The Corner

I Really Don’t Want to Get Into This Again, But

Especially because everything I know about this HHS nominee dude I’ve read in the Washington Post. However, today the Post has this paragraph:

Democrats and family-planning advocates have panned the Bush administration’s selection of Keroack to oversee HHS’s $283 million reproductive-health program and a $30 million program that encourages abstinence among teenagers because of his work with A Woman’s Concern.

Which makes me again ask a general question:

A) Why do we have to spend so much federal money on “family planning” anyway?

And another one that is again a general one :

B) Wouldn’t one’s work with a crisis-pregnancy center that discourages a contraceptive reflex actually be an asset at least in the $30 million part of the job running an abstinence program?

The Post also has this, from a Planned Parenthood spokesman:

“We need someone to head up the family-planning program who is wholeheartedly for family planning.”

Again, let’s assume this post has nothing to do with Keroack. Just another general question: Isn’t abstinence part of family planning? If you think a contraceptive reflex ain’t the greatest thing since sliced bread, that doesn’t actually mean you oppose condoms, etc. To want to give some time to the whole idea of “waiting” and “love” and “marriage” and all that other nonsense some people actually do live quite happily with, doesn’t mean counting out the fallbacks our culture is inundated with. Think the ABC approach to combatting AIDS in Africa — change the way people think and live … but the C is always there.

The only reason I bother with another post on this is that I’m amazed how unhinged some of the e-mail I’ve been getting on this is. Yeah, we can disagree. Maybe you do think AND IT CURES YOUR ACNE TOO ads for contraception are awesome. Well then we do in fact disagree. But there’s a whole opining crowd out there that can’t think beyond Christianist! Freak! when they hear something like the word “abstinence.” Agree that yeah, maybe the crass and reflexive way our culture often treats sex/contraception/etc. might be a subject worthy of deeper consideration, and you’re immediately assumed to want to criminalize a whole wall at the CVS down the block.

Yes, maybe I’m more Catholic than many Catholic teachers on Humane Vitae questions. But I’m not, contrary to what many assume, for making Trojans illegal or something radical — who is seriously suggesting that anyway?? — like that. All I said Friday is that we have an unhealthy attitude toward these things. We do. If we didn’t assume all kids would be bed hopping like the doctors on Grey’s Anatomy in a few years — if they’re not already — then maybe they’d have a healthier view of these things. Strikes me as something a lot of people of varying backgrounds could agree on. In other words, not quite crazy.

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