Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Protest the Protest: Stupid Protests


After looking around The Pill Kills website created by the American Life League, I wanted to put out a PSA to remind the Internet that when you're getting your information from the great World Wide Web, you gotta consider the source. Me, included. You might wonder why you should listen to me telling you what questionable content I found on their website, but here's the thing: consider what I have to say, but do your own research. Don't take anyone's word at face value, and that means my word, too.

That said, let's take a look at some of the cringe-worthy gems.

How the Pill kills unborn babies:

I suppose they're overlooking the possibility that that was the purpose after all--to keep from getting pregnant. Hmmm.

The point they're trying to make is that pregnancy begins at conception--that is, the joining of an egg and a sperm to create a zygote. However, pregnancy technically begins at implantation, which can occur as soon as 6-8 days after conception, at which point it can be detected by pregnancy tests. Here's a pretty fuckin' funny animated video to illustrate what happens from conception to implantation. So basically, until implantation happens, you're not technically pregnant. Many things can happen to prevent implantation (pregnancy): an inhospitable uterus, ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus), etc. Also, it hasn't been proven that the Pill actually prevents implantation; the Pill is made up of estrogen and progestin (if you're on the combo-pack)--estrogen prevents the ovaries from releasing eggs in the first place, and progestin thickens the mucus on the uterine wall, which blocks sperm from joining the egg (if one's been released). It hasn't been proven that the Pill prevents a fertilized egg from attaching itself to the uterine wall (answered under How Do Birth Control Pills Work?).

Can I make it any clearer? You're not aborting a pregnancy by taking the Pill.

The List of Side Effects:
*Acne: Did you know? It's a common benefit that the Pill actually helps clear skin. They listed a ton of side effects that are incredibly rare--you have to have a distinct sensitivity to various components of the Pill, like estrogen.

*Many of the listed side effects are symptoms of not having the right dosage. For instance, I had a lot of spotting (which is listed as a serious side effect) when I was on a different Pill (Desogen, to be exact) with a really low estrogen level, and I was also feeling depressed. I switched to the one I use now (Ortho-Tricyclen), and my mood improved and I'm able to regulate my periods better.

A couple taking the pill: "Hence to use this divine gift [the sexual act] while depriving it [taking contraception], even if only partially, of its meaning and purpose, is equally repugnant to the nature of man and of woman, and is consequently in opposition to the plan of God and His holy will."
Seriously, I couldn't make that up. I thought the nature of man and of woman was to have jolly fun in the sack, but I guess God thinks sex is only for making babies.

Speaking of the "nature of man and of woman," here's a slight tangent. I thought you might like to know another view of why we have sex:

Q: What about the human instinct to breed?

Humans, like all creatures, have urges which lead to reproduction. Our biological urge is to have sex, not to make babies. Our "instinct to breed" is the same as a squirrel's instinct to plant trees: the urge is to store food, trees are a natural result. If sex is an urge to procreate, then hunger's an urge to defecate.

Culturally-induced desires can be so strong that they seem to be biological, but no evolutionary mechanism for an instinct to breed exists. Why do we stop breeding after we've had as many as we want? If the instinct is to reproduce, how are so many of us able to over ride it? There are too many who have never felt that urge: mutations don't occur in this high a percentage of a population.

Looking to our evolutionary roots, imagine Homo erectus feeling the urge to create a new human. He then has to understand that a cavewoman is needed, sexual intercourse must be engaged in, and they will have to wait nine months.

Considering how often our species has the urge for sex, it's likely human sexuality serves primarily a pair-bonding function rather than procreative. Human infants are vulnerable for so long that their survival, in prehistoric times, may have depended on a strong pair bond between parents. Bonobos, perhaps our closest biological relative, engage in sex for social reasons far more than for reproductive reasons. From vhemt.org
Ways in which the pill destroys relationships:

  • It easily opens the door for marital infidelity;

  • it especially opens the door for temptation to youth;

  • "a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and... reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection."
I told my husband he must have gotten used to my contraceptive methods and started thinking irreverently about me. I guess I must be a fuck doll. Poor me. Not to mention that one or both of us might have some sort of marital infidelity ('cause it's easier, didn't you know?), and if that happens, it's all the Pill's fault. Good to know, right?

Let's look at just a few of their resources for compiling that list of side effects:
1 Randy Alcorn, Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions? (Gresham, OR: Eternal Perspective Ministries, 1998), 29-30 (online condensation by Randy Alcorn; accessed April 14, 2008).

4 Bogomir M.Kuhar, PharmD, FASCP, Infant Homicides through Contraceptives, 5th ed. (Bardstown, KY: Eternal Life, 2003).

6 MICROMEDEX® (online collection of drug databases available only to medical professionals), (Depo-Provera Monograph, Vol. 85, 1995).
Guess I can't check their facts there!

