2016 in Quotes: The Wars on Women, Abortion and Sex Education

by Dan Quinn

We continue our review of the outrageous and offensive things we heard from the right in 2016. The right’s wars on women, abortion and sex education continued in full force throughout the year. Let’s review some of what we heard from the right on these issues. You can check out previous posts from the Year in Quotes here.

“There has to be some form of punishment.”

– Donald Trump, saying during this presidential campaign that women who have abortions should be punished if the medical procedure again becomes illegal in the United States. He later tried to walk back this declaration.

“Let me put this in context: Conservative leaders are on TV condemning Trump because it’s politically expedient to do so: You never blame the woman, you paint her as a victim. That conservative orthodoxy has been born out of political expediency rather than logic. If you believe abortion is murder, it’s not outlandish to suggest the woman bears some culpability.”

– Robert Jeffress, the religious-right pastor of a Dallas megachurch, defending Donald Trump for saying that women should be punished if they get an abortion once that medical procedure is outlawed

“Yeah, well, they’ll perhaps have to go, they’ll have to go to another state.”

– President-elect Donald Trump, answering a question about how women would access abortion care if the U.S. Supreme Court reverses its decades-old Roe v. Wade ruling

“The result of [the] expansionist view of the Constitution is that the judiciary is granting imaginary rights to some individuals while at the same time erasing the very real rights of other individuals. … By inventing this right of privacy that is nowhere in the Constitution the courts have taken away the very real right we have as citizens in a state to formulate our own laws. That is why it is so important before you elect somebody to office, you know their view of the Constitution.”

– Robert Jeffress, the far-right pastor of a Dallas megachurch, arguing that the right to privacy isn’t protected by the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled otherwise, using the right to privacy to end bans contraception and abortion.

“Planned Parenthood illegally sells baby parts = praise & taxpayer funding. Exposing it = felony charges. Disgraceful!!!”

– Texas state Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, promoting the lie that Planned Parenthood sells “baby parts” after abortions and railing against the indictment of an undercover videographer who secretly taped conversations with Planned Parenthood officials

“I was listening for mention of drug or alcohol abuse and, you know, I think those two conversations are so intertwined. I would be curious to see how many times a pure, sober sexual assault happened. And I think that’s something we need to talk about. The two are so intertwined, I don’t see talking about one without talking about the other.”

– Texas state Rep. Myra Crownover, R-Denton, offering her understanding of sexual assault on college campuses

“It’s more than a lie. It’s destructive. It’s pornographic. It’s designed to change all the sexual and gender norms of society by sexualizing children everywhere. It’s probably one of the most insidious attacks on the health and innocence of children ever imagined.”

– Family Watch International president Sharon Slater, warning parents against sex education in public schools

“Without massive repentance America is doomed as a nation.  We are going to experience much more destruction and more terror and the probable elimination of America as a nation.”

– Allan Parker, head of the San Antonio-based anti-abortion group Justice Foundation, criticizing the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision striking down medically unnecessary regulations the Texas Legislature passed to limit women’s access to abortion

“There’s several health concerns. What if the woman had HIV? What if she had a sexually transmitted disease? What if those germs went through and got into our water supply?”

– Anti-abortion activist Carol Everett, absurdly suggesting that Texans risk contracting HIV or another sexually transmitted infection from their drinking water unless Texas enacts a new rule requiring fetal remains to be buried or cremated

“Birth control is part of the problem. It sets us up for unrealistic expectations. It makes us think something’s gone wrong if pregnancy occurs… when that’s really the purpose of sex all along.”

– From a lesson developed by an abstinence-only organization that provides materials to teach sex education in Texas. The lesson argues that using contraception is as unnatural as a dancing squirrel

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