It really wasn’t a doubt in most reproductive rights advocates’ minds that although the backers of Mississippi Initiative 26 claim their amendment would leave a woman’s right to prevent pregnancy intact, they really wanted to ban birth control as well. After all, when the local sponsor has 10 kids and says God is in charge of opening and closing the womb, it’s a safe bet that he’s not a big fan of letting women and families decide for themselves when they want to become pregnant.
But to actually come out and say that Initiative 26 would ban the pill? No one had been willing to say it on record, until now. Speaking on NPR, Walter Hoye finally agreed that yes, IUDs, the morning after pill, and even the standard birth control pill itself will all be illegal if the amendment passes.
Hoye: Any birth control that ends the life of a human being will be impacted by this measure.
Rehm: So that would then include the IUD [intra-uterine device]. What about the birth control pill?
Hoye: If that falls into the same category, yes.
Rehm: So you’re saying that the birth control pill could be considered as taking the life of a human being?
Hoye: I’m saying that once the egg and the oocyte come together and you have that single-celled embryo, at that point you have human life, you’ve got a human being and we’re taking the life of a human being with some forms of birth control and if birth control falls into that category, yes I am.
Of course, the birth control pill, like the morning after pill, works to stop ovulation in the first place. But enough”pro-life” pharmacists and doctors have spent so much time trying to claim that both actually prevent implantation, that in Mississippi itself, that’s been taken as scientific fact. As Irin Carmon wrote at Salon, “One of the local doctors most closely associated with the Yes on 26 movement, Beverly McMillan, told me unequivocally that the IUD and the morning-after pill would be banned, and has written that she ‘painfully agree[s] that birth control pills do in fact cause abortions.’ Another doctor, Freda Bush, who has gone on television to claim that contraception wouldn’t be banned, wouldn’t give a straight answer about which contraceptives would be banned, claiming she wasn’t an authority. She herself already refuses to prescribe the highly effective IUD out of the fear that it would block a fertilized egg – in her mind, an ‘abortion.’”
Want to prevent pregnancy? After November, your choices may be get a box of condoms, go celibate, or run across state lines for your prescriptions.
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