An Alaskan politician has declared war on fetal alcohol syndrome—because women are irresponsible whores.
This is the confusing message coming out of the mouth of Peter Kelly, a self-described pro-life, pro-gun, pro-business senator in the 49th state.
In a March 20 interview with the Anchorage Daily News, Kelly outlined his plan to raise awareness about fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, which affect 112.9 of every 10,000 live births in the state. The program would include providing Alaskan bars with free-of-charge pregnancy tests, so women who aren’t sure if they are pregnant could quickly pee on a stick and then decide whether or not to continue consuming alcohol that day.
As Kelly told the ADN, “Literally, you can go into the bathroom at the bar and test. So if you’re drinking, you’re out at the big birthday celebration and you’re like, ‘Gee, I wonder if I ...?’ You should be able to go in the bathroom and there’s that plastic, Plexiglas bowl in there and that’s part of the public relations campaign too.”
(Because obviously women want to find out life-altering news while squatting over a dirty public bathroom that reeks of vomit and urine, right?)
Kelly's slightly strange proposal isn't my real quibble, though, nor is it the first plan of its kind; a Minnesota company has been doling out pregancy tests via bathroom vending machines since at least 2012, while Lakehead University in Thunder Bay installed one in 2013.
However, when asked if there was a similar plan to provide women with free birth control, Kelly claimed that the use of contraceptives was irresponsible.
Q. Would you support doing the same thing with birth control? Making free birth control available in the bars?
A. No. Because the thinking is a little opposite.
This assumes that if you know [you are pregnant], you’ll act responsibly. Birth control is for people who don’t necessarily want to act responsibly.
(Incredulous emphasis added by yours truly.)
“I’m not going to tell them what to do. Or help them do it. That’s their business,” Kelly continued. “But if we have a pregnancy because someone just doesn’t know, that’s probably a way we can help.”
In a follow-up question as to whether using birth control was indeed a responsible act, Kelly would not make a definitive statement, instead saying, “That’s about a level of social engineering that we don’t want to get into. All we want to do is make sure people are informed. They’ll make the right decision.”
On Monday (March 24), Kelly reiterated his remarks on the senate floor, stating, "If you have people who are binge drinking or chronic drinkers, we're hesitant to say, 'Use birth control as your protection against fetal alcohol syndrome,' because again, as I say, binge drinking is a problem...If you think you can take birth control and then binge drink and hope not to produce a [baby with fetal alcohol syndrome] you may be very wrong."
So, to sum up: in Kelly’s world, if you are female and use birth control, you’re an irresponsible slut, and any woman who finds out she’s pregnant will obviously immediately cease drinking—and, of course, there’s the unspoken subtext that a pregnant woman would never choose have an abortion.
Also, let's not talk about handing out free condoms in bars, because obviously birth control is only a women's issue.
Radio host Shannyn Moore penned a vigorous rebuttal to Kelly's claims later that week, which included the following math lesson:
Let me break it down.
Boy + Girl - birth control = baby.
Girl + alcohol - birth control = FASD.
Welcome to the Republican New World Order.