The pro-abortion claim that pro-lifers are anti-sex is nothing new. From Canadian abortion advocates’ recent attempt to make some kind of point by dressing up as penises and vaginas, to Amanda Marcotte’s bizarre assertion that pro-lifers’ motive in protesting outside abortion facilities is “to gawk and yell at women whose soon-to-be-terminated pregnancies constitute solid proof they’ve recently touched a penis” (I guess we’ll be protesting outside maternity wards next), nothing really surprises me anymore.
As ridiculous as this claim is, we have to address it, because it’s powerful propaganda. Nobody wants to be part of an uncool, prudish, anti-sex movement, especially not young people.
Allow me to propose a simple logical argument.
Major premise: Pro-lifers constitute a little less than half the adult population of the United States.
Minor premise: The vast majority of American adults have sex from time to time.
Conclusion: Most American pro-lifers have sex. And I’ll bet they enjoy it, too.
Do pro-lifers want people to have sex irresponsibly? Of course not. People shouldn’t have sex until they are ready, and people certainly shouldn’t have unprotected sex if they aren’t prepared to handle the baby who may be conceived as a result. But that doesn’t make the pro-life movement anti-sex. It makes us anti-irresponsible-sex. Most pro-choicers are opposed to irresponsible sex too; given the alarming spread of STDs, you’d have to be stupid to advocate a lifestyle of unprotected, promiscuous sex.
Many pro-lifers believe that the only responsible course of action is to abstain from sex altogether until marriage, and I respect that. But others do have sex before marriage (or engage in premarital sexual activity other than vaginal intercourse), and there’s no sense in pretending that the pro-life movement is made up of virgins.
There is a large space between the two extremes, between the slut-shaming, chastity-belt-wearing caricature and the needless-risk-taking sex maniac. The pro-life movement is made up almost entirely of people in the middle. (And so is the pro-choice movement, for that matter.) We aren’t going to faint at the sight of a nutjob in a penis costume, or scream in horror at women who’ve had sex. But we are going to stand up and oppose any attitude toward sex that treats abortion as just a form of birth control, and that is willing to sacrifice the lives of unborn children in the pursuit of sexual pleasure.