9 Pope Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Humanae Vitae, Vatican: The Holy See, July 25, 1968, (accessed April 13, 2008).
Their Talking Points are quite a doozy:
Q: How does the pill work?
A: The birth control pill and similar birth control products work in a woman's body in one of three ways: It can prevent ovulation and it can obstruct sperm from reaching the egg (prevent fertilization) by thickening the cervical mucus. However, if both of these methods fail and a new human person is created, the pill and other contraceptives can stop a tiny child's implantation in his/her mother's womb because the pill irritates the lining of the uterus so that the tiny baby boy or baby girl cannot attach to the lining of the uterus and the newly formed human person is aborted and dies. This is called a chemical abortion.
It's widely accepted in medical fields to use the term "fetus" in order to avoid the complications involved in using the hotly-contested term of "child" or "baby" before it's born. However, notice the distinct lack of tact.

Q: How does the pill kill babies?
A: This can happen because the pill and other birth control products can prevent implantation from occurring. When the preborn baby implants in the womb, the baby establishes a connection with the mother so that he or she can receive the sustenance needed to grow. If the preborn baby cannot implant in the mother's womb, he or she will die.
Ok, let me quote one more and then I'll make my remarks...

Q: Isn't it better to be on the pill when you
are sexually active?

A: Better for whom? The pill does not prevent you from getting a sexually transmitted disease, it is not 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy and you could conceive a child who gets chemically aborted before the baby's presence is even known to you. Moreover, sexual activity outside of marriage is seriously wrong.
So's being a judgmental prick. Whew, so that's out of my system, here's what I was going to say regarding the last two I quoted: isn't the point of the Pill to prevent pregnancy? Obviously when one's taking the Pill, they're hoping for just such a thing to happen. Perhaps not in such gruesome terms as causing an "abortion" to happen, but here's something else that they're not telling you here: Planned Parenthood is upfront about the possible effects of the Pill. It's not a dirty secret they're hiding. It's also not proven that birth control prevents the fertilized egg from implanting itself into the uterine wall.

Q: The Supreme Court has ruled that it's my right to privacy -- who do you think you are to say otherwise?
A: On June 7, 1965, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the Griswold v. Connecticut decision. The Supreme Court justices first presumed that previous Court decisions dealing with a citizen's right to liberty and security that prohibited invasion of one's home and acquisition of evidence that might later be used to convict him of a crime also addressed privacy within marriage. In fact, the justices argued, "The concept of liberty is not so restricted... it embraces the right of marital privacy though that right is not mentioned explicitly [emphasis added] in the Constitution" and is based on "specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights [which] have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance." 5

This confusing language, which has no relationship whatsoever to what the Founding Fathers intended, gave married women permission to use the birth control pill. The Supreme Court literally created the "right to privacy" out of thin air.

We now know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that not only did the Supreme Court literally make up the right that you claim gives you permission to use birth control, but the most popular form of birth control, the pill, can kill innocent preborn children. If there is a chance that human beings are going to be murdered, I am going to do everything in my power to help prevent that from happening. If you knew there was a chance that someone might poison your neighbor, don't you think you would try to notify your neighbor and do as much as you could to help save a life?

I don't know if you caught that, but what they're advocating is allowing the government to regulate what happens in your private life by stating that women's rights and privacy within marriage are NOT covered by the Bill of Rights and were never intended to be covered according to the Founding Fathers. Not to mention, wow; I'm supposed to feel like a murderer if I choose not to continue with an unwanted pregnancy, bringing a child into a world where I might be ill-equipped to provide the basic elements of a good life, because I'd try to save my neighbor from being poisoned? TOTALLY NOT THE SAME THING.

And the last gem from the Talking Points:
Q: Why does Planned Parenthood say the pill does not cause an abortion?
A: Planned Parenthood and other organizations cover up the reality that the birth control pill can, in fact, kill a preborn baby. They have a vested interest in lying to young women because they exploit them. Planned Parenthood brainwashes young girls by telling them that the pill merely prevents pregnancy, when the fact is that the pill can act after fertilization, which is when pregnancy begins, and kill the preborn baby. Planned Parenthood says that pregnancy does not begin at fertilization, but this is their biggest lie. In 2006, Planned Parenthood received over $345 million in clinic income. One-third of its clinic income is from selling birth control. Obviously, they make big money by lying to women.
I'm not sure if you're aware, but the Planned Parenthood's totally raking in the dough by providing affordable reproductive health services. I heard they're taking donations to feed their Starbucks addictions without dipping into their own gold-lined pockets! (Note to the stupid: that's a joke.) Actually, $345 million doesn't go very far when you consider the expenses involved in providing cheaper, quality alternatives for services that typically cost far more than men's health-related services, operating costs, staffing costs, and just putting up money for all the programs to help low-income women afford basic health care, including that precious topic, prenatal care for those that choose to keep their babies.

And, oh, by the way...aren't their duds so cute?

Want to protest the protest? Here're some ideas:
*Write your legislators, thanking them for supporting women by keeping access to birth control options open. Also make sure to remind them not to support the Domestic Gag Rule, should it come up.

*For that matter, sign the petition to urge Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt to support women, not severely limit women's access to birth control options.

*Volunteer at your local Planned Parenthood on June 7, 2008; find their number, call and ask what you can do to help them on that day. Chances are if the Protest the Pill gets big enough, they'll be happy to have help dealing with the protesters.

*If you think up more, let me know.

1 comment:

Holly said...

I blogged about this a week or so back and I think it's downright ridiculous. What will they think of next?