Pro-Lifers: Increasing the Abortion Rate in Your State

Gotta love it when the supposed “anti-abortion” movement makes concerted efforts to up the abortion rate by making it more difficult for women to prevent unintended pregnancy.

In Indiana, the state senate passed a measure that would allow pharmacists to refuse to do their jobs. If a woman wants contraception (including emergency contraception), pharmacists would be within their rights to refuse to fill her prescription. The bill’s sponsor initially said that it wouldn’t apply to contraception, only emergency contraception — a statement he later had to backtrack on, probably when someone informed him that emergency contraception is the exact same thing as standard birth control pills, just in a higher dose. Plus, you know, it’s contraception. And yet, “he claimed this week that it would not apply to birth control pills.”

This is what happens when your movement is run by anti-science fuckwits who don’t understand how birth control works.

Interestingly, the same law allows pharmacists to refuse to fill “end of life” drugs. Considering that assisted suicide is still illegal in Indiana, end life life drugs would be, I presume, some amount of painkillers or other meds prescribed by a doctor that the pharmacists simply decides is too much. I wonder if denying pain meds to elderly or very ill people will be accepted by the Christian right in the same way that they’ve embraced denying birth control to women — some of whom are using it for medical reasons other than pregnancy prevention?

Indiana gets double honors this week for passing a bill that would require doctors to tell women seeking abortions that their fetuses may feel pain — despite lack of scientific evidence to back up such a statement.

Pennsylvania is also considering a “conscience clause” law that would allow pharmacists to refuse to fill contraception prescriptions — it would also make health care providers exempt from law suits having to do with abortion or contraception. Lawmakers are spinning this law to suggest that it’s about allowing doctors to refuse to perform abortions; what they don’t say is that doctors and nurses can already refuse to perform elective abortions. The purpose of this law would allow doctors and pharmacists to be totally outside of the law. Contrary to what “pro-lifers” will tell you, sometimes abortion is medically necessary. For example, if a woman comes in bleeding from a miscarriage and a doctor decides it’s against his morals to treat her, she can’t sue him — and if she dies, her family can’t sue him either. As Jeanne Clarke of NOW said, “”pretty awful that a medical professional sworn to do no harm [could] use this excuse to kill a woman.”

I’m finally reading How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America, and what Cristina Page underlines from the very beginning is that the abortion debates aren’t about abortion at all; they’re about competing ways of life. One embraces the modern family, and wants to allow individuals to make their own decisions about who they have sex with, what sex means to them (whether that’s procreation, pleasure, or bonding), how many kids they have, how their families are structured, and what they do with their lives. The other has a singular vision of “family” — and it’s one where women stay home and raise children, men are the financial backbone, and sex is solely for procreation. These bits illustrate exactly what Page is talking about — the anti-choice movement is totally divorced from reality, and individuals who identify as pro-life often have no idea what the organized movement actually stands for.

Most pro-life people want to decrease the abortion rate. Most understand that people have sex, and that in the entire history of human existence, it has never, ever worked to simply tell people, “Don’t do it.” Most people realize that the one proven way to decrease the abortion rate is to give people contraception and education.

But the organized anti-choice movement is doing just the opposite, because contraception access means that women might not have to be punished by pregnancy. And so they push laws that make it more difficult for women to get birth control and prevent unintended pregnancies. This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to most Feministe readers, but it is an issue that your average pro-life voter doesn’t hear a whole lot about. And it’s time to start calling anti-choice organizations out on their abortion-promoting bullshit.


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24 comments for “Pro-Lifers: Increasing the Abortion Rate in Your State

  1. Tony
    February 2, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    Get organized, let these people know they will not get any of your business if they refuse contraception. Start campaigns, etc.

    The government isn’t going to protect your rights, ladies.

  2. February 2, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    For anyone who hasn’t yet read Christina Page’s book, I’ll just second that it’s highly readable and really worth putting on that reading list! (Which I know for many of you is a mile long . . .) She was the first one who really helped me understand the abortion debate in terms of competing narratives of sexuality and family in American culture.

    And can I just say “ARGH!!” This stuff about EC drives be nuts. I was involved about a year and a half ago in trying to locate some EC in a small town in Michigan, and the treatment we got was just crap. This was with a prescription mind you (this was before it was over the counter). It was such a huge relief when the pharmacist at a Walgreen’s didn’t look at us like we were sluts and actually offered to phone the other locations around town to see who had it in stock.

