Don't Stop the ACLU

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The truthiness about sex

Stop the ACLU posted an item today about a recent ACLU press release regarding the sex education curriculum in Rhode Island's public schools. The ACLU has argued - and the Rhode Island Department of Education has agreed - that the federally funded abstinence-only-until-marriage curriculum failed to live up to Rhode Island's anti-discrimination statutes and comprehensive sex education laws.

It was a straightforward, no-nonsense press release. But our buddy Gribbit at Stop the ACLU proceeded to completely misread it and post his distorted interpretation under the headline "Abstinence Is Harmful? News To Us." He took a portion of the ACLU headline, dismantled an adjective (”Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage”), eliminated the subject (”Curriculum”), then made a component of the adjective (”Abstinence”) the new subject.

Gribbit also included a little lecture on reproductive health, which is (mostly) accurate and inarguable, save for a bizarre and misplaced attack (?) on homosexuals. We don’t need to be reminded that abstinence is the best method for avoiding unwanted pregnancies and STDs. That’s not the issue here. The issue is that teaching ONLY abstinence is dangerous in that it doesn’t teach teens that there are methods to safely engage in sex. Asking teens not to have sex is like asking kittens not to be cute. Not gonna happen. And contrary to what Gribbit claims, having sex is not akin to shoplifting. Now do I believe that teaching abstinence should be part of sex education? Of course! And I bet the ACLU does, too. However, it should be part of a comprehensive curriculum that covers the many aspects of sex.

Also included in Gribbit's post are some inaccurate figures regarding the effectiveness of hormonal birth control. According to the FDA, hormonal birth control has a failure rate of 1-2%, not 8%. In practice, this number goes up to 5% as a result of missed does, etc., but this is hardly the drug’s fault. Additionally, the FDA says that, administered correctly, the pill can be up to 99.9% effective.

Of course condoms, the pill, and other common methods of contraception aren't infallible, but they’re a hell of a lot more effective if used properly. It only makes sense, then, to teach teens how to use them properly.

As for Gribbit's claims regarding abortion safety, the data shows otherwise again. Abortion as performed by a licensed physician is among the safest surgical procedures there are. According to a CDC fact sheet, only 1% of abortions result in infection (common to all surgeries), and 0.6 deaths occur per 100,000 abortions, which happens to be lower than the maternal fatality rate associated with live birth (9.8 per 100,000). Regarding the purported abortion-breast cancer link, the National Cancer Institute issued a report written by a group of breast cancer experts that says there is no link between abortion and breast cancer.

The debate over at what point life begins will rage on forever, but, as the Supreme Court said in Roe v. Wade, settling that argument is beside the point. In the majority opinion, Justice Harry Blackmun wrote, "the unborn have never been recognized in the law as persons in the whole sense" and therefore did not enjoy the status or rights of such persons. The Court also held that criminalizing abortion "abridged [a woman's] right of personal privacy, protected by the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments."

posted by Maj. M.T. Rational XXXIV at 7:43 PM


Blogger John said...

Heh! Your site rocks! I'm honored.

March 24, 2006 12:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The real truth is it is my job to teach my kids about sex and not the ACLU defennders of NAMBLA and child molesters everywhere. Not name calling just a simple fact.

March 24, 2006 12:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I am for socialism, disarmament, and, ultimately, for abolishing the state itself... I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class, and the sole control of those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal."

Roger BaldwinCo-Founder, ACLU.

Death to the ACLU and other enemys of the United States of America. Go ahead Delet this commrade

March 24, 2006 12:45 AM  
Blogger Maven Swift said...

Settle down, anonymous friends.

Anon 1, I support your decision to teach your own children whatever you would like to teach them about sex. Also, please show me evidence that the ACLU likes to fuck little boys. I'm having some trouble believing that.

Anon. 2, did you want to have a discussion, or just wish death on your "enemies"? If you prefer the death-wishing and the not discussing, please don't come back. We try to learn from each other here.

March 24, 2006 8:24 AM  
Blogger Gribbit said...

Here is the proper way to get your point across in a comments section of a post.

I can't stand you, however I respect the fact that you got your own forum. So for the rest of you pay attention, I'm going to teach you something.

You want to know what this precious ACLU is about? I wrote about them a year ago. We've re-run these from time to time.

Rest assured, this is my one and only vistit to this site. Why? Because I don't believe in this fiction of having an anonymous debate. It does not exist. You can only have a debate if there is a possiblity of changing someone's mind. the author of this site has no mind.

March 24, 2006 9:14 AM  
Blogger M. Sheldon said...

Swift: I believe annon.1 was referring to NAMBLA with the boy-screwing comment.
Also, I don't see how "education" has helped in the kiddo sex thing anyway. I don't believe that they are doing it any more/less than they used to.
So, solution? Just stop all together, re-introduce parental responsibility into society, and let it go.
btw, aclu sucks...just had to get that out there;)

March 24, 2006 10:09 AM  
Blogger Maj. M.T. Rational XXXIV said...

