All Our Lives is preparing to take part in the National Women’s Law Center “Birth Control: We’ve Got You Covered” blog carnival on July 21. Please join if you too have a blog and support the inclusion of contraceptives as essential, copay-free preventive services in US health plans.

National Public Radio ran a story this morning called “Birth Control Without Co-Pays Could Soon Become Mandatory”. Unfortunately an interviewee for the story repeated an all too often repeated bit of misinformation, in the name of prolife.

As well as contacting this interviewee, All Our Lives sent this message to NPR.

 

–In your piece on [the effort to abolish] contraceptive copays, Jeanne Monahan of the Family Research Council explains her opposition with the misinformation that the emergency contraceptive Plan B causes abortions. Levonorgestrel emergency contraceptives like Plan B work *prior* to conception, by suppressing or delaying ovulation and possibly by altering sperm function. They do *not* prevent implantation. (Details: http://www.cecinfo.org/custom-content/uploads/2012/12/ICEC_FIGO_MoA_Statement_March_2012.pdf). Anyone who identifies as prolife has the responsibility to expand access to Plan B and indeed all contraceptive methods, because this is one of the most powerful ways to help women prevent crisis pregnancies and abortions.–

One of the arguments contraception opponents commonly make is that the acceptance of contraception leads to abortion. For a good debunking of that argument, read "Examining the argument that provision of contraception leads to increased abortion rates".


What leads to increased use of both contraception and — especially when contraception is unavailable or inadequate — abortion is the desire for relatively low fertility. Contraception and abortion are going to be much less of an issue when people fully expect to have six or eight or ten kids. Those days are over for most people in the developed world, for complex social and economic reasons. What we have to decide now is whether we're going to deal with that reality in an evidence-based manner, or pretend it's not happening (or that it shouldn't be happening, and therefore people who want to have sex but not have a lot of babies are just immoral).

Richael at AmplifyYourVoice.org presents still more information about the power of emergency contraception to reduce abortions. Perhaps 50,000 abortions a year are prevented in the US alone through EC. All Our Lives wants to systematically challenge misconceptions about EC among prolifers. Please contact us if you'd like to volunteer on this initiative.

Marge Berer, editor of the journal Reproductive Health Matters, makes this highly problematic claim: "In my opinion, it is only possible to be anti-abortion if you will never be the one left holding the baby, nor be around to see or take responsibility for what happens to those who are." Really?

What about All Our Lives supporters and kindred spirits, in the present and in the past, who not only believe but live their lives as if prolife means what it says: the taking on, not the disavowal, of such active, thorough responsibilities? We can't possibly exist?

If respect and reverence for all life means anything, it means that you bother to hold the baby, or at the very least offer your helping hands to any and all baby holders, in your own family, community, nation, planet. You not only bear witness to their situations-you do whatever you can to ease their difficulties.

And that set of conjoint responsibilities begins towards both mother and child as soon as you know about the pregnancy. In fact, you should have long since already assumed the responsibilities that began well before the present pregnancy.

With the mother's and the father's own conceptions and beyond, with nonviolent and fully socially supported parenting, with sex education for all stages of life, with measures to prevent and abolish reproductive coercion and violence against women, with complete, informed, voluntary access to family planning.

Marge Berer, we do exist. We are not impossibilities by definition-let alone decree. And if you would like our help in reducing abortion, just ask.