Coming Soon to a Bedroom Near You

Like lawn ornaments in summer, protesters outside the local abortion clinic are fixtures in many places in the United States today.

Their presence and message have long been so predictable that, without looking or listening, people believe they understand the point. And so you might not notice that the protest taking place outside your local clinic today has fundamentally changed.

It is no longer about abortion. June 7 is the anniversary of Griswold v Connecticut, the 1965 Supreme Court decision that granted married people the right to use contraception. To mark the day, anti-abortion groups are taking to their normal posts outside clinic entrances not to convince Americans to oppose abortion but rather to stop using contraception.

The national campaign is called "Protest the Pill Day 08’" and it is organized by several leading anti-choice groups including the American Life League and Pharmacists for Life. The group’s website is full of unscientific, medically inaccurate information.

Anti-contraception activism has been working its way up the priority list of the anti-choice movement in the United States in recent years and today’s campaign is one of the most organized and visible displays of this broadening agenda.Who needs pesky birth control pills?!Who needs pesky birth control pills?!

Currently, there is not one pro-life organization in the U.S. that supports contraception. In fact, the multi-pronged attack against the right to use contraception is led entirely by anti-abortion groups. Their initiatives (to name just a few) include opposing health insurance of contraception, urging pharmacists to deny women’s birth control prescriptions, and attempting (with no scientific rationale) to reclassify the birth control pill, and all other hormonal forms of contraception, as abortion methods with the goal of banning them. This represents an important and frightening shift in focus by the anti-abortion movement.

Despite the fact that contraception is the only proven way to prevent unwanted pregnancy and reduce abortion rates, anti-choice groups would forgo these benefits, and even risk dramatically increasing abortion rates, in favor of a larger, more insidious goal: changing Americans’ sex lives.

As the American Life League, the nation’s largest pro-life educational organization, explains in its materials, "The American Life League denies the moral acceptability of artificial birth control and encourages each individual to trust in God, to surrender to His will, and to be predisposed to welcoming children." The American Life League prefers to put the choices in the hands of God, a choice they want to impose on everyone. "It must be clear that couples understand that when they ask God to not send them another child just now they are also saying, ‘If it is Your will to send us another child at this time, we praise You for Your divine providence,’" the group says.

Buoyed by their success in rolling back abortion rights, these groups seek nothing less than a complete American lifestyle makeover: sex can’t ever exclude the possibility of procreation. But instead of convincing Americans to see things their way, groups like the American Life League have decided the more expeditious path is to attack the right to use contraception.

The right to use contraception is relatively new: the Griswold decision was rendered in 1965 and Supreme Court granted single people the right to use contraception as recent as 1972. But the changes these decisions set in motion now form a list of what Americans won’t live without. Today, 95 percent of people have sex before marrying. Indeed, studies show that most Americans in a relationship are having sex, on average, once a week. The typical American female is fertile for approximately 30 years of her life. For about 23 of those years she is trying not to get pregnant. Much of our lifestyle, and the architecture of our most intimate relationships, is rooted in family planning. And we should be grateful for this.

In the 1950s, when there was no sex education, no birth control, no legal abortion (the exact legislative agenda of today’s pro-life movement!) teen birth rates soared and have not been equaled since. Today, the rate of teen motherhood, not coincidentally, has been reduced by more than half.

The right to plan your family to the size you want and can support is a cherished, and frequently exercised, American family value. So, the next time you pass by the protest outside your local clinic listen carefully: their real target is your way of life.

This article was originally published by American Forum.
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  • invalid-0

    Having grown up in a pro-life, conservative family, I understand their issue with abortion. To them, it is murder, and it makes sense that because, they think people are “killing babies” that they’re so against abortions. But I just don’t get how they think that they have the RIGHT to tell a woman she can’t use birth control. This is is just crazy. They have NO RIGHT to tell people how to live their lives. This is utterly chilling–part of the reason that America was founded was so that people could live free of religious persecution. Well, this is what this “no contraceptive” bs is—it is someone trying to force their religious views about sex down my throat and I really really don’t like it. I have one child–and thanks to the MIRACLE that is a paraguard IUD, it is going to stay that way until my husband and I decide that a) we want another child and b) we can freaking afford it. Right now I am able to (relatively speaking) freely pursue my education and a career of my choice! This wouldn’t be the case if I didn’t have access to reliable, safe birth control.

  • invalid-0

    One of the many flaws in their argument is that birth control pills are not only used for… er, birth control. Oral contraceptives are the treatment of choice for polycystic ovarian syndrome, and they have also been used with some success in treating acne. God forbid a woman actually try to take care of her health.

    • invalid-0

      Birth control is also used for many reproductive disorders, such as endometriosis, which, is for many women, a crippling disease.

