* Any views expressed in this opinion piece are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Here is a three-point for-real apology plan especially designed for the Big Three sexual hypocrites and liars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Edwards and Eliot Spitzer.
- They should apologize publicly for not using a condom that would have protected at least three other people from the enormous consequences from their reckless acts.
- Each one should begin working day and night to transform the congressional leadership to one that supports women’s reproductive health from fully funding Planned Parenthood to twisting the arms of state legislatures and governors to stop already with the anti-contraception and abortion legislation. (The former Republican governor of California could merely say he would make campaign appearances for the opposition and suddenly the light would dawn.)
- And the three of them need to come together and tell their fellow party members that abstinence-only education is dangerous and evidence-based sex education should be a mandatory part of every public school curriculum.
It is the least they can do.
Meanwhile, please, will some celebrity reporter ask the former governor of California the tough question: If you are having extra-marital relations don’t you owe to yourself, your spouse and your additional sex partner(s?) to use protection and prevent pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV?
John Edwards too. A presidential candidate makes a love child while his wife is dying of cancer and he lies to everyone about it to the point he blames a campaign aide. Really lousy. And, no condom? No protection? A level of recklessness that tore his entire family and career apart? Elizabeth is buried; books have been written and yet no one asked about condoms?
And how about New York’s former attorney general, Eliot Spitzer, now with his own talk show on Fox network. He paid a prostitute extra for not insisting on a condom. Yes, he betrayed his office, the voters, his extended family who provided the cash for him to attain his high office, and his spouse. But no condom? Perhaps one of his guests will ask: You were self-destructive and risked your sex partners’ health too? Doesn’t it take it to a new level?
Don’t the Big Three read the news other than sports and business? About 1 million Americans are living with the HIV virus and about a half million have died. And 40 percent of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned, according to the latest reports.
They have stood by, saying nothing while members of their political parties are defunding Planned Parenthood and disemboweling the women’s right to reproductive medical care that includes contraception and abortion.
The Big Three need to go on the record about their total disregard for the wellbeing of their partners and their failure to stand up to the efforts of their fellow Republicans and Democrats to deny access to reproductive health care.
The Big Three also need to get together with the other politically powerful adulterers and use their charisma this time to lobby for nationwide unfettered access HIV-AIDS prevention and treatment (see above about sex ed).
They, and the other powerful leaders in the Republican and Democratic parties who have strayed and been caught—too many to mention here—need to begin saying things publicly like this:
“Guys, I was irresponsible in a truly callous way: I did not use a condom to protect my sex partner or myself. And it is time we acknowledge that we as a political party are acting in a similarly reckless way toward the women of the United States.
“The nation has the highest maternal mortality rate among developed nations and we must shoulder part of the responsibility for that. HIV-AIDS still is a major health threat and there again, none of us have been out there admitting we are part of the problem.
“Living with pleasures of power, convinced us that rules were for little people. We have failed to protect the health of our sex partners, as well as our own, and have been lousy role models. We have failed to take on those in our party who are committed to denying women control over their reproductive lives even as we were having unprotected sex outside of marriage.”
Only then will their apologies stop ringing hollow.