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Screwed
  • October 17, 2012 : 23:10
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Your sex life is destroying America. That’s according to Iowa Republican Steve King, who took to the floor of the House last summer to explain that sex for pleasure—instead of for creating babies—would make Americans extinct. A year later, his colleague Mike Kelly called a press conference to sound the alarm that affordable birth control was a plot to destroy the nation. “I know in your mind you can think of times when America was attacked. One is December 7. That’s Pearl Harbor day. The other is September 11.… I want you to remember August 1, 2012”—the day a mandate went into effect requiring health insurers to provide free contraception coverage. “That is a date that will live in infamy,” the representative from Pennsylvania declaimed on the steps of Congress, his face reddening as he rallied fellow patriots to join his fight. “The question is, if not us, who? If not now, when? It is our turn.” King and Kelly weren’t alone. From the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes and the Great Plains, heartland Republicans pushed nearly a thousand laws to restrict access to contraception and abortion. The Tennessee senate took up the dangers of “gateway sexual activity,” while the Texas GOP officially declared that pornography was rending the “fabric of society.” In one orgy of delirium, Republicans revealed that sexual freedom itself was on their chopping block.

Welcome to the war on your sex life.

If you’re reading this magazine, it’s a safe bet you take it for granted that you can have sex with just about anyone you desire, and in just about any manner you desire. You likely believe you should be allowed to read what you want and have children when you choose. But it wasn’t so long ago when the opposite was true, when the sex life you enjoy today was risky, dangerous and, in many situations, completely illegal. When Willard Mitt Romney entered high school, in 1961, birth control was illegal in some states, abortion was illegal except in rare cases, sodomy—often including oral sex—was a crime in every state and young single women had to lie to get the pill.

Is America going back to those days? That depends on what happens in November.


IT'S THE SEX, STUPID

The average American woman will have sex at least 1,880 times during her fertile years. Ninety-nine percent of women who have ever had sex have used birth control. Considering those figures, making contraception universally accessible makes sense. So in January 2012, the Obama administration ruled that under health care reform, all FDA-approved forms of birth control and sterilization—including condoms, the pill and the morning-after pill—must be provided by health insurers free of extra charge as part of the basic health care package.

The thought of that much sex drove Republican politicians into a self-righteous froth. Rick Santorum, who was already on record calling contraception “a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be,” whipped the religious right into a frenzy and surged in the GOP presidential polls. With Santorum in hot pursuit, Romney shamelessly plunged into the anti-birth-control hysteria. The faltering front-runner, whose great-grandfather had self-exiled to Mexico to escape arrest for polygamy, charged that the birth control mandate amounted to the “most serious assault” on “religious liberty” in generations. In a few deft pirouettes to the far right, Romney stole Santorum’s momentum and rode the Republican sex panic to victory.

On Capitol Hill, the GOP-controlled House of Representatives staged hearings about the birth control regulation that featured an all-male panel of celibates and religious authorities. Republicans in the Senate voted in favor of giving employers the right to eliminate birth control from their employees’ insurance plan based on a vague “moral objection.” Copycat anticontraception bills proliferated in Republican-ruled statehouses across the nation. One New Hampshire lawmaker recommended that married couples practice abstinence until they are ready for children. Arizona’s bill included a show-me-your-birth-control-papers-please provision, which would have allowed your girlfriend’s boss to fire her for having sex outside of marriage.

If a President Romney and his Republican comrades get their way, contraception will be less accessible, more expensive and, for some women, completely out of reach. Romney has vowed that he will abolish the contraception mandate. (That is, if he can’t repeal health care reform.) Five million women get their birth control through Title X, the federal family-planning program that Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, have promised to eliminate. Romney says he’ll get rid of funding for Planned Parenthood, and he plans to reinstate a George W. Bush executive order that gave anyone working in a pharmacy the right to claim that birth control violates their conscience, allowing the worker to refuse to fill a prescription or even ring up a condom sale in the supermarket checkout line. Under a President Romney, your sex life gets a lot more complicated.

