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July 13, 2007

Sex Cults and Corrections

July 13, 2007 | By | One Comment

I was amused when the lefty blogosphere melted down over the Intelligent Design debate and started accusing me of believing in UFO’s. (Just for the record. . . I don’t.)

But I’m not so amused when they make cavalier assertions that “Charmaine Yoest said” and are so sloppy that their “proof” is a link to something that has nothing to do with me. And when they state in a morally superior tone and very dismissively that I said something that I never did. In the Internet Age, there is no excuse for not quoting someone accurately.

I work hard to make reasoned arguments about the issues I care about. So it really irritates me when those who disagree don’t bother to engage with what I really said and slander me by putting up false statements.

The latest accusation? Apparently now I supposedly believe in “sex cults.” Here’s what some woman calling herself “Bean” says about me:

Remember when the FDA was holding up approval of EC over-the-counter? People like the Family Resesarch Council (and in fact Ms. Yoest herself) were all worked up because they were worried that EC would encourage promiscuity among teens and other women, leading to sex cults. Seriously.

(I love it when anonymous people get snarky — I make statements under my own name.)

Seriously. Here’s the challenge: someone show me where I said anything, anywhere about “EC encouraging promiscuity” or “leading to sex cults.” Show me.

Well Ms. Anonymous Bean, to back up her (false) assertion provides two links. Great. I was intrigued. Perhaps I had forgotten losing my mind and making a public statement about sex cults. She had hyperlinked the word “Seriously” as if to say, “boy, do I have the goods.” So I clicked over.

Sure enough, there was a quote from me:

“It’s very clearly caught up in political dynamics and I would go so far as to say there is electoral politics involved here,” said [FRC’s Charmaine] Yoest.

Hey, I remember saying that!

But, um, where are the sex cults??

That appears to be further down in the article, quoting a woman named Dr. Janet Woodcock.

Excuse me, “Bean.” My name, let us recall, is Dr. Charmaine Yoest.

Then, continuing down the article, is another quote describing the lawsuit Family Research Council filed against the FDA challenging their decision to create the historically unprecedented system of selling Plan B over-the-counter to women over 18 and by prescription to those younger:

[The conservative groups’] lawsuit charges that the FDA had no authority to approve the same drug and labeling for simultaneous prescription-only and over-the-counter distribution and that the FDA cannot treat the drug differently based on the age of the buyer because “FDA lacks the authority to enforce Plan B’s age limitations.”

That does pretty much sum up one element of our lawsuit against the FDA. Again, I have to note, I’m not seeing where the sex cults come in.

And then, just when I was getting ready to click away from this ridiculously sloppy website in disgust, I see the first commenter weighs in, once again putting words in my mouth — and simultaneously misrepresenting both me and the organization I work for:

It’s not just Plan B. Charmaine Yoest was the FRC’s pointwoman on keeping girls from getting the HPV vaccine lest it encourage promiscuity.

Sigh. This time it’s a woman named Julia who needs a little help with her fact-checking. I was not FRC’s “pointwoman” on the HPV vaccine. We do have someone who speaks on that issue quite a bit; it’s usually not me. And we are not opposed to the vaccine — in fact, if Julia had done her homework she would have found that we have supported the vaccine; we just opposed making it mandatory since HPV is not spread through casual contact.

Sex cults. Oh please.

Seriously.

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Comments

  1. Hmm… yes, Anonymous did go a bit over the top there. Rather over-eager to attribute a quote to you without checking.

    Woodcock’s quote was certinly worrying, considering her very high-ranking position at the FDA. “We can’t anticipate, or prevent, extreme promiscuous behaviors— such as the medication taking on an ‘urban legend’ status that would lead adolescents to form sex-based cults centered around the use of Plan B.” Looks like she was indeed worried that Plan B would lead to the formation of teenage sex cults. The attribution of the quote to you was a mistake though.

    As for the HPV vaccine, well, the FRCs motivations are a little suspect, so there is grounds for the suggestion that it opposes vaccination in general. But such an accusation should not have been made without finding evidence to support the claim – perhaps a search for any evidence that the FRC had tried to oppose development or FDA approval would have been in order.

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