After I heard news of the outrage over Planned Parenthood’s appeal for donations to restore its hurricane-ravaged facilities and help women in need in the wasteland created by Katrina, I’ve come to a simple conclusion:
We need to reframe the debate on abortion. Because the debate is not about abortion, it’s about sex. Instead of describing the sides as Pro-Life and Pro-Choice, we should be describing them as Anti-Sex and Pro-Sex. Here’s what the Anti-Sex people really want: they don’t want you to have sex. Ever. They think sex is dirty, rotten, and immoral. Now, they may argue that sex can be appropriate when accompanied by marriage, as long as proper prayer and penance are made, but I would argue that anything preceded by that much prayer and penance can’t properly be called sex. That’s “conjugal relations,” simply a form of insemination, and nothing more.
For the Anti-Sexers, a child is not a child, it’s a Punishment. That’s right: children are God’s way of punishing you for having sex. If you have sex, you must have a child. Boys who have sex must work for 18 years to pay for the child’s upbringing, and girls who have sex must suffer the incredible annoyance of pregnancy, the pains of labor, and finally, the bothersome toil of raising the child to adulthood.
(One thing I’ve always wondered, by the way, if children are merely God’s punishment for sex, is why the punishment is so unequally administered. Why don’t we get pregnant every single time we have sex? After all, as the Intelligent Designer, God certainly has that power. Now I do understand that Evil People have discovered ways to keep babies from coming even in those, say, ten percent or so of all sex acts that would otherwise lead to pregnancy. Clearly these people need to be punished. But what about all the people who have sex over and over again, and still don’t have babies? Why doesn’t God punish them, too? In fact, it seems God only punishes people who aren’t evil enough to prevent the punishment.)
Clearly I’m falling on the Pro-Sex side of this debate — but that doesn’t mean people should go around willy-nilly having sex all the time. After all, we need to take some time out for watching TV, playing video games, and gambling. Plus medical treatment all those sexually transmitted diseases, abortions, and occasional live childbirths can get expensive — and then who can afford beer and drugs? As with other things, good Pro-Sexers support sex in moderation, if only for these practical reasons.
My very immodest proposal to reframe the Pro-Life/Pro-Choice debate would only be hollow words if I didn’t back it up with hard currency. And so, now, I am doing just that. I’m pledging all Cognitive Daily advertising proceeds for the past 5 months to Planned Parenthood. I hold in my hands as I type (well, actually, just before I typed) a check from Google, Inc. for $118.64, which I humbly promise (whenever I get around to it) to deposit in my bank account and transfer to Planned Parenthood. I further pledge to never refer to this debate as anything other than a Pro-Sex/Anti-Sex debate.
So help me Flying Spaghetti Monster.