Democrats were outraged Wednesday morning when Republican state Sen. Dave Schultheis said he planned to vote against a bill to require HIV tests for pregnant women because the disease “stems from sexual promiscuity” and he didn’t think the Legislature should “remove the negative consequences that take place from poor behavior and unacceptable behavior.” The Colorado Springs lawmaker then proceeded to cast the lone vote against SB-179, which passed 32-1 and moves on to the House.
I say "illustrative" because it reinforces a point I've argued before about a fundamental difference between liberals and conservatives on sex-related issues, and more specifically a point where we completely disagree not only on the means, but on the ends themselves, on what kind of a nation we want. We often talk about how "both sides want a prosperous/strong/happy/well-educated nation, we just disagree on how to get there," but that is not true of this issue.
It goes like this: Liberals see condoms/sex ed/birth control/vaccines as a way to keep their kids safer from death and teen pregnancy, while conservatives see death and teen pregnancy as a way to help keep their kids from having sex. Put another way, social conservatives do not like sex ed and free birth control and HPV vaccines and, in this case, HIV tests for pregnant women because at the end of the day they don't want sex to be safer. Liberals are willing to deal with kids having more sex if it means sex will be safer. Conservatives are willing to deal with more deaths and teenage pregnancies if it means