If for nothing else, we have Obamacare to thank for pulling back the curtain to reveal the sex police standing at the levers of the GOP machine. By the end of the Republicans’ birth control bender, it had become clear that casual sex itself was their target. It might sound outlandish, but the path they are on could lead to eliminating access to some forms of birth control. If they succeed, our ability to control when and if we have children—a constitutionally protected right—goes with it. But to ban birth control, Romney first has to fulfill his other promise: to outlaw abortion.

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read more: News, Sex and Dating, politics, sex, issue november 2012

22 comments

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Well thankfully Obama has won! I don't agree with all of his political views and policies, but as a woman living in the modern-day world, I simply could not bring myself to vote Republican at all this year. Great article Playboy! Love from a loyal reader, albeit one who really is here primarily for the articles ;)
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Moronic. There are zero plans to outlaw contraception, and it's ridiculous that people talk themselves into it. It's hysterical gibberish. The person writing this should be ashamed, either of their cynical political manipulation, or else because of their sheer ignorance.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Great read and I love the honest, bare-bones spin. I was happy to post it on my social media page!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    An incredible piece - insightful, brave, and spot on. Everyone, regardless of their political party, needs to read it.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    The reason why we cant spell is because we went to a public school not some rich fancy school with butlers like tou democrats.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Hey Anonymous, I think you need to post your idiotic tirade a few more times before you and Romney are never heard from again.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    By the time this letter is bypassed for publication, hopefully Romney will have won the presidency, despite Nancy L. Cohen’s warnings and jeremiads to the contrary. But if Obama does hocus-pocus a second term, you’ll have four years to ask him about the following. A $529 million loan to Fisker Automotive, to produce a $100,000 electric car that many Americans can’t afford, said car built in Finland (car recalled for the second time); 123 Systems (got Energy Department money; went bankrupt); Abound Solar (got Energy Department money; went bankrupt), Solyndra (got Energy Department money; went bankrupt), Beacon Power (got Energy Department money; went bankrupt), Ener1 (got Energy Department money; went bankrupt), SpectraWatt (got Energy Department money; went bankrupt), cozying up to the lawbreakers of OWS, the much-vaunted stimulus package that was supposed to keep unemployment from rising above 8-percent—but didn’t, Obamacare and CLASS, the screwing of the Chrysler bondholders, “shovel-ready” jobs that weren’t as shovel-ready as he hoped they’d be (he said with a laugh), positioning the NLRB so that union workers could screw Boeing—and then stacking the NLRB all over again, failure to throw the book at the New Black Panther Party for Election Day misconduct, Operation Fast and Furious, the idiocy of attempting to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in federal court, nonsensical promises about Guantanamo, the infamous Apologizing for America tours, lies and deception concerning the attack on the consulate in Benghazi and the murder of four Americans …and on and on and on. Put your time to good use, Playboy.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    amazing article! all the comments bashing this have nothing of substance to say because they are full of bs themselves. If you think the article isn't true actually have evidence to back it up. No surprise they don't because you can't refute the truth. I'm forwarding this too many people!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    If this nightmare scenario happens I'm moving to Canada or some place in Europe
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Why can't Tea Party members spell correctly?
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Well written, this is a "favorite" nightmare of mine, that I am afraid might come true in my lifetime. "A Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood first put the fear into words for me - but this article nails it. MYOB GOP.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    "Menchin sex?" You didn't *mention* that you were a Tea Party supporter but your spelling gives it away.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    You people are idiots!!!!! You can't see the dumb ass stealing from someone and giving to another is going to destroy this country. The lazy will get lazier and the small business owner that is so called rich will go under or pack up and leave. Hope you're happy stupid
