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Old 05-21-2009, 12:14 AM
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Default To find common ground on abortion, let's talk about sex.

To find common ground on abortion, let's talk about sex.

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When President Barack Obama talks about finding common ground on abortion, as he did during his commencement address at Notre Dame over the weekend, he's not really talking about abortion at all. The president is pro-choice, which means that he believes that women should have access to legal abortions and that Roe v. Wade should remain the law of the land. What he's really talking about is sex—specifically, who should have it, under what circumstances, and who should bear responsibility for the (desired or undesired) consequences. Abortions—to state the obvious—result from sex. To reduce the number of women seeking abortion, domestic policy wonks need to find common ground on sex.

Obama, who reminded NEWSWEEK's editor Jon Meacham last week that he is "not naive," knows that this won't be easy, and his Notre Dame speech was full of encrypted language meant to placate and motivate folks on both sides. (I wrote about abortion language in a column in April.) When he said, "Let's reduce unintended pregnancies" he was talking to the left, to the folks who believe that comprehensive sex education is the best way to assure that young girls don't unexpectedly find themselves at the abortion clinic—a potent point in light of new Centers for Disease Control data that show teen pregnancies to be on the rise for the first time in 14 years. He was talking to the folks, in other words, who believe that teenagers are likely to have sex no matter what they hear about love and abstinence and what they need is access to birth control that works.

When he said, "Let's make adoption more available [and] provide care and support to women who do carry their children to term," he was talking to those on the right, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, who back a bill in Congress called the Pregnant Women Support Act. These are the folks who believe that no woman should feel too poor or too on the margins to carry a baby to term. These folks also point to the CDC report cited above and to charts therein demonstrating that the number of women who receive no or little prenatal care during pregnancy is on the rise.

What's wrong, the president seemed to be saying, with going at the abortion problem from both sides? Nothing, based on the reaction of students, faculty, and administrators at Notre Dame to the president's speech. Except that, on a practical level, to stop unwanted pregnancies and support women who make the decision to give birth means talking about sex.

Americans, it turns out, are pretty sure how they feel about abortion. Seventy-five percent of them want it to be legal at least some of the time, according to Gallup—but half call themselves "pro-life," and just 40 percent believe it is morally acceptable, also according to Gallup. (American Catholics are no different from other Americans in their view of abortion's moral dimension.) Americans, in other words, already believe what Obama preached at Notre Dame: that abortion is a "heart-wrenching decision for any woman [and is] not made casually, it has both moral and spiritual dimensions." So while a number of professional activists in Washington may go to their graves fighting for or against Roe v. Wade—and while the ethical debates and dilemmas that undergird those fights are as important and intractable as any in our time—these are not the people who will ultimately carve out the common ground the president so valiantly seeks.

To reduce the number of women who seek abortions, culture warriors on both sides need to sit down together and talk about the values—Biblical, cultural, and traditional—that have led them to where they are on sex, especially teen sex, premarital sex, and single parenthood. This will be difficult, for in this matter the distance between what we do and what we believe we should do is great. And then each side needs to give a little. Perhaps the left could start by conceding that sex is an activity best enjoyed by mature people in a committed, loving relationship. And then the right might concede that teenagers do have sex even if it's not in their best interests and that a condom, easily obtained, might prevent a lot of heartache down the road.

It?s Time to Find Common Ground on Sex | Newsweek Religion | Newsweek.com
Yes..sex is an activity best enjoyed by mature people in a committed, loving relationship. Tell that to a teenager with raging hormones and while your at it tell them about plan B.
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:00 AM
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Default Re: To find common ground on abortion, let's talk about sex.

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Originally Posted by Spencer Collins View Post
To find common ground on abortion, let's talk about sex.



Yes..sex is an activity best enjoyed by mature people in a committed, loving relationship. Tell that to a teenager with raging hormones and while your at it tell them about plan B.
Democrats and Republicans sitting down discussing important issues like civilized citisenry?
Rots-a-ruck
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:38 AM
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Default Re: To find common ground on abortion, let's talk about sex.

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Democrats and Republicans sitting down discussing important issues like civilized citisenry?
Rots-a-ruck
Exactly...but we can HOPE...yes we can..
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:39 AM
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Default Re: To find common ground on abortion, let's talk about sex.

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To find common ground on abortion, let's talk about sex.



Yes..sex is an activity best enjoyed by mature people in a committed, loving relationship. Tell that to a teenager with raging hormones and while your at it tell them about plan B.
Just a thought, but maybe it would be helpful if some of these TV shows and movies didn't make sex without consequences seem so real. Let's face it the role models these kids have today have the morals of alley cats.
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:31 AM
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Default Re: To find common ground on abortion, let's talk about sex.

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Just a thought, but maybe it would be helpful if some of these TV shows and movies didn't make sex without consequences seem so real. Let's face it the role models these kids have today have the morals of alley cats.
And the only way that will ever be achieved is for people to turn the shows off and stop going to the theaters -- including not supplying their teens with the cash to go to the theaters.

I know that is not easy to do when you love TV and movies and the sex shows are all that is being made. But I don't believe that very many people are making an effort.

And, before anyone asks, I plead guilty to not always living up to my ideals on this one. But there is a reason why one is more likely to find me watching a re-run of a 60s sitcom than a brand new prime-time drama. Andy Griffith doesn't disgust me.

Look at soap operas. Those people have morals that an alley cat would be ashamed of and yet millions of Americans invite them into their living rooms every day. And not only during the day when the kiddies are at school any more. Now they have taken over the prime-time evening slots as well.

