Protest the Pill? Seriously?

By Sarah Shanks

While some of you might be basking in the sun or working your summer job on June 2nd, the American Life League will be taking to the streets for “Protest the Pill Day.” On the website it says they want people to be “organizing a protest in your community at Planned Parenthood or another facility that distributes birth control.” Wow. This is yet another shocking example of how the conversation about birth control and women’s health has become increasingly radicalized in this country.

While we know that 99% of women will use contraception at some point in their lives, the anti-contraception movement still seems to keep gaining steam. In a year when public figures have called women ‘sluts’ not only for using the pill, but also for standing up and demanding contraceptive coverage in health insurance packages, this “The Pill Kills” protest is yet another shame tactic.

Contraception used to be as normal as aspirin, but right now groups such as “The Pill Kills” are getting more attention. The Pill Kills website includes some false information and wrongly calls birth control an “abortificant.” Their message tries to scare women into thinking that taking the birth control pill will kill them and apparently “babies” as well.

Somehow, anti-choice activists have been able to shift the conversation about reproductive health. We having been pushing  forward to make abortions accessible and affordable for everyone, but now our very right to birth control is under attack. Despite the setback, many people are working tirelessly to make sure that birth control is not only offered, but covered – not only legal, but accessible.

We have to take back the messaging and be heard! For some tips on how to write Letters to the Editor on this topic, check out our previous blog on birth control actions.

Many students have worked on birth control access in their communities, whether it was through our Birth Control Access Campaign, or with other awesome organizations. Contact us if you want more ideas on how to help frame the conversation in your communities. Partner with your local birth control providers to assist them in continuing to provide important services that we need. Young people and students are impacted the most by these conversations, so we need to speak out and change the discourse because birth control access is pivotal to our lives.

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