The supposed new medical consensus on birth control sounds so rational. Implanting young women with long-term birth control from the get-go will reduce abortions, welfare costs, the number of children growing up without fathers, and barriers to female choices. The Atlantic and others are touting this as the new “birth control shift,” the new right way to handle America’s astronomical unwed motherhood rate.
The population managers appear to have met again, and decided on a new strategy for running everyone else’s sex lives. Remember how the Left calls behavior like that colonialism as long as white males are doing it? Weird, because men are still the OB-GYN majority (although apparently not for long), and they’re the ones making this judgment call and who will reap the financial benefits of having made it.
Inserting chemical-injecting population control devices into young and especially poor women with little knowledge of the long-term medical effects, which also happens to make teen girls available for sex at any time. What could go wrong?
Abortions Don’t Decrease, They Become Invisible
When I was considering long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), it was paramount that I find something that would not invisibly abort my children. I knew a good number of popular contraceptives include “fail-safes” that prevent a tiny child from implanting in a chemically neutered womb after its DNA has already formed a unique human person. That can only be called a chemical abortion, and I don’t want any of those.
I ended up favoring the copper intrauterine device (IUD). It sounded more natural than artificially pumping myself full of synthetic hormones or spookily terminating my period long before menopause. It was just copper, right? An anti-sperm natural element from the earth. The main risk was in puncturing my uterus, and while that sounds scary, it doesn’t happen too often, so maybe I could gamble that I wouldn’t be that one in 1,000 women to which it happens. I could also be one of the women (one in ten among women who have had children, and one in five among women who have not) who actually gets worse menstrual pain because of the insertion, but again, it sounded like a low risk and, well, at worse it would be one crappy week to find it out and $900 down the tube.
Yeah, that’s what it sounded like inside my head in the most positive form, but part of me was freaking out about the uterus puncture potential, given that I would like to have another baby or two. So I put it off. And am I ever glad I did, because in the meantime I found that copper IUDs actually do chemically kill tiny children. This discovery made me furious, because I had carefully spent hours looking up information on this exact question and had not found a clear discussion of the truth. I felt betrayed. Didn’t someone have my interests at heart enough to give me clear, accurate information about something that could alter my body and life so drastically?
Obviously not, until Donna Harrison’s article came across my path, and God bless her. But this leaves an uncomfortable truth for people who want to colonize women’s wombs with IUDs. Implanting thousands and even millions more women with IUDs will not reduce abortions. It may reduce scissor, vacuum, and knife abortions. But it will increase chemical abortions. We will move from highly visible to invisible abortions. This may assuage women’s consciences, but only because they have been deliberately deceived, thus increasing the sense of mass betrayal once they do learn the truth.
We Don’t Know Enough About Long-Term Birth Control
At first, I was really excited when I heard that Melinda Gates was putting some of her gazillions of dollars into birth-control research. I’m not that excited about existing birth control options. They seem to involve drug-pumping my body or creating a false sense of security to cover a one-fifth failure rate. In other words, the most effective birth control methods drench my body in chemicals, and the least effective birth control methods are, well, not so effective. Given that my husband and I seem to be fertility gifted, I’m not willing to bother with plastic and gels if we’re getting a baby anyway. Might as well have all the fun on the way, right?
So I hoped Gates would be able to remedy problems like this. Can’t we find something a) cheap b) effective but without killing humans and c) without creepy or unknown side- and after-effects? Because, the truth is, while IUDs and The Pill have been around for long enough to study their effects on essentially a woman’s entire life cycle, not enough women have been implanting themselves for long enough or young enough to know what happens if we zip that little chemical-soaked T into their wombs starting at age 13 and into perpetuity. And what we are just now beginning to find about second-generation birth control is, frankly, freakishly scary.
