Feminism Friday: Reproductive choice

Tomorrow is the 43rd anniversary of the historic Surpreme Court ruling Griswold v. Connecticut, which established that women have the right to privacy, and the right to control their fertility, by allowing them the right to birth control.

That’s right, birth control. Roe v. Wade would not clarify a woman’s right to privacy as it pertained to the ability to terminate a pregnancy until 8 years later, (not that you shouldn’t celebrate that decision, as well). It wasn’t that long ago that women were not legally guaranteed the right to take birth control pills or purchase condoms. Since Griswold, the vast majority of women have made use of contraception both outside of and within marriage in order to control their fertility so that they can enjoy sexual relations with men without fearing the possibility of an unwanted pregnancy. As a result, family violence rates have declined (people are less likely to abuse kids they wanted) and maternal death rates plummeted. Women were able to complete their educations and enter the work force, leading to a more robust economy. And to top it off, they still had babies, and the fear that all civilization would end proved premature. Truly, there has not been anything so important not only to the advancement of women’s rights; but also to the economic empowerment of entire generations of people; as the ability to privately and safely control her fertility has been used by women to decide when and with whom to have children.

So you can imagine how pissed off I am that The American Life League (one of the largest “pro-life” organizations in the country) is taking the anniversary of this wonderful ruling to stage a protest the pill day. According to the American Life League, The Pill Kills!

Using statistical estimates of the number of chemical, medical and surgical abortions combined, computed by a biostatistician and an environmental epidemiologist, both at the University of Pittsburgh, along with an Ohio State University technical consultant and Bogomir M. Kuhar, a pharmacist, American Life League computed the following estimates for chemical abortions alone, from 1973 to 2003:

During this period, approximately 6,605,000 to 11,725,000 chemical abortions occured in the United States annually.

During this period, a total of 196,325,000 to 324,325,000 chemical abortions wiped out the equivalent of the entire United States population!

Know any women who give birth and then give birth again 2 months later?


The only explanation for this is that fetuses will actually devour the blastocysts of fertilized eggs as they drift into the occupied womb once they have been inseminated by people having sex during pregnancy, making just about every baby on the planet a monstrous cannibal. Or because the woman doesn’t ovulate when she’s pregnant because the hormone known as progesterone (which the body begins to kick out in quarts upon pregnancy), suppresses ovulation.

The American Life League is running on the supposition that suppressing ovulation is the same thing as abortion.

Because that’s what the pill does.

It suppresses ovulation because it’s progesterone.

Anyone who took a non-abstinence-only high school health class knows this.

But the American Life League isn’t concerned about facts, not when there’s a glorious 1-in-10 maternal death rate that existed pre-Griswold to return to (as apposed to the 1-in-1000 rate we currently have — and that’s high for the western world). As far as the American Life League is concerned, women are only important insofar as our wombs can push out babies, and whatever happens to our wretched bodies as a result of having more children than we can physically handle is a small price to pay for cheap labor doughy-faced beautiful babies.

But who are you going to believe… a bunch of quacks at The Mayo Clinic or religious zealots who are only acting in the best interest of the babies?

Make no mistake about it: The American Life League is bald-faced lying by telling American women that they are causing “chemical abortions” by denying sperm the ability to fertilize an egg.

For comparison, let’s pretend (for shits and giggles) I ran a diner for the American Life League. You come in and order fried chicken. I deliver you an egg over easy.

“Hey, Pony,” you say, “Where’s my chicken? I ordered chicken and you gave me a fried egg.”

“It’s the same thing,” I say.

“No it isn’t,” you argue, “An egg doesn’t become a chicken until it’s fertilized and successfully hatched.”

“No,” I declare, “An unfertilized egg is the same thing as a fully-grown chicken, because you’re not going to hatch an egg and get an elephant, ergo, a chicken and an egg are the same thing. Since they are the same thing, I am serving you chicken that has been fried up. In fact, I like this chicken better: it’s cheaper and it doesn’t make as much noise or require as much room or resources as the other kind of chicken.”

Without belaboring the analogy, I wouldn’t be surprised if you declined to pay me and left the diner. Now, it’s bad enough that I persist under the completely wrongheaded delusion that an unfertilized egg is the same thing as a chicken.

Except, in this scenario, you have a choice about what diner to go to. In the real world, the American Life League is trying to legislate the elevation of an unfertilized egg to the level of a newborn baby.

Now, women, I know that many of you are on birth control pills, or other form of reliable long-term contraception. Men, I know many of you use condoms regularly.

These people are trying to take that away from you. You, personally. They want you to have babies until your bodies, minds, and wallets give out. They want this for reasons that are often racist, sexist, and/or classist.

In my more militant moments, I feel the best call-to-arms would be a massive protest in the form of every woman and sympathetic man receiving a medical sterilization–to not offer up our children to their grasping neediness for a return to the aristocracy, or as of cannon fodder for some fantasy race-war that they’re agitating for, or the sole use of women to be as heir-factories. But then I take a deep breath and remind myself that the logical answer to someone attempting to take away your choice by force is not to willfully take away your own choice as a form of protest.

Rather, I suggest that we exercise a very rigorous protest that delights in our choice.

I hereby declare Saturday, June 7th, as National Screw While On Contraception Day. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen: Grab your pills, grab your condoms, even if you’re sterilized or gay and don’t technically need contraception to prevent a pregnancy… use it as an opportunity to try out some of those ribbed varieties… find someone who makes your leg muscles seize up and your teeth chatter and go at it. Have some of the most mind-blowing, multiple-climax, teeth-chattering, wall-pounding sex you can. Break out the toys, watch some videos, try out those new positions. Whether or not you brag about it casually to people afterwards is up to you — but if you see someone wearing one of those lying “The Pill Kills” t-shirts, I would heartily recommend in favor of it.