    I realize this is a small indignity compared to the shit a lot of people have to go through, but it is SO insulting to realize that people see you as being a whore precisely when you’re acting most responsibly in the wake of a bc failure!.

  3. Gina
    February 2, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    But what if I’m taking birth control for reasons not having to do with contraception? Should I bring a note from my doctor? This is absurd.

  4. Marked Hoosier
    February 2, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    Once again, I hate my state.

    The idiots outnumber us here…

  5. ant
    February 3, 2008 at 12:42 am

    So why is it these people only develop a conscience when it comes to contraception? Where are all the pharmacists denying prescriptions to women undergoing in vitro fertilization? I would imagine that a single woman undergoing in vitro kills more embryo-people than a woman having an abortion or even one on the pill – or is it ok to kill innocent babies in the pursuit of a baby? And has a single pharmacist ever denied viagra to an unmarried man?

  6. February 3, 2008 at 1:09 am

    Good point, Ant. Not to mention the fact that pharmacists should refuse to sell nipple shields to breastfeeding mothers. Lactation-induced infertility (or partial infertility at any rate) works not by suppressing conception but by suppressing implantation. Pharmacists should be crusading for laws to prevent mothers of infants from slaughtering hordes of zygotes by not bottle-feeding.

  7. February 3, 2008 at 2:01 am

    Another Hoosier here who is just disgusted with my state at the moment.

  8. February 3, 2008 at 3:10 am

    irrelevant threadjack

    Lactation-induced infertility (or partial infertility at any rate) works not by suppressing conception but by suppressing implantation.

    I thought it suppressed ovulation? And it really, really, really doesn’t work in Western populations with little to no dietary stress. I can speak from research and personal experience on that one.

    /irrelevant threadjack

    But yes, good point and to ant too.

  9. February 3, 2008 at 3:55 am

    Yeah, it worked fairly well in hunter-gatherer societies, but even in them it had to be supplemented with abortion and occasionally infanticide when it didn’t work. Iv’e always thought it was a nifty evolutionary adaptation, though, even if it didn’t work 100% of the time.

    I can’t remember the original source, but this article was one of the first when I hit google:

    Breast-feeding, which can have a contraceptive effect up to six months after the birth of a child, also causes changes in the uterine lining. In that respect, it carries the same possibility of interfering with implantation.

    “If you’re talking about informed consent,” said Trussell, “then it’s not right to withhold evidence that breast-feeding may work in the same way.”
    It’s at the end of the article. I’m sure there are other, better sources, but I’m half-asleep here.

  10. February 3, 2008 at 6:46 am

    I just love the pernicious language of all this.

    “Conscience clause” – Now, what does that imply? Oh, I know: it implies that these are moral, upstanding folk who have a conscience, you see. As opposed to shameless hussies and their enablers – those other pharmacists who are committed to doing their jobs.

    The mind boggles.

  11. louise
    February 3, 2008 at 8:54 am

    I actually had a Rite-Aid pharmacist tell me a few months ago that she “didn’t HAVE to fill my prescription!” It was for BCP; my usual pharmacy had run out and the pharmacist there called this other location to verify they could fill it for me this time. I had been told it would be ready and waiting for me- 24 hours later, it was not and the pharmacist denied the phone call had been made to her store, even though I overheard the entire thing.

    It took me threatening to call the police, TV stations and start a lawsuit to get her to fill it. No exaggeration. And this wasn’t for EC; this was for regular, monthly BCP. There is something really fucking odd going on in the world when a Dr prescribed medication can be over-ruled because of a pharmacist’s “moral ethics” and unless we fight it now, it’s gonna get ALOT worse in years to come.

  12. JenLovesPonies
    February 3, 2008 at 10:28 am

    Cristina Page’s book is fantastic. Also, I just purchased it a week ago and the hardcover version is $4.99 bargin priced on Amazon. I had read the book before, but I always thought I should have my own copy to mark up with notes and look up her thousand references and all that. Its a wonderful tool for pro-choicers.

    Oh yes, and Indiana is on crack if they think pharmacists shouldn’t have to do their jobs. Now, my aunt is a pharmacist who has never been big on medicine- never takes aspirin, wouldn’t allow my cousin to take mild steriods for his asthma, things like that. As far as I know, she has always given her customers their damn medication.

