I'd bet that if you asked most people who claim to favor restrictions on abortion whether or not they'd support banning birth control pills, a majority would say no. Some would, like the people making a push in Florida to do just that, but most, I'd be willing to bet, would say no, because birth control is so ubiquitous that the notion of banning it seems ridiculous on its face.

And it is ridiculous. But that's not stopping "Personhood Florida" from giving it a shot. They're the local version of the national anti-choice movement that's proving that while their slogan might be "save the babieez!" their motive is to stop people, particularly women, from having sex outside of any bounds they deem acceptable.

How do we know this? Well, for starters, they lie about the science.

The religion-infused movement, called "Personhood Florida," would define conception in Florida's constitution at the "biological beginnings," supporters said -- when the sperm meets the egg....

Also criminalized: the morning-after pill and oral contraceptives taken by women, known as the pill. "There are some (birth control) methods that kill a child," said Pat McEwan, who is leading the Personhood Florida group.
Okay, you could get a legislature to define pi as 4, but it wouldn't make it so, and the same goes for this. When sperm meets egg, there's the potential for a human life, but most such fertilized eggs don't make it. Most don't even implant--they get washed away when the woman has her period. Of those that do manage to implant, many don't stick, and the woman miscarries without even knowing she was carrying a fertilized egg. And even those that stick have a whole host of dangers to navigate before they become a fetus, and then a baby. Defining the beginning of life at the point where sperm meets egg is like declaring the Chicago Cubs the World Series winners before pitchers and catchers report for spring training. It's more than a little premature.

The second lie is the one that the birth control pill and the morning after pill are abortifacients. They aren't--they keep the ovaries from releasing an egg. No egg, no possibility for fertilization. The morning after pill is basically a giant dose of the birth control pill, meant to interrupt the cycle a bit more forcefully. But neither terminates a pregnancy. At most, in some very rare circumstances, the pill could possibly, maybe keep a fertilized egg from implanting, but given that most eggs don't implant, that's hardly justification for calling the pill an abortifacient. But you know, Jesus says it's okay to lie if it's for a good cause. That's what their pastor says anyway.

Even if you grant that these people aren't being deliberately dishonest--and there's no reason to grant it other than for the sake of argument--their actions prove that their motivation has nothing to do with lowering abortion rates and everything to do with punishing women for having sex outside of what they deem acceptable areas. Easy access to contraception lowers abortion rates--criminalization of abortion raises them. It's that simple. The lowest abortion rates in the world are in western Europe, where abortion is completely legal and easily accessible, as is contraception. It's also the place with the most comprehensive sex education--that's not a coincidence.

So if reducing abortion numbers isn't the goal here, then what's left? Punishing women who want to be sexually active but don't want to get pregnant is about all that's left. If there's another option I'd love to hear it.

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