Conservative Group's Plan to Criminalize Porn Is Part of Campaign to End All 'Recreational Sex'

Conservative Group's Plan to Criminalize Porn Is Part of Campaign to End All 'Recreational Sex'

WASHINGTON — A 2023 X post by the Heritage Foundation, in which the influential conservative think tank called for an end to “recreational sex,” has resurfaced in the wake of the Alabama Supreme Court’s recent ruling that frozen embryos are legally children.

The May 2023 post states, “Conservatives have to lead the way in restoring sex to its true purpose, & ending recreational sex & senseless use of birth control pills.”

The original post included a C-SPAN clip from a Heritage Foundation panel, in which author Mary Harrington promotes what she calls “a feminist movement against the pill” in order to help return “consequentiality” to sex.

The Heritage Foundation has been scouting personnel for a potential upcoming Republican administration. The group’s resurfaced post sparked outcry from critics and support from conservatives.

Earlier this month, FSC Director of Public Affairs Mike Stabile flagged the 2023 post, replying, “It’s not just abortion, trans healthcare or porn. One of the most influential conservative groups in the country is now calling for the government to ‘end recreational sex.’”

Leading conservative culture-war crusader Christopher Rufo defended the 2023 statement, posting, “‘Recreational sex’ is a large part of the reason we have so many single-mother households, which drives poverty, crime, and dysfunction. The point of sex is to create children — this is natural, normal, and good.”

The term “recreational sex” originates in religious — particularly Catholic — discourse that considers the sole purpose of sex to be procreation. The mainstreaming among conservatives of a war on “recreational sex” parallels a current effort to revive enforcement of the infamous 19th-century censorship Comstock Act in order to restrict access to abortion medication, birth control and contraception, as Rolling Stone reported.

As XBIZ reported, the Heritage Foundation leads “Project 2025,” a coalition of conservative organizations whose road map for the next Republican presidential administration includes a call to immediately outlaw all pornography and imprison people who produce and distribute it.

Project 2025’s “Mandate for Leadership” blueprint, including the call to criminalize all adult content, was first reported on by Brynn Tannehill in an August 2023 feature for Dame magazine.

In the piece, Tannehill quotes the introduction to the conservative policy road map, which declares that pornography “has no claim to First Amendment protection” and states, “Pornography should be outlawed. The people who produce and distribute it should be imprisoned. Educators and public librarians who purvey it should be classed as registered sex offenders. And telecommunications and technology firms that facilitate its spread should be shuttered.”

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