De-Funding the 'Contraceptive Mentality'
moiv printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 02:58:40 AM EST
What is the contraceptive mentality, anyway?  If you think it sounds like a good idea, not only are you likely going to hell, but you'll never, never cut it as a Texas legislator.

Courtesy of the American Life League, Monsignor Vincent Foy provides us with a brief primer on this insidious threat to our very survival as a nation. The monsignor would understand perfectly why a group of influential "pro-life" legislators in Texas have embarked on a crusade to stamp out birth control while there's still time.

Fostering the Culture of Life does not only mean respect for life from conception until natural death. It means also repudiation of contraception, the root cause of all other attacks on human life. Contraception, which shows a willingness to sacrifice life to lust, is a fuse that ignites a whole chain of evils destructive of a just society, from abortion to euthanasia.

Worse than the ten plagues which devastated Egypt, the contraceptive mentality is a multi-pronged attack on society. It tends to permeate more and more social structures and even creates its own institutions.
The contraceptive mentality diminishes the level of love in society and increases the level of selfishness and lust. In education, it promotes sex-education and the resultant corruption of the young. In hospital care, it leads to sterilization, abortion and euthanasia.
If this contraceptive mentality continues to prevail, our society is headed for disaster. Statistical proofs show that if the present course is continued, by the year 2050 the U.S. will be a Third World nation.

It is only by a miracle of grace and mercy that the contraceptive mentality can be turned into one of love and life. The hour is late; a dark night of the social order approaches. We need to be heroic in our support of pro-life causes. We need to recognize that contraception is the new terrorism.

Some of our leading "pro-life" heroes in the Legislature appear to have recognized the evil of contraception for what it is.  In apparent agreement with Msgr. Foy, they seem determined to eradicate its pernicious influence and engineer the birth of a new dawn upon the social order here in Texas. Among the institutions spawned by the contraceptive mentality are Planned Parenthood and many other state-funded family planning clinics that have cared for tens of thousands of low-income women in the state every year.  Now -- after decades of helping women to prevent unplanned pregnancies and untimely deaths from breast and cervical cancers -- their day of reckoning has come.  

Image hosted by

The anti-contraception campaign began in earnest in 2003, when state Sen. Tommy Williams (pictured above, fourth from left, with his good friends at Texas Right to Life) devised a plan to close down Planned Parenthood clinics across Texas.  State money would no longer fund any entity connected in any way, however tenuously, to the provision of abortion care. Planned Parenthood immediately mounted a legal challenge, and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals eventually sent Williams home with a scolding, but the law itself remains on the books. And this year Williams' anti-choice jihad is finally bearing fruit, shutting down the family planning program of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Leaders at UT Southwestern, which had run the program for decades, were worried about possibly violating the law because some of its doctors practice medicine at hospitals where elective abortions are performed.

Dr. Ron Anderson, Parkland's president and chief executive officer, said the state Legislature was attempting to take money away from Planned Parenthood.

"I don't think the state Legislature understood the consequence of this," he told the hospital board. "It's a big snafu."

Planned Parenthood officials said at the time that the 2003 law was an effort to penalize the agency for providing legal abortions by cutting money for other services. Money instead went to public clinics that did not provide family planning. The organization sued successfully to hang on to all but 5 percent of its funding.

Emily Snooks, spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of North Texas, said it was a shame that any family planning program would cut its services. Thirteen of the agency's 28 clinics in North Texas depend on such federal funds.

"It's the thousands of underserved North Texas women who are going to suffer the most," she said. "Planned Parenthood is the only family planning provider for uninsured women in Tarrant and other rural counties."
Parkland officials took over the UT Southwestern program after realizing that the charity hospital would end up delivering more babies without such a program. Its annual 16,000 births usually are the highest in the nation.
A family planning program for low-income women in Dallas County is planning to close three neighborhood clinics and lay off more than 30 employees despite efforts by Parkland Memorial Hospital to keep the program intact.

As many as 11,000 women could lose access to postpartum care and birth control next year, doctors from UT Southwestern Medical Center warned Parkland's Board of Managers on Tuesday.

The doctors, who are running the program for Parkland, blamed an almost 25 percent cut in federal funding distributed by the state next year - a loss totaling $1.7 million.

