he doesn’t think the Court should make up rights that aren’t there doesn’t mean he thinks those activities should be criminalized.

  • Kirk

    @2 That’s a complete load of BS. Complete. So complete, that the only explanation I can come up with for you believing that is that you know less than three women. Many, many of sexually active women, pro-life or pro-choice, use some form of birth control. In fact, I have trouble thinking of more than one or two married couples that I know who don’t use birth control. The only couples that I can think of are either Catholic or quiverfull, neither of which is a theological norm.

  • Kirk

    @2 That’s a complete load of BS. Complete. So complete, that the only explanation I can come up with for you believing that is that you know less than three women. Many, many of sexually active women, pro-life or pro-choice, use some form of birth control. In fact, I have trouble thinking of more than one or two married couples that I know who don’t use birth control. The only couples that I can think of are either Catholic or quiverfull, neither of which is a theological norm.

  • Jon

    @14 You’re missing the point, which is that Santorum believes that government has the right to criminalize the use of birth control. Assuming Griswold is overruled, where does government derive such a “right”? Certainly not from the US Constitution. Your Coca-Cola example suggests you believe the government has the right to criminalize whatever it wants, but it may be wiser in some circumstances for it not to exercise that right. That’s fascism.

  • Jon

    @14 You’re missing the point, which is that Santorum believes that government has the right to criminalize the use of birth control. Assuming Griswold is overruled, where does government derive such a “right”? Certainly not from the US Constitution. Your Coca-Cola example suggests you believe the government has the right to criminalize whatever it wants, but it may be wiser in some circumstances for it not to exercise that right. That’s fascism.

  • Michael B.

    This is also another way in which the gay-rights movement sells itself. Their argument basically goes something like this: “As a heterosexual, you might be against or not care about gays having the right to marry. However, you should note that the same people trying to stop gay marriage are the same people who are also trying to outlaw abortion. For us, as gays, they only want to take away our right to get married. But for you, as a heterosexual, they would take away your right to get an abortion. You would actually have to stay pregnant against your will. Thus, heterosexuals also have a high stake in making sure the Religious Right loses”.

  • Michael B.

    This is also another way in which the gay-rights movement sells itself. Their argument basically goes something like this: “As a heterosexual, you might be against or not care about gays having the right to marry. However, you should note that the same people trying to stop gay marriage are the same people who are also trying to outlaw abortion. For us, as gays, they only want to take away our right to get married. But for you, as a heterosexual, they would take away your right to get an abortion. You would actually have to stay pregnant against your will. Thus, heterosexuals also have a high stake in making sure the Religious Right loses”.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “But, his opposition to it notwithstanding, he still, apparently, thinks that birth control should be something subject to criminalization.”

    So what. In Colorado they criminalize prohibiting men from using the women’s restrooms. All sorts of absurd things are criminalized. If the residents of the states are going to vote for idiot legislators who do this kind of crap, at least they can leave and go to another state. Once the federal government gets involved by overstepping its authority, then you are stuck with intolerable and inescapable rules. It is much harder to change stupid laws at the federal level than at the statehouse.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “But, his opposition to it notwithstanding, he still, apparently, thinks that birth control should be something subject to criminalization.”

    So what. In Colorado they criminalize prohibiting men from using the women’s restrooms. All sorts of absurd things are criminalized. If the residents of the states are going to vote for idiot legislators who do this kind of crap, at least they can leave and go to another state. Once the federal government gets involved by overstepping its authority, then you are stuck with intolerable and inescapable rules. It is much harder to change stupid laws at the federal level than at the statehouse.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “In fact, I have trouble thinking of more than one or two married couples that I know who don’t use birth control. The only couples that I can think of are either Catholic or quiverfull, neither of which is a theological norm.”

    I know a lot that are neither Catholic nor quiverfull. Just sayin. And it was the theological norm for thousands of years. Our current era is the anomaly. Only time will tell if it will last as theological norm. If it conforms to what we know from biology, using contraception is likely a selection pressure and may end up disproportionally reducing people who are not as family oriented. Current social conditions may be selecting for more family oriented types.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “In fact, I have trouble thinking of more than one or two married couples that I know who don’t use birth control. The only couples that I can think of are either Catholic or quiverfull, neither of which is a theological norm.”

    I know a lot that are neither Catholic nor quiverfull. Just sayin. And it was the theological norm for thousands of years. Our current era is the anomaly. Only time will tell if it will last as theological norm. If it conforms to what we know from biology, using contraception is likely a selection pressure and may end up disproportionally reducing people who are not as family oriented. Current social conditions may be selecting for more family oriented types.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Ugh, it is not fascism if they vote for it. It is democracy.

    fas·cism   /ˈfæʃɪzəm/ Show Spelled
    noun

    1.( sometimes initial capital letter ) a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

    2.( sometimes initial capital letter ) the philosophy, principles, or methods of fascism.

    3.( initial capital letter ) a fascist movement, especially the one established by Mussolini in Italy 1922–43.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fascism

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Ugh, it is not fascism if they vote for it. It is democracy.

    fas·cism   /ˈfæʃɪzəm/ Show Spelled
    noun

    1.( sometimes initial capital letter ) a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

    2.( sometimes initial capital letter ) the philosophy, principles, or methods of fascism.

    3.( initial capital letter ) a fascist movement, especially the one established by Mussolini in Italy 1922–43.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fascism

  • JunkerGeorg

    Oh heck, even many Roman Catholics practice a form of birth control. It’s called “Pull and Pray”.

  • JunkerGeorg

    Oh heck, even many Roman Catholics practice a form of birth control. It’s called “Pull and Pray”.

  • –helen

    …using contraception is likely a selection pressure and may end up disproportionally reducing people who are not as family oriented. Current social conditions may be selecting for more family oriented types.

    One could wish that were so. But these days half of all children are born to unmarried women.

  • –helen

    …using contraception is likely a selection pressure and may end up disproportionally reducing people who are not as family oriented. Current social conditions may be selecting for more family oriented types.

    One could wish that were so. But these days half of all children are born to unmarried women.


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