  • invalid-0

    The biggest non-contraceptive use of the Pill is to control endometriosis, a condition in which excess uterine tissue grows outside the uterus. Women who suffer from this condition are in almost constant pain. If the Pill gives them relief, who in good conscience deny them pain-free lives?
    I’ve tried to find a website which lists other non-contraceptive uses for the Pill, but I can’t find any mentions besides control of endometriosis, acne, and extremely heavy periods. Anyone?

  • harry834

    For everyone advocating for abstinence-until-marriage, I give this:


    I dare everyone of them to to go up to every unmarried American they can find and ask this question:

    "Do you support a national health policy that requires YOU to have no sex until you are married?"

    Because that’s what the national programs do, They are NOT just for teens. Unless teenagers get automatically married at age 18, we can be sure, that many adults are unmarried, including conservatives, so ALL these unmarried adults would have to practice NO SEX!

    It’s this reality – that adults spend much time in the unmarried years (even questioning whether they want marriage, many don’t) – that caused the proposal of the abstinence plan for 20-29 year olds.

    Unmarried includes the divocorced as well.

    Second dare question:

    Ask ANY American, married or unmarried, this:

    "do you support a national policy that requires that you have sex ONLY to make babies and NEVER, (or rarely) to have sex for pleasure purposes?"

    I want to hear conservatives’ willingness to abandon their ability to touch their pee-pees.

    After all, it’s for the children…


  • invalid-0

    voting for you for President.

    Amie Newman

    Managing Editor, RH Reality Check

  • harry834

    I don’t have as much experience as Barack ;)

    Hope everyone of you will do Obama volunteering (because chances are, I’ll have homework. I’m doing biology/chem post-bac)

    Where will I be at 3AM? Doing lab assignments.


  • invalid-0

    The Pill can also be used to treat symptoms of PCOS.

  • invalid-0

    I’ve been using birth control for menstrual pain since I was sixteen. With it, my pain is bad enough to warrant prescription medication. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to work for three days each month. Who are these crazy right-wingers to tell me I have to endure terrible pain because of their bizarre religious beliefs? If you want to be in pain every month, go right ahead. But keep your hands off my body.

  • invalid-0

    I am in an American National Govt class this semester because of the Elections…figured it was a perfect time to brush up on my Govt history so I actually had time to research who I wanted to vote for this fall. We have to do a Supreme Court Case for our research paper & I looked at all my different options & came across this one & was outraged! It amazes me that we even had to go thru this. I had a full hyster. in 2005 because I it was either that or die from bleeding to death. I started on BC in my later 20’s because of all my health issues. I grew up in a very strict “Christian” home that considered BC a sin so to say. If I had the knowledge of what it was capable of doing I would have been on it when I was a young teenager. I suffered for years with ovarian cysts, acne, bleeding, terrible pain during my cycles, endro…etc..etc. I finally had gotten relief when I went on a low does of BC at the age of 26. How amazing this drug was for me…it had the best side effects too…no more pain…acne dissappeared…limited bleeding…& no more cysts for at least 4 more years then My husband & I choose to go off the pill in order to get pregnant with our 2nd child. I got pregnant right away. I went back on the pill after a few months & things went fine for about 4 more years. It was all great! But then things stopped working & we tried other options for 2 more years…those didn’t work so then I had to have everything removed. I couldn’t imagine not having this option of BC…whether it was for my health or to not have a child at this time or whatever my reasons were…it’s nobody’s business but mine & my partner’s. I am divorced now & remarried to a great man & I wish I could have a child with him but I can’t. This case has really brought me out to do even more research & stand up for our rights. I can’t stand people that protest & talk of things that they have no clue about & they only look at the issue with ignorance. I don’t know everything & I have opened my mouth a time or two (especially when I was younger) but if these people only knew the whole picture. I would hate to see our country go back to back alley abortions, teenage pregnancies etc… etc… We need more education to our teenagers & young adults…whether it’s thru the schools or Doctors..Nurses whatever…We all need to be able to know all the options out there because everyone is different and every situation is different….this is NOT a one size fits all. I believe in God & I know I am a Christian however, I feel that is my choice & my right & I won’t throw it down anyone else’s throat & I don’t want someone shooving it down mine. If I am interested in learning about something I will ask & if someone wants to know something from me…I hope I can tell them. I just pray that Our “Privacy Rights” will stand in this country like our Founders intended it to be…If we need to Amendend the Constitution so that it is more specific & clear then maybe we need to move to do that. Thanks to all that keep this alive & those of you that help to fight for our rights in the future! I also saw an article that claimed that BC caused abortions…which they DO NOT do…people will go to no end. I just wish I could be there to see their face when they realize how wrong they were! But…they have a right to believe whatever they want too…right?!