If we truly do not want kids being exposed to sex-crazed fictional characters endlessly parading across TV and theater screens, then we must use the power of the dollar.

Advertisers will not by time on TV shows that no one is watching.

And investors will not invest in R-rated films if no one is going to the theaters or buying the DVDs.

The hard part is finding a way to convince millions of Americans that a)this needs to be done and b)they are the ones who have to do it.
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:06 PM
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Default Re: To find common ground on abortion, let's talk about sex.

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Just a thought, but maybe it would be helpful if some of these TV shows and movies didn't make sex without consequences seem so real. Let's face it the role models these kids have today have the morals of alley cats.
Isn't that why sex = death in horror movies? Why doesn't that scare more teenagers into not having sex?
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:10 PM
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Default Re: To find common ground on abortion, let's talk about sex.

How did parents keep their teens from having sex in the world before television, was it really that easy... or did kids in the pre-television world do just the same things that kids do today, only they got shipped off to some convent or aunties house where their pregnancy was out of sight and out of mind

I have a hard time believing that there are more teens having sex or adults having affairs today than there were 50 years ago, or 100 years ago or 200 years ago, or any other time in human history.
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:06 PM
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Default Re: To find common ground on abortion, let's talk about sex.

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How did parents keep their teens from having sex in the world before television, was it really that easy... or did kids in the pre-television world do just the same things that kids do today, only they got shipped off to some convent or aunties house where their pregnancy was out of sight and out of mind

I have a hard time believing that there are more teens having sex or adults having affairs today than there were 50 years ago, or 100 years ago or 200 years ago, or any other time in human history.

I don't know about everywhere, of course. But I am pretty sure that in the Southern rural area where I grew up, teens had less sex 40 years ago (when my siblings and I were teens) than they do today. And part of the reason was that we did not think about it 24/7.

And there were certainly fewer teen pregnancies. Because "shipped off to some convent or aunties house" or not, we knew about the ones that did get pregnant. Do you really think that we bought the "spending a year with her Aunt" stories? Or the "Yes they have only been married seven months but the baby was premature" stories?

The sexual revolution loosened up attitudes about sex. And I believe that was a good thing in many ways. But it also had its negative effects. And more teens having sex when they are not ready to handle the consequences is one of those negatives.
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:34 PM
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Default Re: To find common ground on abortion, let's talk about sex.

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I don't know about everywhere, of course. But I am pretty sure that in the Southern rural area where I grew up, teens had less sex 40 years ago (when my siblings and I were teens) than they do today. And part of the reason was that we did not think about it 24/7.

And there were certainly fewer teen pregnancies. Because "shipped off to some convent or aunties house" or not, we knew about the ones that did get pregnant. Do you really think that we bought the "spending a year with her Aunt" stories? Or the "Yes they have only been married seven months but the baby was premature" stories?

The sexual revolution loosened up attitudes about sex. And I believe that was a good thing in many ways. But it also had its negative effects. And more teens having sex when they are not ready to handle the consequences is one of those negatives.
Don't forget to take into account "shotgun" weddings, girls being married off at 14 or 15, and all the old-fashioned home remedies for inducing miscarriages including using different herbals.

Part of the reason for this gap between teen sex and married couples has to do, IMHO, with people getting married later in life and the parents-to-be not as willing to take responsibility for their unplanned pregnancies... in other words these deadbeat gangbanga teen dads that just leave their "baby-mamas" to deal with the child from help with welfare.

There might be more teen sex nowadays than at other times in history, but I'm not sure that difference is as significant as some of the religious fundamentalists would like to make it out to be... also when you compare todays teens with those in during the middle ages or at other times in history going back farther than 40-60 years, when most teens would have been married and raising families at much younger ages than they do today, with no stigma attached to having sex as it would be within their marital right... we just don't encourage 16 year olds to marry and start having families like used to be the case.

Society made a tough transition when higher levels of required education such as high school and social norms changed the way sex and marriage fit into our social structure.

Maybe there was a period of a few decades, in this country, where teenage sex was more highly reduced compared to the past and the present - but it doesn't seem to have lasted, and maybe there is good historical reason why it isn't realistic to expect teenagers not to engage in the physical activities their brains and bodies are directing them towards.

I'm not saying there should be no restrictions, or that as parents we should try to prevent our children from making mistakes, especially with all the diseases out there. But, whether it is evolution or not, we're very sexual beings, and deciding that sex needs to be postponed until an arbitrary age several years after the biological drive to engage in it has begun, for such artificial reasons as marriage, school, career, parental expecations, religious expectations...

Well, it's kinda like trying to keep the tide from coming in using a bucket... television or no television.
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Old 05-21-2009, 06:00 PM
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Default Re: To find common ground on abortion, let's talk about sex.

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Originally Posted by MrLiberty View Post
Just a thought, but maybe it would be helpful if some of these TV shows and movies didn't make sex without consequences seem so real. Let's face it the role models these kids have today have the morals of alley cats.
Or of course parents could take some responsibility for their own children. I'm sick to death of hearing how its the fault of tv or movies or pop music or any of that nonsense.

Prohibition doesn't work and just sticking your fingers in your ears and going 'lalala' isn't going to teach your children values.

Let them watch TV, let them see movies. Then get them to sit down and talk about the issues it raises. talk about these issues in day to day life whenever the opportunity arsises.

Parents: get off your backsides and TEACH your children the values you want them to have.

Mark

Edit: Mr Liberty: Reading this post back I think it sort of looks like I'm having a go at you. That is not my intention and it is definitely not directed at you personally.
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