Lighten up, Planned Parenthood, talk-radio host says. Abstinence “still a form of birth control”

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)



Planned Parenthood activists shouldn’t have a problem with GOP donor Foster Friess’ joke about how the cost of birth control could be dramatically reduced if only women would put aspirin between their legs.

That’s what KFKA talk-show host Devon Lentz, who’s an executive board member of the Larimer County Republican Party, told listeners Monday.

Can you guess why?

Because putting aspirin between your legs, if you’re a woman, is a form of “abstinence, which is still a form of birth control,” Lentz told her Colorado AM listeners.

So why were the Planned Parenthood activists, protesting the appearance of Friess as the keynote speaker at a Larimer County Republican fundraiser Friday, so upset, Lentz wondered?

“Their shirts said something about how everybody should be allowed to have birth control, be allowed access to birth control,” Lentz said on the radio. “Foster’s joke about how in his time women held an aspirin between their knees I’m pretty sure still goes to abstinence, which is still a form of birth control. And he was being funny. It was funny. These guys can’t laugh. These women were outraged he could make such a statement. They didn’t even know what they were standing out there doing.”

Lentz told listeners she “sent somebody out there to go talk to [the protesters],” and they didn’t really know “what [Friess'] statement was, let alone what it meant.”

Given that the protesters had symbolic aspirin between their legs, you have to wonder what basis the undercover GOP scout had for thinking the protesters were clueless about their own protest.

Now I’m a man, but I have to think it’s really hard for an adult woman to be clutching fake aspirin between her legs and not understand the point.

Especially after Foster Friess got all that attention for saying contraception need not be so expensive because, in his day, “The gals put [Bayer Aspirin] between their knees, and it wasn’t that costly.” Friess, who’s now supporting Mitt Romney, later apologized.

So I called up Lentz, who organized the Friess event, and co-host Tom Lucero, who was the Master of Ceremonies, to find out why they didn’t dispense with the stealth reconnaissance of the Planned Parenthood folks, and simply have them on their show to find out what they know about birth control, and GOP proposals to ban some forms of it, and what they don’t.

Lucero, who’s a former chair of the Larimer Country GOP, told me he was “not the guy who went out and interview [the protesters].”

“I took Devon’s comments to mean they didn’t know who Foster Friess was,” Lucero told me. “We would probably need to get further clarification.”

Asked if he’d have the activists on his show to discuss the issue, Lucero said: “Absolutely, if they’re interested in coming on the show and talking about it, we’re willing to take anyone as guests.” He offered to schedule a specific time in advance.

I’d love to hear Lentz tell the women from Planned Parenthood to lighten up, because, as she said on the air, if the activists take Friess’ aspirin joke seriously, he’s just promoting abstinence as a “form birth control.”

Lentz is right, of course.

And in Freiss’ day, that’s all the “gals” had access to, a fact that would lead to a useful discussion on the radio about why the Planned Parenthood protest was important and why Lentz is the one who doesn’t get it, given that Republican leaders, like the one Friess gave big money to, would ban common forms of birth control, even if abstinence isn’t on the chopping block.

19 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. nancycronknancycronk says:

    not to hate these people.

    Let Lentz tell that to the cancer survivor who wrote to me last week whose doctor told her a pregnancy would kill her.

    He can tell that to the woman who has 3 autistic kids and can’t afford their special therapies and whose insurance doesn’t want to cover her sterilization. She is so terrified of having another baby with autism, and the stress and financial burdens that come with it, she is contemplating divorce.

    He can tell that to the woman who wrote to me saying her religious beliefs forced to have her carry an anencephalic baby, only to see her die from an infection at a day old.

    He can tell that to the grandmother of a thirteen year old granddaughter who became pregnant, and should never been told by her “church” that she should keep the baby.

    He can tell that to the woman who lives in her car and found out she is pregnant… again, after losing her house to unscrupulous mortgage pimps.

    I love babies. I hate abortion, but I hate to see starving and abused or neglected children even more. Contraceptives should be given out freely and at no cost to every woman or girl who needs them. Lentz needs to put an aspiran between his lips and keep it there permanently.

    I could go on. People like Lentz are ignorant and dangerous, and I use the word people loosely.

    • rocco says:

      where you feel bad about hating them, you’ll be in a fair fight.

      As a general rule, Liberals, Progressives and Roosevelt Democrats feel bound by the ethics of “agreeing to disagree” and “disagreeing without being disagreeable”. We expect republicans, teabaggers, conserves, etc to do the same, and that’s where we get in trouble.

      They don’t play fair, they don’t let decency get in the way. Country before party doesn’t exist with them.

      We’ve seen it time and time again. With reds, no lie’s too big, take a person’s decency and make it his/her weakness, distort, misrepresent, dis inform, confuse, cheat, vote suppress, pass legislation that denies health care for women because it’s expensive for the industry, then go to the Courts if you fail (Blunt Rubio), “stand your ground” laws to placate ALEC and the NRA drools, privatize prisons to steal tax money, on and on.

      Once I got past wondering why republicans think and act the way they do, and stopped bringing a gentleman’s mindset to the fight for my country, it got a whole lot easier.

      Just beat ‘em.