  13. February 3, 2008 at 10:35 am

    I’m sorry, I’ve lost my touchy-feely liberal vibe today, but I have policy initiative.

    1.) If you are unwilling to do the job you were hired for your employer is free to terminate your employment. This goes for Christian pharmicists and Muslims who won’t sell or transport alcohol.

    Your right to your own personal morality does not trump your employer’s right to legally do busieness.

  14. February 3, 2008 at 11:12 am

    I don’t know a single “pro-life” voter who doesn’t think that the Pill causes abortions and that condoms encourage abortions, and I was raised a die-hard “prolife” single-issue voter – taken to picket in protest of Roe vs. Wade as a three-year-old by my mother, in fact.

    If any “prolife” voters really are unaware that the movement opposes all forms of birth control, and always has, they’ve got serious mental problems, or have been doing the Rip Van Winkle thing for the past forty years. (Which puts them in a class with the liberal feminists who keep going “But I thought we defeated sexism in the Seventies!” and apparently slept through the defeat of the ERA, the Reagan Era, the Anita Hill Case, Tailhook etc. only just waking up this past year or so.)

    The Church has always taught that it’s a mortal sin to have protected sex, principally because birth control is an interference with the natural biological order of the universe, and thus shows a lack of trust in God and His providence for your life (all those families whose children starved in the Potato Famine just didn’t have enough faith, I guess) and the arguments have been hammered out into great detail and circulated by conservative publications for decades: the claim that the Pill causes abortions by preventing implantation is accepted as gospel by all Right-to-Lifers and regurgitated as such; I first remember hearing it in the mid-1970s myself, so it’s not a new claim.

    Likewise the argument that both the Pill, and all forms of barrier contraception, indirectly cause abortions by creating an “abortion mentality,” and due to their high failure rates, because logically people who are trying to prevent conception by one means will, if/when it fails (the high failure rates of condoms, diaphragms, and IUDs are also taken as gospel) turn to abortion to prevent the unwanted pregnancy.

    The Evangelical protestant denominations which oppose contraception have for quite a few years now been working ecumenically with the conservative Catholic intelligensia and outfits which have been so long active in promoting these views – there is an awful lot of meme overlap, via people like Bill Bennett and the social/academic circles they move in (many of whom I know personally or at less than six degrees) and especially, the people they are funded by, like Richard Scaife, the Coors dynasty, etc – the fact that it is useful to tycoons to have Traditional Families with overworked husbands, dependent housewives locked into the ~urbs, and more children than they can easily or safely support is a very hard thing to escape noticing as one tracks the money-meme trails all the way back to the late 19th century…

    Additionally, or principally, depending on the writer, birth control of all forms will lead to more, not less, abortions by virtue of causing people to have more sex, people who would ordinarily have been too moral, or too terrified of the consequences (pregnancy, public humiliation, STDs) to screw, will now go out and do so, thinking they can do so with impunity, and thus lead to more BC failures, and so to more abortions. This is also used to justify ignorance-only sex-ed, the argument being that if you don’t teach your kids about sex then they won’t have any, with or without birth control, and thus will stay “safe” until marriage – but if you do teach them that Tab A goes into Slot B (or C, or D) then they will automatically rush out and do so.

    That the hard data out there – countries which forbade or made inaccessible to women birth control, like Japan or the East Bloc nations, or the Catholic countries of Latin America, had higher abortion rates – contradicted this was not just ignored, but orwellized away: the “abortion as birth control proves the evil godlessness of non-Christian nations” was the answer for Japan and the Soviet Union; the high abortion rates in Latin America were simply ignored, and thus don’t exist in the consciousness of your casual or die-hard prolifer.

    The same is true of the lower rates of pregnancy and abortion in the “godless” secularhumanistliberal countries of Old Europe – the reality contradicts the ideology so the reality is simply ignored, because it cannot be true.

    The fact that the empirical data of their own personal family lives contradicts the ideology – the many premarital pregnancies, adoptions, abortions, shotgun weddings, unreported neighbor molestations by “innocent” schoolkids kept “safe” from godless sex-ed, and failures of Providence to provide in the large conservative Christian single-issue prolife voting families of my own acquaintance – is a more boggling problem; but then we have examples of Straight Talk McCain going with a massive armed escort on a brief dash through Iraq and coming home and claiming that everything is going well there, so Denial ain’t just the river in Egypt.

