GOP Rep. Says Don’t Have Sex To Abortion Ban Opponents

Brad Sherman

Rep. Brad Sherman has a simple solution for people who want control over their own bodies: Don’t have sex!


Rep. Brad Sherman (R-Williamsburg) suggests people who want access to abortion care should just not have sex. “Everyone is free not to have sex. Maybe they shouldn’t have sex; it’s that simple. I will stand for everyone’s rights to practice abstinence,” he said. #Iowa #Iowanews #ialegis #reproductiverights

♬ original sound – Iowa Starting Line

The Williamsburg Republican, who earlier this year introduced legislation to ban gay marriage, suggested people should simply not have sexual relations during Tuesday’s Iowa House debate on a bill to severely limit reproductive rights in Iowa. This was Sherman’s response to fellow legislators and protestors who pushed back on Iowa’s new abortion ban, which will be signed into law by Gov. Kim Reynolds on Friday and would prohibit nearly all abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy.

“Everyone is free not to have sex. Maybe they shouldn’t have sex; it’s that simple. I will stand for everyone’s rights to practice abstinence,” Sherman said. “Abortion has little to anything to do with reproductive rights. In fact, when a male and female have sexual relations resulting in a pregnancy, reproduction has already happened.”

Sherman represents House District 91, which includes all of Iowa County as well as the western and northern portions of Johnson County.

Professionally, Sherman is the pastor of Solid Rock Church in Coralville. He is also the founder of the Informed Choice Medical Clinics, a crisis pregnancy center (CPC) with locations in Iowa City and Burlington. CPCs provide free pregnancy tests and often masquerade as medical clinics and use misinformation about the safety and effectiveness of abortion procedures to advocate against them.

Most of Sherman’s professional life has been dedicated to telling people who aren’t married they shouldn’t have sex, which incidentally seems to have actually hurt his crusade against reproductive freedoms.

Numerous studies have shown that abstinence-only education is far less effective than comprehensive sexual education when it comes to reducing teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease rates.

“We’ve known for some time that abstinence-only programs are ineffective at reducing teen birth rates,” said Lawrence Wu, a professor at New York University’s Department of Sociology and senior author of a 2022 research paper on the subject that was published in “The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.” 

“This work shows that more wide-reaching sex education programs—those not limited to abstinence—are successful in lowering rates of teen births,” Wu continued.

Wu’s paper studied 20 years of federal data to draw that conclusion.

Laura Lindberg, a co-author of a different report and then a research scientist at the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights think tank, told NPR in 2017 that promoting abstinence until marriage as a singular option “violates medical ethics and harms young people.”

She also told NPR it was “unrealistic” and leaves young people without necessary information or skills.

“We fail our young people when we don’t provide them with complete and medically accurate information,” Lindberg said.

Sherman’s comments did not go unnoticed on Twitter:


by Ty Rushing

Advertise on Iowa Starting Line


If you enjoy stories like these, make sure to sign up for Iowa Starting Line’s main newsletter.

To contact Senior Editor Ty Rushing for tips or story ideas, email him at or find him on social media @Rushthewriter.

​​Iowa Starting Line is part of an independent news network and focuses on how state and national decisions impact Iowans’ daily lives. We rely on your financial support to keep our stories free for all to read. You can contribute to us here. Also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

1 Comment on "GOP Rep. Says Don’t Have Sex To Abortion Ban Opponents"

  • Having had the experience of being officially represented by an Iowa state legislator who was a known doofus, I extend my deep sympathy to anyone who may read this comment and is living in Rep. Brad Sherman’s district. I feel your pain.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *