Texas GOP Peddling Anti-Choice Conspiracy Theories

By Amanda Marcotte
Thursday, March 7, 2013 10:32 EDT
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Cuz nothing’s hotter than having your gym teacher explain how latex works to a class of embarrassed teenagers.

Tara Culp-Ressler at Think Progress reports on how Texas Republicans are trying to ban Planned Parenthood from participating in sex education because they don’t teach kids to hate themselves and fear their bodies. The debate over this, as is usual with the Texas legislature, was a demonstration of how effective Texas suburbs are at breeding the Bible-thumping lunatics.

During Tuesday’s hearing on Paxton’s bill, Renate Sims of Round Rock told the Senate Education Committee she strives to teach her five children that “married sex and only married sex is appropriate.”

“Abortion providers like Planned Parenthood and their affiliates can’t possibly communicate this message effectively because of their inherent conflict of interest. If teenagers consistently viewed sex as something to be saved for marriage, Planned Parenthood would lose abortion business,” Sims said.

Round Rock is a suburb of Austin, TX, where I lived for a long time, and let’s just say that it’s notorious for breeding people who have some wacky beliefs. (The schools are forever struggling with parents who fear their kids will learn witchcraft from naughty books and whatnot.) That said, what this woman is peddling here is widely believed in the anti-choice community, with the majority and probably vast majority of devoted anti-choice nuts believing this conspiracy theory. Here’s how they imagine it goes:
  • Planned Parenthood, being an evil multi-billion dollar corporation (evil, unlike oil companies or defense contractors, whose profits are Jesus-approved) needs to keep the abortions coming so that its stockholders can swim around in their big vaults of abortion cash like Scrooge McDuck.
  • Sadly for them, young and unmarried people, when left to their own devices, rarely, if ever, need abortion services.
  • Why? Well, because they have no interest in sex, of course! Most young people would never have an urge to put a penis anywhere near a vagina unless they were told to do it.*
  • So Planned Parenthood creates propaganda to “sell” kids on sex, enticing them with evil lies about how it feels good and is fun.
  • Once the kids start having sex, they’re “hooked”, and therefore are constantly going into Planned Parenthood to get a hit of “recreational abortion“.

It may sound like I’m using hyperbole, but in this case I am not. If anything, I’m understating how hysterical they are about this. For instance, here’s an American Life League video about how Planned Parenthood is out to “hook” your kids on sex so they can profit from their “addiction”.

Quotes: “Just as the goal of a drug dealer is to make drug addicts, Planned Parenthood’s goal is to make sex addicts.” Another quote: “Planned Parenthood’s gateway drug is masturbation.” The Blaze finds this kind of weirdness entirely plausible, saying:

 The American Life League has released a graphic new video report that it says shows how Planned Parenthood “exposes children to sexual material in order to seed a generation of sex addicts, who will become future customers for the abortion giant.”

“Sex addict” is defined here clearly as “anyone who has sex for pleasure instead of infrequently and joylessly for the strict purpose of procreation”.

So yes, this is what they believe. I hope readers can immediately see the factual flaws in the claim, but in case you can’t, there’s three big ones:

  1. Planned Parenthood is not a corporation, but instead a non-profit. Which means that it does not actually make profits, and thus has no profit motive, despite lurid anti-choic claims otherwise.
  2. Planned Parenthood distributes contraception, which prevents abortion. Anti-choicers try to get around this by claiming that pro-choicers are only pretending contraception works in order to trick people into fucking,** but the research is very clear-cut on this: Populations that use contraception consistently have much lower unintended pregnancy and abortion rates.
  3. Fucking sells itself, and only a full-blown idiot would think kids only have sex because adults foolishly told them it might be fun. You know, the same adults who tried to tell them math is fun and to put down their video games to get some fresh air.
But you can kind of see why they have to tell themselves these lies. If they don’t, then they’d have to admit that they want to punish people for fucking for no other reason than that they think sex is icky and the idea of other people having fun pisses them off. Just as with people who peddle climate change denialism, there’s a tendency to invent elaborate conspiracy theories painting liberals as secretly evil plotters trying to ruin people for some ill-defined profit, because if they don’t focus on that, they might have to admit that the only assholes here are the one looking back at them in the mirror.

*Whether or not they believe that all young people would be disinterested in sex without prompting varies a lot. Some think that all young people would be asexual without being lured into sex and some think boys are naturally sexual, but girls aren’t.

**Yes, I know. It’s shocking that these people control a major political party.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
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