‘NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES’…. This is an unusually instructive look into the far-right’s perspective on sexual health.
Democrats were outraged Wednesday morning when [Colorado] Republican state Sen. Dave Schultheis said he planned to vote against a bill to require HIV tests for pregnant women because the disease “stems from sexual promiscuity” and he didn’t think the Legislature should “remove the negative consequences that take place from poor behavior and unacceptable behavior.” The Colorado Springs lawmaker then proceeded to cast the lone vote against SB-179, which passed 32-1 and moves on to the House.
Schultheis, it’s worth noting, is the state senator for James Dobson and Focus on the Family.
I can’t relate to an ideology that can fairly be described as “twisted,” but let’s be clear. Schultheis believes it’s important for women to face “negative consequences” for sexual behavior that he considers “unacceptable.” If that means more women and children become HIV positive, he’s fine with that.
It’s a perspective that effectively argues, as my friend Morbo once put it, “They sinned, now let them suffer for it.”
It’s the same rationale that led many conservatives to oppose initiatives to combat the human papillomavirus (HPV), which increases a woman’s chances of developing cervical cancer. A vaccine that immunizes against HPV infection has been developed, but some far-right groups, most notably the Family Research Council, have opposed making it widely available to young women. As an FRC representative said a while back, the vaccine “could be potentially harmful” to women “because they may see it as a license to engage in premarital sex.”
It’s practically identical to Schultheis’ take. The key is to discourage sex. If the discouragement leads to “negative consequences” — cancer, HIV, etc. — so be it.
Remember, these folks like to consider themselves “pro-family.” No, I don’t understand it, either.