  15. February 3, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Ant, the Catholic Church teaches that IVF is immoral, due to the killing of extra embryos as well as the Interfering With Nature aspect, and serious prolifers consider it to be just as much of an abomination – the conservative Christian zines still go about it, and I am old enough to remember the Moral Majority types furor over the first IVF baby back in the 1980s (up to and including arguments that such children might have no souls)

    But a) it’s not as obvious who’s doing it, because infertility clinics aren’t an easy target like PP, b) I strongly suspect that there’s less willingness to go after fertility doctors because it’s a higher-class thing, kind of like the old-fashioned Harley Street private physician abortion, because it’s so expensive, c) ergo if they ranted about it too much they’d lose some big donors. But remember the “Snowflake Babies,” after all – it isn’t totally off the radar, it’s just not as big a deal – again, probably at least in part because it’s such a smaller percentage, due to the high cost/health problem factors, whereas the number of women (sluts! slatterns! godless babykillers! or Pathetic Misguided Souls, depending on which meme you run into) on the Pill is much, much higher.

  16. February 3, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    Raincitygirl: there’s an interesting book called “On Fertile Ground” written by someone whose name I don’t quite remember…Ellison something? But it deals a lot with lactational amenhorrea and how it varies across populations.

    Yeah, it’s been one of my favorite evolutionary adaptations too, lol.

  17. ant
    February 3, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    Bellatrys – Yeah, I’m the product of catholic schooling so I know where the catholic church stands on this. (It was actually my topic for a high school ethics paper in 1990 or so.) But while the church’s official position is consistent, in practice everyone gets to pick and choose what she’s going to believe. And that’s fine as far as personal belief goes, but when it comes to public policy and health workers, I don’t think we should let misogyny hide behind the all mighty embryo.

    It obviously would be political suicide for a candidate in a national or probably even state-wide election to come out in favor of a ban on IVF, and so they don’t. Instead they get around the issue by promoting the embryo adoption you mentioned. I think the same probably is true for pharmacists. The outcry against a pharmacist refusing a woman her hormone medication for an IVF cycle would be much greater than it is against one refusing birth control pills. If these bills included IVF medication I suspect they wouldn’t pass as easily. (My understanding is these bills usually are specific about contraception/abortion, not just general protections for pharamcists to object to anything they find immoral, but I’ve never read the actual language so I could be wrong.)

    That being said, I think there’s another issue here that you touched on at the end of your post, and that is simply that a woman pursuing IVF – assuming she’s married to a man, of course – is pursuing an accepted female role. Who (except god, apparently) would deny her the ultimate female experience? Those of us who just want to whore it up, on the other hand….not so much. At the end of the day, these people only develop a conscience when the issue is women having consequence free sex. Women who desperately want children, well, they can kill all the embryos they want. (Though I suspect certain pharmacists might discover their conscience on IVF if the woman in question is gay or single.)

    Of course, this is all based on catholic teaching. I’m not familiar with baptists or whatever other religions are involved in the pro-life movement. My impression – possibly wrong – is that catholics are not a huge part of the active pro-life movement, but I’m hispanic and I think most of us do catholicism a little differently.

  18. February 3, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    ant, I suspect you’re entirely right as well about the appropriate roles thing – also, while it’s logically consistent to say “we’re against all interference with nature” (not that this is strictly adhered to, you get endless contortions explaining why haircuts aren’t abomination, and gall bladder surgery, and so on, all the way up to the old official Church argument from the ’40s (that I read it from, at least) that an ectopic pregnancy removal didn’t count as abortion due to principle of Double Effect – hence the term “jesuitical”!) but that to the general public, it would be a lot harder to appear consistently “prolife” if you’re denouncing couples who _want_ to have babies (thus the invocation of “lesbians with turkey basters,” who make up what infinitessimal fraction of IVF patrons I don’t know, but surely is minute, when the movement demagogues *do* go on about it being abomination.

    Of course, this is all based on catholic teaching. I’m not familiar with baptists or whatever other religions are involved in the pro-life movement. My impression – possibly wrong – is that catholics are not a huge part of the active pro-life movement, but I’m hispanic and I think most of us do catholicism a little differently.