The family planning program cared for 33,738 women at seven clinics over the last year.

If, as Dr. Anderson supposed, the Legislature as a whole didn't understand what it was doing, Tommy Williams certainly did.  Because in the 2005 legislative session, he came back and did it again.  And this time he not only crippled the purveyors of the "contraceptive mentality" even further, but accomplished his faith-based initiative by diverting millions in state funds intended for family planning and primary health screening into financing the highly dubious practices of crisis pregnancy centers.

Senate budget writers want to shift $5 million from programs that provide birth control and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases to a pregnancy counseling program that only pushes alternatives to abortion.
Proponents argue that the money would be funneled to a needed social service, and that Medicaid could pay for the services that will lose some funding.

Critics say the change effectively would eliminate basic medical care for more than 16,600 low-income women who are served by the family planning program.

"It's almost ridiculous that they will take money from a program that will prevent abortion," said Peggy Romberg, CEO of Women's Health And Family Planning Association of Texas.

The reduction in state money will reduce the availability of birth control services, treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and urinary tract infections, and breast exams at clinics that receive state money through the program, Romberg said.

"There's a lot of money in that Family Planning strategy, and what we did was earmark $5 million for pregnancy assistance centers," said Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, one of the lawmakers who voted for the amendment.

Pregnancy assistance centers, which are not receiving state money, provide pregnancy testing and counseling that advocates against abortion. Finance Committee chairman Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, said the reduction is relatively small compared with the Family Planning program's total budget of $54 million, and Medicaid provides many of the same services for low-income women.

"People need to keep in context that the $5 million being taken away from Family Planning is out of a Medicaid budget that is almost $25 billion. "Because it's so small, it doesn't really justify all the hyperventilating that goes along with it."

In a typically misleading attempt to downplay the effects of his and Tommy Williams' anti-birth control shell game, Ogden conflates the Medicaid budget for all health care in Texas with the already underfunded family planning program. And here's some entirely justified hyperventilation, reproduced in its entirety exactly as I received it.

Why Tanya cried

this morning i dragged myself out of bed before dawn to be at planned parenthood at 730 and wait in the freezing morning shade until 9 for my annual exam. at 930, myself and the 25 other women (of color.of course) grumbled in solidarity and confusion, wondering why we were still waiting and shivering. finally an employee opened the doors and coralled us inside just to inform us that there would be no walk-in exams today.or tomorrow.or ever. are you kidding me? i thought. nope. no joke. turns out the good ol boys at the texas state legislature cut pp's funding by 40% last friday.

i stood in the office stunned while 3 mothers began to cry. another women, at least 65 years old, turned to me and asked, "que dijo?" what did she say? as i tried to explain what i still didnt understand, i began to feel my anger swell. overnight one of the safest, most reliable, most critical social services vanished. all patients over 24 years old have to seek new clinics, all birth control now costs $25/month, all annuals $125, all pregnancy tests $30.

i stood waiting for the chance of one more pack of birth control pills, asking questions answered with shrugs and apologies, watching faces full of exasperation. when my name was called i tried again to get more information, but the fact was clear and simple; accessible family planning and women's reproductive rights are not a priority. i left with a pack of pills after giving all my $35, sat in my car and cried.

here's the kicker. texas lawmakers are promoting crisis pregnancy centers instead. that's right, slash funding for sexual health and preventive services and create crisis centers. this whole freakin country is a crisis center. i want to see those lawmakers walk into clinics all over this state and have the guts to tell a room full of women, "sorry, go home and buy condoms" or "sorry, god willed those children and you're on your own to figure out the rest". i want them to watch women lose the thread of hope they were gripping.

so now what? write letters and make phone calls? i dont think so. the truth is i dont know what to do. i do know nothing will be done if people dont know. so in my emotional, reactionary state, that's what i am trying to do.

i'm fighting hard to keep my faith.

thanks for reading,

Planned Parenthood in downtown Austin now has this notice for its patients:

Because of decisions made by elected representatives in the Texas government, this clinic will not receive enough money to take care of all the patients who need services. Our state government made decisions to limit services from trusted family planning providers like Planned Parenthood--for purely political reasons.
As of January 1, 2006, the only patients who will be able to receive services at this clinic are women who are 24 years old or younger and who are residents of Travis County. Also, clinic hours have been cut.

