Our government wants to define some forms of birth control as abortion

Someone on my favorite feminist- and media-related listserv just pointed me to this article, by the ever-knowledgable Cristina Page, about a new Health and Human Services Department proposal that would define the pill, the patch, the shot, the IUD, the ring, and Plan B as abortion rather than contraception. I am no fan of hormonal methods for not breeding (had some bad experiences there...), but this is truly horrifying, and a potential huge victory for the forces that want to make some of your most important life decisions for you.

No word yet on protest actions to take, so for now, just read and be aware of the continuting scariness. And remember, this is about so much more than being able to choose if and when to have a baby: Limiting women's access to birth control restricts folks' ability to care for the chlldren they already have, keeps them in poverty, and so much more (if the pill were as hard to get as an abortion, might that force some women to "choose" sterilization when they really want a reversible method?).


by Lisa Jervis
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4 Comments Have Been Posted

Every Sperm is Sacred...

<p>I know this kind of policymaking is what the Religious Right has been pushing for, slowly, all along, but I still can't believe it's actually happening. I'm so curious to see if the next step is outlawing masturbation for straight men on the grounds that any seed not directly used as a conduit to egg-fertilizing is, like, abortion by omission or something. Oh, but wait -- it's not about men's bodies and autonomy, is it? After all, condoms aren't on that list...</p><p>As for an appropriate action, maybe sending a couple busloads of cranky, sleep-deprived two-year-olds with full diapers over for a sit-in (shit-in?) at the Dept. of Health and Human Services? </p>

HHS - Office of the Secretary

Secretary Mike Leavitt's office: 202-690-7000
Secretary Mike Leavitt's email: mike.leavitt@hhs.gov


Secretary Mike Leavitt's fax: 202-690-7203
Secretary Mike Leavitt's Correspondence Secretary: 202-690-6392

How does this qualify as a life?

My frustration with this proposal, aside from its obvious derivations from the religious right, is that the basis for the argument itself is flawed. If pregnancy begins at the time of implantation rather than at the time of fertilization, then a woman is 'pregnant'with millions of 'lives' every time a man ejaculates in her. Putting aside the scientific impossibility of millions of simultaneos impregnations, this arguement implies that each time sex does not result in pregnancy, millions of 'lives' are lost with or without the use of brith control. The very basis of this arguement defines birth control as the cause of a natural process which occurs with or without its presence.

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