Google Mirena or Yaz. Women have died. And, frankly, I don’t feel that anyone with money or power, like Gates, really cares enough to research the hell out of what we’re doing to women in the name of women’s interests. Instead I feel that those who claim to speak for women are obscuring or refusing to pursue research that would really serve us. It is very clear that research about negative consequences of birth control is either never pursued or ignored when brave souls perform it. For more, see the next section. Because of this, there is so much we don’t know about immediately implanting girls with LARCs when they hit puberty. And what we don’t know has already hurt us.
Side Effects Include STDs and Emotional Distress
Side effects also include flooding the environment (and consequently our food and water) with body- and mind-altering hormones. The Pill-pushers apparently believe there is no other negative consequence to sex besides babies (which, to women like me, sounds completely backward, given that babies are awesome). But there are many others, all of which present firm reasons to not treat birth control like candy. Or even like brushing your teeth or getting braces. For one, two-thirds of sexually active teens wish they had waited longer to start. Given the gravity of sex and the immaturity of young minds, what teens need are people forewarning them of how they will feel about this decision later, when they are wiser. They don’t need people giving them a sense of false security about making such a life-altering decision too early. Handing out birth control kids don’t have to think about and telling them to go have fun because everyone deserves to feel good is similar to handing them a handle of vodka and keys to a Ferrari on prom night.
Well, I guess if birth control turns women off to sex, maybe distributing it to young women will shape them against sex for life. How’s that for an unintended consequences? Sarcasm aside, however, women disproportionately suffer from the most-reported sexually transmitted diseases. And having sex earlier than age 18 is linked with cervical cancer.
I could go on, but those of you who have been hiding under a rock since coming into existence now see that plenty more bad things can come from sex besides babies. And women deserve to know all related risks when deciding whether to have sex with people with whom they do not want to have a baby and attempt to pre-empt said baby with chemical warfare on their own bodies. Women deserve the power to give informed consent to all sexual behaviors. So far, that is not close what we are getting. As this publication has already shown, the high rates of LARC acceptance among young, poor women in the Colorado and Missouri studies take on a different shade when one learns study facilitators steered the young ladies into these devices with aggressive advocacy, not impartial, honest descriptions of risks and benefits in the manner we would expect of a good doctor.
Poor Women Want Babies
Whenever the Left talks about women and unplanned pregnancies, they typically assume that an unplanned pregnancy means an unwanted pregnancy. Likewise, they typically assume that poor women don’t want babies, because they can hardly sustain themselves, so why take on responsibility for an even needier human being. Research, however, shows that this interpretation of high unwed motherhood and teen pregnancy rates is, if not outright false, at least quite ambiguous. Studies that conduct interviews with poor women and women who bore children outside marriage often find that these women want their babies. And they wanted, or at least didn’t seem to mind, the possibility of a baby before one attached itself into their wombs.
It may be hard for a cold, career-oriented woman to imagine the fulfillment women can find in mothering children. When I was a woman like that, it was almost impossible for me to conceptualize. The very thought of children could occasionally turn me into a frigid bitch (just ask the boyfriend I later married). But women who have fewer economic resources are not so blinded by them. Consider this Harvard Magazine article about the research of Kathryn Edin about marriage and family in poor communities.
But even as low-income Americans view marriage as out of reach, Edin asserts, they continue to see bearing and raising children as the most meaningful activity in their lives. ‘One theme of Doing The Best I Can is that poor men really want to be dads and they really value fatherhood,’ she says. ‘Both women and men at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder see having kids as the ultimate form of fulfillment’: given their bleak economic prospects and minimal hope of upward mobility, being a parent is one of the few positive identities available to them.
In other words, it’s hard being poor, and generating your own little troupe to love and be loved by can make life worth living. Women know that even if population managers keep trying to tell us we should fit into their vision for a life well lived. The demand is that all women have our children on our would-be population managers’ terms, and on their terms only. But all women don’t necessarily want to plug themselves into the same fertility schedule. We want the freedom to make our own choices, in our own time, according to our own understanding of what is good. We want quality information so we can make those choices well. And we want people out there actually advocating for getting us the best information and the best care, even if what results doesn’t fit some egomaniac club’s vision for the “right” world order. Why is that too much to ask?