Planned Parenthood in Waco is hoping that an emergency fundraiser will help to keep its doors open.

All across the state, tens of thousands of women are being deprived of their only access to family planning services that also include primary screening for cancer, high blood pressure, anemia, STDs and other threats to their health.

The state's Health and Human Services Commission tells us that this is a good thing, because "the active promotion of childbirth" is now the official policy of the State of Texas. That the women affected by this dictate might not want to bear children in the service of the state's policy is not an official concern.  

But wait; there's more, as detailed by the Houston Chronicle.

Women, children last

An irrational, secretive redistribution of millions of dollars robs Texas' poorest women of health care

It's not as if they weren't doing their job. In a state with the nation's highest number of uninsured residents, family planning clinics across Texas for years have offered women preventive medicine, including cancer screening, contraception and gynecological, prenatal and postpartum care.

This winter, however, these providers have been slammed by laws quietly crafted last spring. In riders that required no public discussion, Texas legislators arranged to shift $5 million of the federal money on which these clinics rely to a different sort of service: programs "for women seeking alternatives to abortion focused on pregnancy support services that promote childbirth."  Another $20 million was diverted from the experienced clinics to alternative programs that may not provide the same level of service.
El Paso's [Family Planning Department], which loses 50 percent of its funds, must now turn away some of its clients. The disruption will force more women into the county hospital at late stages of illness.
In Dallas, withdrawal of $1.7 million is forcing the closure of three family planning clinics. In Houston, where the Legislature cut more than 50 percent of Planned Parenthood funds, as many as 10,000 women will lose access to well-woman exams, contraception and cancer screenings. Under federal law, none of these Texas clinics could have used these funds to perform abortions. Nevertheless, legislators chose to cripple the clinics.

The pivotal operating funds will go to pregnancy crisis centers or to 19 Federally Qualified Health Centers -- some of which never requested the help. These FQHCs are valuable resources, offering primary care to poor neighborhoods. But the clinics are scarce, far-flung, and often lack family planning services such as contraception. They can't replace the multiservice family planning clinics that have treated Texans for decades.

Legislators have every right to push abortion alternatives -- as long as they don't abdicate their other duties. But ravaging working clinics during a health coverage crisis has nothing to do with protecting women or children. It's self-interested strutting, and it's trampling on the health of thousands of Texas wives, mothers and daughters.

Dozens of long time family planning and women's health care providers have lost millions of dollars in state and federal funding.  A training program for women's health care nurse practitioners has closed.  Clinics that have served communities for decades already have closed or will be closing soon, while the FQHCs selected to receive huge amounts of unrequested funding are so unprepared to offer family planning services that many are not even making applications for the money.  

If you object to the heroic efforts of our faithful public servants to save Texas women from the "new terrorism" of contraception, if you fail to understand that contraception is the gateway to abortion and foreshadows a dark night of the social order, perhaps it is only because you, too, have been deluded and deceived by the contraceptive mentality. But if you are fortunate enough to live in Texas, your salvation is at hand.

Display: doing a great job.  Just give him lots of air-time and make sure those quotes get spread far & wide.  Right around election time.  

Someone should cross-post his stuff in a diary at Kos.  That ought to get the ball rolling nicely.  

by gg on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 08:09:28 AM EST

Thanks for this post.  Extremely important.

Like the gag rule that prohibits US funds from helping family planning programs overseas, this is an effort to starve out any services that will help women lead full and independent lives.

Tanya, whom you quote, is right to wonder 'why.'  

As was posted on this site, the religious right doesn't need theocracy, if they can keep forcing demogagic legislation like this.

by cyncooper on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 02:16:15 PM EST

Under the terms of the latest rider, clinics that receive state funding can't mention emergency contraception even to rape victims. As its sponsor, Sen. (and physician) Bob Deuell said, some people think that constitutes an abortion.

