An affiliate of one of the nation’s leading abortion-rights groups is taking a hard-edged swipe at cultural conservatives by inviting young donors to a “Screw Abstinence Party.”
The Washington-state affiliate of NARAL Pro-Choice America says the first-of-its-kind fund-raiser tomorrow night in Seattle targets young professionals in their 20s and 30s.
A promo for the event says: “Tired of Bush & Co. spending your tax dollars on abstinence-only-until-marriage initiatives that promote dangerous misinformation? Throw your hands up and say it loud: ‘Screw Abstinence!’”
Banner advertising NARAL Washington state’s fund-raiser
The party features the “Pork Filled Players” – described as “Seattle theatre’s hottest sketch comedy group” – who will perform “a sex ed class for adults.” Also on the schedule is the retailer Toys in Babeland, “Seattle’s sleaze-free, sex-positive purveyors of adult toys,” which will “offer tips on ‘Sexy Safer Sex.’”
A flyer distributed by the affiliate says: “Let them know you keep it real when it comes to your sexual health and decision making. Come laugh, learn, socialize and buck the system at NARAL Pro-Choice Washington’s Screw Abstinence Party.”
A staffer at the Seattle office told WND that about 100 people have pre-registered for the event.
A spokeswoman for the affiliate did not respond to a request for comment.
The staffer said the event is not organized by the national office and while other affiliates have held fund-raisers targeting young professionals, none have put on a “Screw Abstinence Party.”
The national office in Washington, D.C., also did not respond to a request for comment.
A flyer says funds raised at the party go toward securing “comprehensive and medically-accurate sex education, as well as guarantee every woman the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices.”
But some supporters of abortion rights think the party reflects poorly on NARAL.
contributor to the weblog of Seattle’s left-leaning alternative weekly, The Stranger, thought NARAL was making a politically foolish choice.
“Does this strike anyone else as a cringe-worthy and counterproductive theme for a pro-choice fundraiser,” asked Josh Feit. “It seems politically idiotic for the preeminent pro-choice group in the country to be sponsoring this pandering, pseudo-hipster ‘sex positive’ event.”
Feit said the event “undermines NARAL’s credibility as an organization that is seriously concerned with unwanted pregnancies by playing into the right’s stereotypes about the left as a promiscuous bunch of libertines.”
“Wow-weee, the left is ‘pro-sex’ and those meanie Christian activists want to preach abstinence in the schools,” Feit wrote. “Look, I’m just as freaked out as anyone about the creeping evisceration of separation of church and state … but let’s be smart politically. A ‘Screw Abstinence’ fundraiser is … trite, juvenile, and politically stupid.”
While opposing “abstinence only” sex education, NARAL’s national organization has supported legislation that would provide federal funding for programs that teach both abstinence and “safe sex,” or contraception.
The national office says on its website, “In searching for solutions to this crisis, some individuals and groups have focused on abstinence-only education. But while abstinence education is an essential part of sex education, it should not be the only lesson taught. Sex education should also teach teens how to protect themselves if they do become sexually active.”
NARAL touts a bill by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., known as the REAL Act, or Responsible Education About Life.
The bill is “an alternative to ‘abstinence-only’ programs and would give students real answers by establishing the first-ever federal sex-education program,” NARAL says.
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