Congressional Rift Grows Over Unintended Pregnancies

Congressional Rift Grows Over Unintended Pregnancies

Mrs. Hoover, we do not appreciate the symbolism.


From The Associated Press By David Crary

NEW YORK—America's conflicted attitude toward sex is at the heart of an intriguing political struggle unfolding this year in Congress and many states, as liberals and conservatives spar over bills aimed at reducing the huge number of unintended pregnancies.

To the liberal coalition backing the measures, the so-called Prevention First initiative is a commonsense package that would reduce the need for abortions by providing better information about contraceptives and expanding access to them.

To conservatives, the initiative is an alarming effort to eliminate abstinence-only sex education, strengthen abortion-rights groups and encourage sex outside of marriage.

"There's a utopian view that women ought to be able to have sex any time they want to without consequences—that's the bottom line of all these bills," said Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America, a conservative group which opposes the measures.

The initiative's centerpiece is a comprehensive federal bill, the Prevention First Act, which went nowhere when first introduced in the Republican-controlled Congress in 2005. It now has bright prospects with the Democrats in power; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is its principal Senate sponsor.

Tango’s Take Maybe instead of conservatives and liberals (or liberals and conservatives) we should call them the right side and the wrong side. Unfortunately, both sides are fairly convinced that they’re right and the other side is full of idiots. And they have the statistics to prove it. What’s the solution? Should parents have to sign off on the education they want their kids to receive? Should abstinence-only curriculum be taught in the classroom next to a class featuring other means of contraception? This issue has been completely blown out of proportion. We’re pretty sure that, even if a school featured one class or the other, parents could keep their kids out of it or supplement the education as needed.

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