Like organic food? How 'bout organic sex?

Anti-contraception types tout the organic benefits of abstinence. Oh, and the rhythm method.


Page Rockwell
May 31, 2006 4:15AM (UTC)

Jessica at Feministing has a great post today on so-called organic sex, which seems to be the latest anti-contraception doublespeak for sex as God intended. According to the extremely sparse Web site Contra-Contraception (companion site to Mary Worthington's No Room for Contraception): "Many women, in an effort to live healthily, who have [sic] turned to organic and unprocessed foods. They have come to also realize that artificial contraception isn't very healthy either, and that its numerous side effects should be avoided." (For more on Worthington and the war on contraception, check out Priya Jain's stellar Salon story from earlier this year.)

The Contra-Contraception campaign also (untruthfully) denies any affiliation with the religious right, claiming that it's just into natural sexuality. "It's time to get to the heart of the matter, and time for the media to stop smearing the effort by labeling it as a religious movement," the site says. "Organic sex is here to stay, and more and more people from all walks of life are enjoying it."

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Very sneaky, guys! But as Jessica points out, "Contra-Contraception isn't some site run by organic-sex loving folks who are worried about the health implications of hormonal birth control." Instead, it's brought to you by Worthington, who, as Jessica noted back in March, has also likened birth control to euthanasia and speculated that contraception could lead to homosexuality.

The bummer is that it's very reasonable to ask questions about the health implications of hormonal birth control, and to prefer some contraceptive methods over others. But Worthington's speciously sex-positive misinformation campaign, with its weak encouragement that women try the rhythm method, is hardly a boon for women's health. It's more like a recipe for unplanned pregnancies and exposure to STDs. (Yes, plenty of women have had good luck preventing pregnancy with the rhythm method. But Contra-Contraception doesn't adequately convey the time, effort and close relationship with one's own cervical mucus that precise fertility tracking requires. It just links to a natural family planning page on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Web site. And then there's still the STD issue.)

I'm not too worried that the organic sex campaign will deter anyone who has access to unbiased information about sex and contraception. But I am sincerely hoping and praying this organic sex palaver doesn't get into -- and further muddy the waters of -- abstinence-only sex-ed curricula.


Page Rockwell

Page Rockwell is Salon's editorial project manager.

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