Pop quiz, Unmitigates: What is the best way to teach women about the consequences of sexual promiscuity?

Give up? The answer: Let their children contract HIV.

This week, the Colorado State Senate overwhelmingly voted 32-1 on Senate Bill 09-179; legislation which would, in part, require those providing health care services for pregnant women HIV testing. The goal of the bill was to protect unborn fetuses from contracting the virus. Incidentally, the bill also allows for the woman involved to decline such testing.

On the surface, this appeared to be a slam dunk piece of legislation.  Who – in their heart of hearts – could oppose legislation that protects children from inheriting HIV? Enter, Sen. Dave Schultheis, the lone voice of dissent. Frankly, it was not his role as the opponent of a pretty reasonable bill that was disturbing. Most unnerving about his opposition was what he had to say about it:

Sexual promiscuity, we know, causes a lot of problems in our state, one of which, obviously, is the contraction of HIV. And we have other programs that deal with the negative consequences — we put up part of our high schools where we allow students maybe 13 years old who put their child in a small daycare center there.

We do things continually to remove the negative consequences that take place from poor behavior and unacceptable behavior, quite frankly, and I don’t think that’s the role of this body.

As a result of that I finally came to the conclusion I would have to be a no vote on this because this stems from sexual promiscuity for the most part, and I just can’t vote on this bill and I wanted to explain to this body why I was going to be a no vote on this.

You can hear the full audio transcript here (you’ll need Apple Quicktime).

Wow.

To put this whole thing a little more bluntly, Sen. Schultheis believes that the best way to punish promiscuous women who contract HIV is through their unborn children. To make matters worse, this wasn’t the end of his diatribe. From the Rocky Mountain News:

“What I’m hoping is that yes, that person may have AIDS, have it seriously as a baby and when they grow up, but the mother will begin to feel guilt as a result of that. The family will see the negative consequences of that promiscuity and it may make a number of people over the coming years … begin to realize that there are negative consequences and maybe they should adjust their behavior. We can’t keep people from being raped. We can’t keep people from shooting each other. We can’t keep people from jumping off bridges. People drink and drive, and they crash and kill people. Poor behavior has its consequences.”

Yes, you read that correctly. And to think: this is all coming from a person who boldly declared that “All life is precious, from conception to natural death.”

As to be expected, Schutheis was on the receiving end of opposition from his colleagues in the Senate.

Now on the one hand, I can actually understand the basis of some of his argument. There are indeed thousand of knuckleheads out there popping out babies with no consideration of the consequences involved. Even in my own family, I have boneheaded cousins, not even out of high school yet who have children (in some cases, MULTIPLE children). To that end, by not choosing to “reward” irresponsible behavior , the Senator was on to something. But suggesting that children should contract a deadly and incurable disease as a lesson to their knuckleheaded parents has to go down as the most insane and vile thing I have ever heard.

I am utterly speechless.

– ACL

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