But it is hard to imagine a social policy more perfectly or deliberately designed to increase the number of abortions in this state or any other.

by moiv on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 08:32:31 PM EST

Our good Christian fundamentalist fellow citizens always try this kind of thing out first in stupid states, like Mississippi, and my home, Texas. Then, if all goes well, they take it national.
Y'all in the smart states, it's time to start getting prepared!

by MaryOGrady on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 07:42:47 PM EST
This is a vivid illustration of why Molly Ivins calls Texas the national laboratory for bad government.  If people want a glimpse into the country's future, all they need to do is take a look at Texas. It's us today, and everyone else tomorrow.

by moiv on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 08:12:15 PM EST
They say the same thing in Michigan -- that they are the test lab for anti-abortion legislation.  

The reality is that it is very very bad in many states -- South Dakota, North Dakota, Mississippi, Missouri, Kansas ....

And it's likely that in the near future, states will be left to do as they will, with no federal constitutional protection.

The Guttmacher Institute has an up-to-date list of anti-abortion and anti-contraception initiatives in the states..

by cyncooper on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 12:38:23 AM EST

WWW Talk To Action

Falling Starr
Reports from around the nation are reporting Ken Starr, President of Baylor University, has been fired as head of the Baptist school.  Other stories......
By wilkyjr (3 comments)
Bluegrass Bonanza: Ky. Theocrat Loses Grip On Statehouse Seat
Political news of late has been dominated by three people - Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. They've certainly provided good copy, but......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Political Piety Panned: We Don't Need A 'God's Party'
Every few years, a political pundit comes along and proclaims that the Religious Right is dead or on the verge of dying. I started......
By Rob Boston (7 comments)
Trump Campaign Tied To 2nd White Nationalist Party Leader
Even as Donald Trump seeks to tack to the center, and leave behind his earlier, wildly controversial statements on Hispanics and Muslims, mounting evidence......
By Bruce Wilson (4 comments)
Religious Rightism in the Democratic Party has Consequences
Those of us who write about the Religious Right and related matters often find ourselves wishing that we were wrong. Back in 2011 we......
By Frederick Clarkson (9 comments)
No Moore, Please: Ala. Chief Justice May Be Removed From The Bench
Word broke late Friday night that Roy Moore, chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, may be on the verge of losing his job......
By Rob Boston (4 comments)
Road To Nowhere?: Ky. Officials Ramp Up Support For `Ark Park'
Officials in Kentucky have apparently decided that they're willing to endure a large amount of embarrassment if it will bring some mediocre jobs to......
By Rob Boston (6 comments)
Cruz Super-PAC Head Promotes "Biblical" Slavery For Non-Christians
Since 2013 (and with growing interest, especially since Ted Cruz mounted his bid for the presidency), various authors have sought to address Cruz' ties......
By Bruce Wilson (5 comments)
One Simple Question for Ted Cruz
As the 2016 presidential primary season moves into the media savvy states of New York (April 19) and California (June 7) a question is......
By Frank Cocozzelli (9 comments)
"Dominionism" - Correction Please
Correction Sent to Christianity Today, April 11, 2016 Regarding the article: "Stop Calling Ted Cruz a Dominionist: The Christian candidate's faith influences his platform,......
By Chip Berlet (6 comments)
South Carolina School Continues to Dominate Church-State Decisions
Bob Jones University has a rich history.  It was a launching pad for GOP Presidential candidates until George W. Bush apologized for the visit.......
By wilkyjr (4 comments)
Privilege, Not Persecution: It's Time For Fundamentalist Christians To Stop Whining
Over the weekend, a movie called "God's Not Dead 2" opened in theaters around the nation. I haven't seen the film and don't intend......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Fifty Catholic Right Leaders Endorse Ted Cruz
The National Catholic Reporter recently reported  that a group of fifty conservative Catholics led by Catholic neocon Robert P. George and former Virginia Attorney......
By Frank Cocozzelli (4 comments)
Viva (Crime-Free) Las Vegas!: More Hooey From David Barton
Ersatz historian and "Christian nation" booster David Barton is at it again. This time he's claiming that the city of Las Vegas cut violent......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Pride Goeth: The Arrogance Of The Public School Proselytizers
If you have children, there's a good chance you've worked hard to instill in them the values you hold, whether those values are religious......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)

Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (2 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (6 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (2 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (2 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (8 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (10 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (3 comments)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (7 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (3 comments)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (3 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (10 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (3 comments)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (4 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (9 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (4 comments)

More Diaries...

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.