In an editorial in the magazine's May issue, Hefner cited a pledge by former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., to cut all federal funding for contraception and right-wing radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh's claim that a Georgetown University law student who advocated mandating that insurance plans pay for birth control is a "slut," Politico reported.
"Fifty years of sexual freedom vanished in a sound bite," Hefner said.
The editorial is headlined "The War on Sex."
Hefner says "repressed conservatives" are "pounding on America's bedroom door."
"If these zealots have their way, our hard-won sexual liberation -- women's rights, reproductive rights and rights to privacy -- lie in peril," Hefner wrote. "We won't let that happen."
Hefner founded Playboy in 1953. The magazine became a publishing success story and continues to be published, although it has been eclipsed by more explicit publications and online pornography.