Tuesday, May 06, 2008

lies that rhyme

So I was reading Feministing this morning, and came across this ludicrous American Life League campaign: "The Pill Kills." I decided to actually read their website to see what sort of lies they were managing to fit under that sing songy slogan. It's a little disturbing, insofar as this really lays bare the end game of the anti-choice agenda: reversing court decisions that allow access to contraception (ultimately, this isn't about some misplaced fetishizing of babies at all -- the pill prevents a zygote from ever even forming). When they want to take away your ability to plan your fertility, you know the movement is harboring some serious misogyny under the jingles.

Without further ado, I'm going to tear into this write-up, entertainment brought to you by Marie Hahnenberg, a woman that *clearly* was never in my PWR class:

As a woman who is very conscious of what type of chemicals I put into my body, I am appalled by the number of women today who are on the birth control pill despite the wealth of information about this deadly drug.

Not enough people talk about the dangerous effects of the birth control pill. Many women do not realize what is really going on in their bodies when they use the pill, patch, IUD or other birth control products.

I'm also very conscious of what I put in my body -- which is why I bothered to do some research before using hormonal contraceptives and talked to my doctor. If this writer had bothered to do the same, she would know that the modern day pill contains only a fraction of the hormones that went into the original pills, and that the risk of side effects is far lower than the risks one would undertake with a pregnancy. And that there are even *lower* dosages available now, either in pill form, or in the nuvaring. So yeah, "deadly"? Way hyperbolic.

[Side note: does the writer realize "what is really going on" when she takes an advil? Probably more "deadly" than taking the pill.]

I won't even quote the section in which the writer laments the fate of the "human being" (ie, zygote) if somehow the pill doesn't function properly (needless to say, the writer does not provide any evidence of why she thinks the pill would fail to prevent the release of eggs, or how often this is supposed to happen in her fantasy). The stupid burns a little too much.

One cannot forget about all of the other horrible side effects such as breast and cervical cancer, blood clots, infertility and weakened immune systems – so a woman is more susceptible to the AIDS virus.

Actually? No. Again, the pill is safer than pregnancy. And the relationship between the pill and breast cancer is still being researched because it's more complex than this: it seems to have a slight effect while/soon after a woman takes the pill, but this might be the result of increased *screening* for breast cancer while a woman is on the pill (those yearly gyno visits). This slight increased risk isn't permanent. And the pill actually prevents ovarian and endometrial cancers.

We are all called to different vocations in our lives. Some are called to be married. Married couples should be open to God’s amazing gift of life. By contracepting, you are saying "no" to God’s plan by selfishly taking part in sexual relations without fulfilling the entire act or the purpose of the act. The reason God designed sex was for a married man and woman to become one and to procreate.

Well the logic in this only works if you believe in Marie Hahnenberg's imaginary friend. Which I don't. And even then, the logic is kinda tortured. I mean, what does "saying yes" to God's plan look like? Isn't the rhythm method just a less reliable and more complicated way of doing exactly what the pill does (ie, preventing pregnancy)?. And what's this mythology around leaving one's fate to God? I mean, Hahnenberg, do you also think that taking an aspirin is interfering with God's plan to give you a headache? Do you, or do you not, consciously engage in sexual relations while you're fertile? Do you think God micromanages your desires?

Contraception opens the door for marital infidelity because when spouses get used to contraceptive methods, they tend to forget the reverence due to a woman’s body, her cycle and to God’s ultimate plan for marriage and the family. Contraceptives also offer an incredible temptation for youth and singles. If you’re single, participating in premarital sexual activity is giving into sins of the flesh and can ultimately affect your salvation.

So infidelity was invented with the pill? I'd love to know what sort of Bowdlerized history and lit *she* was reading in high school.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You know what else gets me about these types...(this may be a little away from the post, but meh.)

If people are truly that religious that they believe God does everything for a reason, and that God has a plan for everything, have they taken into account the fact that God had to have at some point given someone the idea and/or inclination to even invent bcps? The same as God has allowed the development of technology and education to the point of knowing how to perform an abortion? or of knowing how to retrieve *lifesaving* embryonic stem cells?

if God didnt want us to do it then why did he allow the technology to develop?