Abortion advocates were promoting "safe" sex as part of an October awareness week at UNC-CH, this one entitled "EC Week."
Why "EC Week"? The initials stand for "emergency contraceptives" — and not, as one might suppose, to be a pun for "easy," meaning "one exhibiting a widely known readiness to engage in sexual relations."
As announced by UNC-CH junior David Barbour in a letter to the editor of The Daily Tar Heel Oct. 28, "EC Week" is sponsored by "Choice USA" and "is geared towards raising awareness on campus about emergency contraceptives and also promoting healthy, safe sex behaviors." Emergency contraceptives, of course, are things sought post-coitus after sex behaviors regardless of whether they were safe, and as for healthy, well … say, did you know that "EC" stands for "emergency contraceptives"?
Given some of the activities planned for the week, Barbour might just as well have written about an "RR Week" that "is geared towards raising awareness on campus about emergency-room medicine and also promoting healthy, safe Russian Roulette behaviors." Is the preceding an overstatement? Yes, but not by that much.
After all, part of "celebrating" emergency contraceptives involved "barhopping on Franklin Street passing out condoms and dental dams to unsuspecting patrons." In other words, to celebrate emergency contraception week, abortion advocates actively encouraged drunk people to go have sex.
As Dr. Ruth Westheimer explains (emphasis added): "there is no 100 percent sure way of preventing the transmission of HIV if you are having sex with an infected partner. Latex condoms, not the sheepskin variety, do prevent the virus from entering the vagina, but condoms do break once in a while; some people are careless in removing the condom and leakage could seep into the vagina; and the virus can also be communicated through oral sex." (Note that Westheimer is speaking only of vaginal penetration and not some of the other forms of sexual penetration that are advocated by certain groups and departments in the university and that place more stress on the structure of the condom.)
Speaking of using condoms properly, here is how Westheimer describes it:
"If you always use a condom when having intercourse, if you are careful not to tear the condom when opening the package and while putting it on, if you make sure to leave an empty reservoir tip at the end when you put it on, and if you are careful to hold the rim of the condom when you take it off so that there is no leakage, then a condom is a very effective method of protection against pregnancy."
That's not exactly the kind of meticulous attention to detail one expects to find among the plowed. But even following those procedures, the thing might break, at which point, pardon the pun, you're screwed. So to pass them out under the "healthy, safe" banner is dangerously misleading.
But contracting diseases isn't the concern regarding "emergency contraceptives" — only pregnancy is.
As to what are emergency contraceptives: a Google search of the UNC-CH web site yielded this link to a Princeton web page, which defined them as "methods of preventing pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse. They do not protect against sexually transmitted infections. Emergency contraception can be used when a condom breaks, after a sexual assault, or any time unprotected sexual intercourse occurs." (Emphasis added.)
As the Princeton link explains, there are two kinds of emergency contraceptives: the copper-T intrauterine device (IUD), which carries a slight risk of pelvic infection and infertility, and the "morning-after pills," which often have the side effects of nausea and vomiting.
In other words, the EC Week people are advocating taking chances on sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, infection, infertility, and nausea and vomiting. This is "healthy, safe sex behaviors" only in that without the condoms, the binge-drinkers being encouraged toward "sex behaviors" would be at greater risk for sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. By the same token, buckling a boozer's seatbelt can be called "healthy, safe running-your-car-into-a-tree behavior." It might cut the risk, but only after winking at the much riskier behavior.
Who's behind this idea? Or, as a colleague asked, what do condoms have to do with emergency contraceptives? Along with Choice USA, the sponsors are Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League — abortion advocates. Seeing it difficult to find a responsible approach behind the idea, one cannot help wondering if rather less charitable motives are in play. Such as: Are they perhaps seeking new constituents by encouraging drunken college students to have a "safe" tumble in the sack? Or are they counting on the inebriates' fumbling with condoms to cause them later (and out of necessity) to "become aware" of emergency contraceptives?
It would be tragic if they would also have to "become aware" of living with a sexually transmitted disease. It's highly unlikely they would follow Westheimer's advice on how to be protected against AIDS: "in addition to using condoms, both partners should be tested for the virus first, and after you've been given the all clear, you have to be able to trust one another not to cheat and have sex outside of the relationship."
Maybe what EC Week advocates really ought to do on Franklin Street outside the bars is give AIDS testing to unsuspecting bar patrons while explaining their risks. The risks of this activity? It might sober the sloshes up, it might give the EC Week sponsors reputations as killjoys, and it might result in fewer "patrons" for their "services" later on. In other words, it might be a much more responsible approach.