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Wow! I haven't been paying much attention to politics lately. In the last week or two, however, I've been opening my eyes to a nightmarish reality that many freedoms that so many people have worked very hard for will be in serious danger if the GOP takes the white house. I find it unbelievably disheartening that things like making possession of birth control a Felony would have any support whatsoever. I would seriously consider leaving the country and making some place in Europe my home if predictions like the ones made in this article come to fruition...
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    This is crap nothing in the constitution does it menchin sex or thing relating to it. Obama care you like that garbage it gives free birth control ya! Vut was it realy that expensive before? Republicans wont get rid of casual sex thats not legal but obama realy has not done anything to protect it. Romney has not gone on a war aginst a womans rights but if he had thats what the supreme court is for.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Good article. As always, playboy has great articles (and great photos too of course.)
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Romney has waged a war on women by refusing to condemn it when it started in earnest in late January 2011. No longer can you claim to be neutral. Refusing to condemn the GOP's war on women means YOU SUPPORT IT. Period. Full stop. And yes, Playboy - not a first stop source for most of the people pushing back against the GOP's war on women, has a more accurate portrayal of what will happen under GOP rule in this one three page article than most of the other media has had in this ENTIRE campaign. And Obamacare does NOT give women free birth control UNLESS they are making less than a certain amount. But, the GOP is NOT ONLY trying to undo a law that finally gives women good health care, they are also trying to make it a FELONY to even possess birth control. The Blunt Amendment makes possessing birth control a FELONY punishable by up to 10 years in prison with no chance of parole. Oh and Romney has promised to go after women's rights. How would he do this? You guessed it: implement a Christian form of sharia law in America by installing three radical judges who favor religious law over the Constitution.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    By the time this letter is bypassed for publication, hopefully Romney will have won the presidency, despite Nancy L. Cohen’s warnings and jeremiads to the contrary. But if Obama does hocus-pocus his way into a second term, you’ll have four years to ask him about the following. A $529 million loan to Fisker Automotive, to produce a $100,000 electric car that many Americans can’t afford, said car built in Finland (car recalled for the second time); 123 Systems (got Energy Department money; went bankrupt); Abound Solar (got Energy Department money; went bankrupt), Solyndra (got Energy Department money; went bankrupt), Beacon Power (got Energy Department money; went bankrupt), Ener1 (got Energy Department money; went bankrupt), SpectraWatt (got Energy Department money; went bankrupt), cozying up to the lawbreakers of OWS, the much-vaunted stimulus package that was supposed to keep unemployment from rising above 8-percent—but didn’t, Obamacare and CLASS, the screwing of the Chrysler bondholders, “shovel-ready” jobs that weren’t as shovel-ready as he hoped they’d be (he said with a laugh), positioning the NLRB so that union workers could screw Boeing—and then stacking the NLRB all over again, failure to throw the book at the New Black Panther Party for Election Day misconduct, Operation Fast and Furious, the idiocy of attempting to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in federal court, nonsensical promises about Guantanamo, the infamous Apologizing for America tours, lies and deception concerning the attack on the consulate in Benghazi and the murder of four Americans …and on and on and on. Put your time to good use, Playboy.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Utter propaganda Playboy! Did you know Adolph Coors, creator of Coors beer, was a Mormon? Coors has alcohol. I hope free porn on the net puts you out of business. GFY!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Privacy and autonomy are definitely embeded within the Bill of Rights. Those who ignore and discount the goals of the wingnuts are naive. You missed the point about the SCOTUS and Griswold. If you count on a corporate to prtect your individual civil liberties you are clueless.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Wow, fascinating article. Makes me very glad for the separation of church and state that's well-defined here in Canada, and the extremely liberal politics in comparison to the US. Fingers crossed for Obama, because Romney's religious mania is just plain scary.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    There is evidence that supports the person who is against it. The first off does not protect the rights to have sex read the constitution second listen to every thing romney has ever said not once has he declared war on womens rights. Theres also obamacare whitch if i am not mistaken i have to pay for. Why should i have to pay for some other person to get free birthcontrol its just not fare. That person who attacked the romney supporter for misspelling well you no what you obama supporting communist its time for you to keep the change and i will keep my guns women and my money!
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