      Their motivation to be what they are is no longer relevant.

      They’ve lost the good high ground. Their game now is voter suppression.

      Read A-GOP. He is that mindset, he’s easy to beat.

      But stealing elections by rigging vote counts is what republicans do, and they do it well.

      Our ground game will win it or lose it.

      REGISTER. And double check every month.    

    • dwyer says:

      I appreciate your passion and your rage.  However, I would urge a different approach.  Access to contraception is the LAW, it is a constitutional right.

      Access to abortion in the first trimester, without restriction, is the LAW. It, too, is a constitutional right.

      (This covers the contraceptives that may prevent implantation as well as the morning after pill and the actual abortion pill). These repubs are anti-constiution and anti-civil rights.

      The issue here is really about funding, not access.

      This is a gender equity issue and we need men to step up and defend women on this issue.

      I do not think that women should ever have to justify their exercise of their constitutional rights.  The other reason I say that is that  when women get so gd personal, the discussion  allows men to use the arguments to talk about sex.  The “dirty old men” are promoting talking about birth control because they get their “rocks off” doing so.

      • nancycronknancycronk says:

        I appreciate your civil tone. It is emotionally difficult to watch people who never get out of their leather chairs in high rises use their pen to take away services from good people who desperately need them just to survive. The more I blog and organize, the more I get horrific notes and letters from women who don’t blog and haven’t yet learned to organize. I feel compelled to fight even harder on their behalf. There is much to do to make this state, and all the others, a more just place for all families.

        Hope you have a good day, dwyer.

    • ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

      But abstinence itself works fine. It works very well actually.

      • AristotleAristotle says:

        It works quite terribly.

        Among the 48 states in this analysis (all U.S. states except North Dakota and Wyoming), 21 states stressed abstinence-only education in their 2005 state laws and/or policies (level 3), 7 states emphasized abstinence education (level 2), 11 states covered abstinence in the context of comprehensive sex education (level 1), and 9 states did not mention abstinence (level 0) in their state laws or policies (Figure 1). In 2005, level 0 states had an average (В± standard error) teen pregnancy rate of 58.78 (В±4.96), level 1 states averaged 56.36 (В±3.94), level 2 states averaged 61.86 (В±3.93), and level 3 states averaged 73.24 (В±2.58) teen pregnancies per 1000 girls aged 14-19 (Table 3). The level of abstinence education (no provision, covered, promoted, stressed) was positively correlated with both teen pregnancy (Spearman’s rho = 0.510, p = 0.001) and teen birth (rho = 0.605, p<0.001) rates (Table 4), indicating that abstinence education in the U.S. does not cause abstinence behavior. To the contrary, teens in states that prescribe more abstinence education are actually more likely to become pregnant (Figure 2).

        Fearless prediction: A-BOT will not reply to this.

      • nancycronknancycronk says:

        Including this pregnant ten year old. http://www.livescience.com/195

        The GOP Tea Party wingnuts prefer to save the potential life of an embryo than the real life of a living, breathing, walking, singing, loving, thinking, child.  

        • droll says:

          Low blow, Nancy. Completely unnecessary in this context.

          Very sad for the little girl and any other victim of rape, but save the exploitation for an abortion or Plan B thread, eh?

          • nancycronknancycronk says:

            However, the point needs to be made that even when used 100% of the time, abstinence does not always prevent pregnancy. Rape victims and molested children do not ask to be impregnated.

            I need to get off the computer. All this GOP hate against women is getting the best of me. Night all.

            • nancycronknancycronk says:

              When I ran a group home many years ago, the family members of the developmentally disabled people frequently put their family members on birth control, but not because they were sexually active. Why? Because people with d.d.’s are at much higher risk of being  manipulated into having sex. “Abstinence education” would have been a complete waste of time and money.  

            • droll says:

              I have all these half written comments in my head, but that’s really all you deserve as a response. This kind of bullshit makes every legitimate point that much harder to make. Thanks a lot. What’s education in the face of over the top dramatics? Pig.

  2. droll says:

    I think it’s important to reiterate, every time, that this part of the debate was sparked by “birth control” as often life saving medication. Aspirin, for the record, would just kill my celibate cousin faster.

    Realistically, aspirin in this case is the cruelest random medication you could be putting between knees. Turns out clotting can be a good thing.

  3. ProgressiveCowgirlProgressiveCowgirl says:

    Any more exclusively having sex with partners of the same gender is, and I don’t see the right wing advocating more of the latter.

    Lifestyles that do not involve heterosexual sex generally do not involve unplanned pregnancy due to consensual heterosexual sex. An abstinent woman can still be raped, and can choose in vitro fertilization from a sperm donor. Abstinence is sex control, not birth control. Abstinence is not generally about wanting to avoid pregnancy; people who choose an abstinent lifestyle may want to avoid pregnancy and STDs, but they also probably have other, primary reasons, such as religion or an asexual orientation.

    Let’s stop even acquiescing to the religious right’s definition of abstinence as a form of birth control. Abstinence is a perfectly acceptable and often even laudable lifestyle choice. It is not birth control. Condoms are birth control. The Pill is birth control. Birth control prevents pregnancy, not sexual activity.  

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