Thanks, Jay! You're welcome to visit as often as you'd like. Tell your friends!

I fail to see how the supposed communist origins of the ACLU have anything to do with the modern-day ACLU. Besides, I thought the idea that "communist necessarily equals evil" died with Joe McCarthy. (A full history of the ACLU should also include the Resolution of 1940, which removed all communist staff members from the ACLU in a campaign led my Mr. Baldwin himself. This was later rescinded in 1967.)

For me, the great thing about the ACLU is that it will take on anyone's case, no matter how unpopular the person or group. Anywhere someone's rights are being trampled, there's the ACLU. They've defended people from the far left (communists and socialists) and the far right (neo-Nazis). They've defended the insane and perverted (NAMBLA) and even their sworn enemies (Jerry Falwell, the same guy who blamed the ACLU for 9/11). ACLU members are, dare I say this, freedom fighters.

Gribbit, I'm sorry you won't be joining in any of our subsequent discussions. Anonymous debates aren't fiction (we're having one right now). It's not that we keep anonymous because we're ashamed of ourselves; it's just a matter of safety and comfort. If you change your mind later on, you're welcome to come back.

March 24, 2006 11:16 AM  
Blogger Maven Swift said...

M. Sheldon raises an interesting point -- one I have thought about but found no easy solution to. Namely: does sex ed. belong in schools at all?

I have known educators who argue that American schools are burdened too heavily with responsibilities that should fall to parents, like sex ed. and even school lunch programs, and that if we cut that stuff out and used the money we saved to turn school back into a place to learn about literature and science and history and math, we could hire more and better teachers at higher salaries and improve our scores on those international achievement tests everybody gets so excited about.

There would, of course, be trade-offs, some of which I'm not sure I'd want to make. Definitely something to consider, though.

March 24, 2006 12:10 PM  
Blogger Kender said...

"Truthiness"......great new word.

Full of truthy goodness.

Kinda' like a candy bar full of rat poison.

March 24, 2006 12:19 PM  
Blogger M. Sheldon said...

"For me, the great thing about the ACLU is that it will take on anyone's case, no matter how unpopular the person or group."
-Capt. Rational

One must realize, however, that any organization which has absolutely no visible standards (exept to bring the fringes of society into the mainstream) is looking for enemies.

The very reason that there are fringes in the first place is for people like the members of NAMBLA and Fallwell cannot influence society's mainstream.

March 24, 2006 7:13 PM  
Blogger John said...

They don't take anyone's case! When is the last time you heard of the ACLU taking the case for a child that was molested? Noooo, they take the molester's side.

What about a pro-life protester? Absolutely not! They are slapped with RICO lawsuits.

No, the ACLU are absolutists. They profess they want to keep America "Safe and Free", yet defend the terrorists that attack us. How does that keep us safe?

The ACLU are a dangerous joke.

March 24, 2006 7:21 PM  
Blogger Maven Swift said...

M. Sheldon: It's true -- there are some awfully creepy people who live on what most people would call the fringe. But the terrible beauty of hateful people is that because they are often transparently single-minded in their hatred, the majority wants nothing to do with them.

However, in a country that guarantees its citizens equal protection under the law, we have no choice but to protect them.

If we don't apply the law equally to everybody, there will come a day when the people we wrote off as crazies come into power, and they certainly won't apply the law equally to us.

March 24, 2006 9:06 PM  
Blogger Maj. M.T. Rational XXXIV said...

The ACLU very rarely takes on criminal cases, so it only makes sense that they would not be involved in the prosecution of an accused child molester. And the only instance in which I could think of a victim being involved in a civil suit against a child molester would be one in which the victim is seeking damages (See: Michael Jackson), which isn't really a civil liberties issue. In cases in which the ACLU has defended convicted child molesters, it's because of civil rights violations. Again, the ACLU will take up the cause of the wretchedest of us.

The ACLU's involvement with pro-life demonstrators is a really sticky situation. They without a doubt support the protesters First Amendment rights, but in some instances (I'm not saying the majority by any means), demonstrators have resorted to violence, threats, and intimidation in attempts to deprive women of their right to have abortions. That's where the problem comes in - balancing the rights of protesters with the rights of women seeking abortions. Yeah, the ACLU probably leans a little more toward women's rights, but that doesn't mean they don't support the rights of protesters. There has been a lot of internal debate on this issue as well, so it's difficult to establish a single view that represents the entire ACLU.

As for the RICO issue, the ACLU called for RICO reform in the late 1980s in support of pro-life protesters rights, but their subsequent handling of RICO/pro-lifer cases hasn't been stellar. Probably not the ACLU's finest moment.

March 25, 2006 12:23 AM  

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