Commentary Contraception

Sex, Lies, Contraception, and a Really Awful Video

Amy Phillips Bursch

After watching an anti-choice video on contraception, I decided to debunk it. Surprise! It's full of lies.  

Part of my job with a family planning advocacy organization involves keeping an eye on what the other side is up to, crazy videos included. And this one is a real doozy.

The video, called “You Deserve to Know the Truth: Contraception” (catchy!) was uploaded to YouTube by an organization called Come Unity in Truth on Sept. 26 and mentioned by @LifeSite as a “GREAT new teaching video on the harms of contraception.”

Well, I have a few words for it, and “great” isn’t one of them. Perhaps “misleading.” “Ridiculous.” “Offensive.” And plain old “wrong.” Here are the “facts” it gives:

  • When women use the birth control pill, they are no longer desirable to men. While some studies have shown that altering women’s hormones might slightly change the laws of attraction, humans aren’t animals. We don’t solely rely on hormones when choosing mates. Yet the video’s makers present this laughable scenario:  “What’s a man to do when the majority of women are contracepting, and he no longer finds them desirable?” More women than ever are using IUDs. Perhaps our poor man will meet one of them?
  • Because of that, women who use contraception have to dress all naughty to get male attention. In the video’s words: “contracepting women degrade themselves through immodest dress” in order to make up for the fact that men don’t find them attractive anymore. See! Rush Limbaugh was right!
  • The World Health Organization has classified contraception as a Class 1 carcinogen. Yes, sort of. The WHO says that combined estrogen and progestin can slightly increase the risk of liver, breast and cervical cancer, but they also PROTECT against endometrial and ovarian cancer. And the studies were done on pills with up to 4 times the amount of hormones women take in today’s oral contraceptives. These are very small relative risks that are found with most forms of medication. Watched a Cialis commercial lately?
  • The inventor of the birth control pill blames his invention for “demographic catastrophe.” Completely false. Carl Djerassi debunked that here in 2009. The anti-contraception crowd knowingly takes him out of context.
  • “We’re contracepting ourselves out of existence.” Not even close. There are 7 billion people on the planet now, as I mentioned before. The United Nations projects that we’ll have at least 9 billion by 2050 – and possibly even 11 billion if everyone watches this video. I’ve never been good at math, but I do know that 11 is bigger than 7.
  • 30-150 million children have died because of IVF. Only if by “child” you mean “embryo,” and even that appears to be a major exaggeration.
  • Contraception “pollutes the heart” and rejects the “will of God.” The video also says that with contraception, “we allow passion to take over reason, and our actions become more like animals than humans,” and that contraception will lead to bestiality and pedophilia. The old slippery slope argument.
  • Sterilization has resulted in 223 million infertile couples. Stop me if I’m mistaken, but isn’t that’s the whole point of sterilization?
  • “If you had a valuable racehorse, because of its worth, you would want it to have as many offspring as possible.” Last time I checked, I’m not a racehorse.
  • “We should want to procreate – knowing that every person has a unique and immortal soul.” Well, many people DON’T want to have kidsfor a variety of reasons. Videos like this one try to make them feel bad about it, but there’s nothing wrong with it. No source was provided for the “unique and immortal soul” part. Imagine that!
  • “Pregnancy is not a risk – it’s a privilege.” Untrue. Pregnancy is always a risk. Depending on where you live and the care you receive, it can be a huge risk. Complications include ectopic pregnancy, fetal growth restriction, gestational hypertension, incompetent cervix, miscarriage, placenta accreta, placental abruption, RH factor, gestational diabetes, hyperemesis gravidarum, placenta previa, preeclampsia, toxoplasmosis and fistula, to name a few.

The video ends with this gem: “If someone you know is contracepting, tell them to stop. It will destroy them.” Unlike unintended pregnancies and unwanted children, which are totally awesome!

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