    I would have to say you’re right about cultural stuff making a difference – although I would also say that the active prolife movement is itself a very tiny but very noisy slice of the population here – I don’t know what proportion of it is Catholic by the numbers, however the only people I knew in it – from the Knights of Columbus and Catholics United For Life to the Wanderer Forum to the Steubenville/Ave Maria University crowd – were all Roman Catholic, yes, but also a particular stripe of, or rather, two particular stripes of, RC.

    There were the Old Guard conservative Catholics, like William F. Buckley, Pat Buchanan, and their hangers-on, who were actually cradle Catholics of 19th-c European immigrant extraction who had achieved bourgeois stability or better and who bitterly resented all the loss of the “smells ‘n’ bells” aesthetic of the pre-Vatican II era, and equally bitterly resented the loss of relative almost-WASP privilege as social justice became an issue in the ’60s, and became the biggest defenders of the Church-as-they-dreamed-it-should-be, which is not just reactionary but also entirely imagined fantasy of Victoriana-medievalism, without the self-awareness of the SCA.

    Then there are their newer adherents, like my parents, who were almost all WASP protestants by heritage and agnostic-seekers by tempermant, trying to find the “real,” “authentic” spirituality and historic culture that would make them feel at home. Rod Dreher, the Crunchy Con, abandoning RC for Orthodox is *extremely* typical (although most of the ones I know just went Maronite/Melkite rite to get their incense-and-foreign-lingo fix.)

    They tend to fetishize Latin American Catholicism, too, as well as Medieval Spain (The Good Parts Version) – but without actually knowing any real Latinos or caring about how you really feel about the Church, which is how they can romanticize and valorize Hispanic Catholicism of the OL of Guadalupe sort, and simultaneously demonize Liberation Theology…

    There used to be an assumption among the more kulturny of the conservative Catholic set that Mexican immigration would be good for the prolife/Marianist/Neo-Traditionalist goal of Catholic Reconquista (yes, they really do use that word!) because all the Mexican immigrants would of course be traditional (macho or submissive) Catholics devoted to the Vatican and the Virgin Mary and authority figures and would help turn the tide against the godless secular humanist liberal feminist pagans in California – this view got a nasty upset in the last presidential elections, and brought out the Catholic Freepers’ inner No-Nothingism by the boatload.

    One place to get a lot of inside views of this rhetoric and culture – including the struggles over going ecumenical to work with Evangelicals against contraception – is at Touchstone, and another is Crisis, both of which are run by people pretty deep in with the PTB (Neuhaus was at the infamous “I call you my base” dinner; Deal Hudson who published Crisis was one of the Bush administrations’ advisors until revelations about his past sexual harrassment of a student came to light – which didn’t cause him or his magazine to develop any humility in re stone-casting, of course) altho’ I warn you that the amount of historical ignorance believed to be erudition, and anxious masculinity on display is nauseating (I *think* I distantly know the guy who wrote that article I linked to in Crisis, and if so he’s a jerk to his wife and if she ever shakes off her religious indoctrination he’s going to be a lonely MRA so fast he won’t know what hit him).

    Also nauseating is the reverence for Queen Isabella, and the outright disdain for democracy, frequently on display – often disguised in amazing puffery, but there are some articles in the Touchstone archives by Judge Bork that give their authoritarian game away completely…

  19. Gordon
    February 4, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    I suppose everyone who reads Feministe already knows this, but just in case, Cristina Page also has her own blog at http://birthcontrolwatch.org/blog/index.htm

  20. charles
    February 4, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    please reprint this article and hand it out to any “pro-lifers’ you meet!

    this is a brilliant article, and one that takes on the idea of “pro-life” as anti-abortion directly. i really do suggest that everyone give it to as many “pro-lifers” as you can get to take from you, especially younger people.

    i went to college in Denton, Texas, at a time when the anti-choice groups were successfully running the only abortion provider out of town with their harassment and blockades (she still provides abortions in Dallas, 40 miles away). i ran into so many young people who were working with anti-choice groups to “save the babies.” it was clear that many of these people had no interest in controlling women’s bodies, but in their naivete they thought the pro-life movement really wanted to stop abortions.
    the vast majority of my contacts with these people were completely useless, BUT i found that the only thing i ever said that made them be quiet, or stunned them into temporary silence, was when i said that THEY were causing abortions, or the groups that they supported were, by stopping women from getting birth control info and sex ed.
    seriously, this arguement really did work with some younger people. they still think they abortion is wrong, but honestly are too inexperienced to know that the “pro-life” movement fights against birth control and sex ed. and when they make this connection, some of them leave the anti-choice movement.

    i have talked to many pro-life zealots, and i know many of them are totally unreachable. but for some of the younger ones, the idea that would be causing abortions by helping groups that fight birth control & sex ed is something they have never thought about. and when they think about it, many of them are horrified.

