Feminists for Life's mission is to address the unmet needs of women who are pregnant or parenting. Preconception issues including abstinence and contraception are outside of our mission. Some FFL members and supporters support the use of non-abortifacient contraception while others oppose contraception for a variety of reasons. FFL is concerned that certain forms of contraception have had adverse health effects on women.
Our membership enjoys a broad spectrum of opinion that reflects the diversity of opinions among the American public.
In the time of the early American feminists, sex between married couples was not always consensual. Many women bore 20 or more children, of whom only half survived. In order to affirm women’s rights within marriage, most feminist foremothers promoted “voluntary motherhood,” whereby women would have the education and right to fully participate in the decision to have sexual relations. FFL likewise supports life planning by focusing on one's education and career plans coupled with mentoring and empowering programs for teens.
God, that's tricky, right? The reason it's so vague and side-stepping is because they aren't very well going to f-ing tell us anything. But let's, you know, try to decipher this.
First point: This is a group whose mission is to prevent abortion, and they're seriously saying that contraception and abstinence stances are outside of their focus??!! This should raise, oh, a few red flags. The purpose clearly isn't to help women NOT HAVE TO CHOOSE by never having an unwanted pregnancy in the first place, but to convince women that the only right choice is to carry the unwanted pregnancy.
Second point. They don't mention any specific "non abortifacient contraception" methods. Maybe because they aren't so sure what this means. According to the medical definition, this is a straight-up oxymoron. You can't contracept (prevent pregnancy) and abort (end pregnancy) at the same time. The only way you can even imagine this, is if you change the definition of pregnancy, which anti-choice activists have attempted to do (totally ignoring that the sperm-meets-egg moment, even under ideal conditions, still has only a 50% chance of implantation under the best of circumstances). Anyways. You would think that they could at least commit to condoms, right? This should raise more red flags. They're clearly pandering to a base that buys into the idea that a "contraception mentality" is bad.
Third point: So what's going on with this disclaimer that they're concerned about "adverse health effects" of contraception on women? This is pure baloney. What types of contraception exactly are they claiming has adverse effects? They don't say because they don't know. Contraception is far, far safer than either having an abortion or giving birth. There's also the side benefits (like the pill & clearing up acne). So unless we're never going to have sex (highly unlikely), we're probably going to opt to use contraception.
Fourth point: They do, however, seem to take some stance on what happens pre-pregnancy. But this is further shrouded in ambiguity. The rhetoric here is incredible. I've bolded it for your viewing pleasure. So first they take a look back at pre-modern contraception methods of advocating that women be able to choose whether or not to engage in sexual relations. This is a "duh" moment. Then they say "FFL likewise supports..." We might well be confused. So do they only really advocate abstinence from sexual relations? Are we never to have sexual relations unless we're trying to get pregnant? Should we therefore have sex around, oh, twice in our lifetimes?
The part that should be scary, is that they don't say otherwise.
Also scary, is the fact that you can't get to many straight answers on their website. And sometimes when you do, you wish you hadn't. Example is their "medical expert" on abortion. They try to paint it as a dangerous, scary procedure, with their "right to know" page detailing anything that could possibly go wrong. They oh so conveniently overlook the fact that an abortion is SAFER than giving birth. And that contraception is safer than either. And what really pisses me off is the blatant lies:
Finally, some of you may be aware that recently there have been reports that link breast cancer with abortion. Since abortion has been legal for over 20 years, and sometimes it takes 20 to 30 years for a cancer to develop, this link is just starting to surface. More research is needed, especially since so many women have abortions every year coupled with the fact that so many women also die from breast cancer.
More baloney. The medical establishment is more than clear on this, and these sorts of lies have actually gotten many abstinence-only sex ed. groups in trouble. Because it's a lie carefully crafted to play on women's fears of breast cancer, and because it ignores all the (better and more up-to-date) studies that show no link whatsoever between abortion and breast cancer. Actually, let's do what any intelligent-person-with-a-conscience-posting info.-on-health-concerns would do before dissemeninating said info. Let's look at what the National Cancer Institute has to say about it:
The relationship between induced and spontaneous abortion and breast cancer risk has been the subject of extensive research beginning in the late 1950s. Until the mid-1990s, the evidence was inconsistent. Findings from some studies suggested there was no increase in risk of breast cancer among women who had had an abortion, while findings from other studies suggested there was an increased risk. Most of these studies, however, were flawed in a number of ways that can lead to unreliable results. Only a small number of women were included in many of these studies, and for most, the data were collected only after breast cancer had been diagnosed, and women’s histories of miscarriage and abortion were based on their “self-report” rather than on their medical records. Since then, better-designed studies have been conducted. These newer studies examined large numbers of women, collected data before breast cancer was found, and gathered medical history information from medical records rather than simply from self-reports, thereby generating more reliable findings. The newer studies consistently showed no association between induced and spontaneous abortions and breast cancer risk.
Well, lookey here! Should we trust the National Cancer Institute, or the one "expert" over at "Feminists" for Life?
This has been brought to you as another demonstration on "The Rhetoric of Fear."