    (and even with the zealots who will never agree with you, it seemed to usually shut them up. they just couldn’t stand being told THEY were causing abortions, so they often left us, and the women we were escorting, alone.)

    so thank you so much for this article. i really think this is an argument that needs more emphasis.

  21. ant
    February 4, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Bellatrys, that is really interesting. I don’t know much about the different roles catholics have played in modern day US politics, and I have to admit I’ve never thought beyond the caricature of working class catholics. I’ve always imagined the bulk of the country (and those in power) to be protestant or baptist (and whatever else evangelicals are). Those have always been the dominant players in my mind. (I don’t think I even knew that Buchanan was catholic.) I also have this inkling of some anti-catholic sentiment among evangelicals, and when I think of the active pro-life movement I tend to think of evangelicals, so I just didn’t imagine a lot of catholics hanging out with them. Go figure.

    That “New Catholic Manliness” article is awesome, by the way. Little known fact: Jesus’ main problem with the moneychangers in the temple was their squishy handshakes.

  22. February 4, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    ant, one thing which it took me years to put together – even though I was living among these people, I used to play with the kids of one of Richard Viguerie’s proteges as a child! – is how close they always have been to power. The Buckleys – oil money, CIA, and of course the National Review. Claire Booth Luce – Time Magazine and all kinds of other nasty McCarthyite washington insider stuff. I had family friends/aquaintances who were working for the Reagan administration, and/or for various Buckley-affiliated think-tanks – which I subsequently discovered were largely funded by wealthy industrialist families like the Mellon-Scaife and Coors dynasties – and yet I totally bought into the whole thing about how we were poor persecuted outsiders, both as Traditional Catholics and as Mere Christians, victims of the godless secularhumanistliberal State which was probably infiltrated by Commie Wiccans…at the same time as the Wanderer was crowing weekly about how the Church had managed to thwart some UN health initiative that would have required US funding of abortifatients (ie the Pill) and godless condoms in third-world medical clinics…

    It’s a very strange, strange world to be raised in, and requires massive mental compartmentalization to make it work – OTOH, I did understand and know where Bush got “Dred Scott Decision” from, as code for “I’m against Roe vs. Wade!” and lots of interesting, sometimes useful connections behind the scenes.

    One thing which the people inside the conservative Catholic movement can’t keep straight, btw, is whether or not they WANT to be “The Few, The Proud, The Real Truest of the Real True Christians” so they can feel the underdog, (cue the theme from “Braveheart”) but which makes the whole Reconquista thing a lot harder (Mouse that Roared style) or if they want to fancy themselves the vanguard of a rising popular tide demanding Latin and authoritarian/doctrinaire bishops and pastors, which they frequently claim is actually happening.

    Living out in the wild for years though, including teaching CCD to stereotypical blue-collar “cradle Catholic” white middle-Americans, made me realize that we were largely talking to ourselves, in the movement, which was kind of shocking – we weren’t even on most churchgoers’ mental radar, let alone our passionate issues and all. Every married woman in choir was happily taking the pill, and talked frankly about it in church, unless they were past menopause – Humanae Vitae? What’s that? Of course by then I had my doubts about lots of things – being told by an ex-seminarian I was dating that the Church handed out the pill to nuns in war zones lest they be raped – something I’ve since confirmed – didn’t help me with the whole authority thing any either…

    That “New Catholic Manliness” article is awesome, by the way. Little known fact: Jesus’ main problem with the moneychangers in the temple was their squishy handshakes.

    And beards! God LOVES beards! Look for Leon Podles in those magazines, you can count on him to get something in about beards and Real True Godliness and the Church in every time. Even Harvey Mansfield doesn’t go on as much about the hirsuteness of the Real Male…

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