Commentary

Birth Control or Mind Control?

By Blair Jackson |

Politicians suddenly want to micromanage women’s reproductive decisions. The most disturbing laws and provisions passed in 2011 were those that required “counseling” to women seeking abortions.

While there are some legitimate counseling measures being taken to aid women in making a complicated, life-altering decision, there are also biased “counseling” initiatives that are not designed to benefit the woman’s mental health, but instead are used as a tool for spreading misinformation.

Some laws require abortion providers to tell their patients that fetuses may be able to feel pain or that a fetus is a human being from the moment of conception, statements that are scientifically debatable, often teetering into the realm of speculation.

While it may be easy for most women to distinguish between social opinions and fact, they may find it harder to ignore misleading medical information that is being forcefully integrated as fact in some abortion clinics.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, “A woman obtaining an abortion in North Dakota will be told that having an abortion would increase her risk of breast cancer, while the new requirement in North Carolina mandates that women be told that having an abortion can impair their future fertility and have lasting mental health consequences.”

The hypothesis that women who undergo abortions are more prone to breast cancer stems from the disruption of estrogen that occurs when pregnancy is terminated.

The abortion-breast cancer hypothesis has been the subject of extensive scientific research that has concluded that there is no correlation between the two; however, some still grasp at the straws of statistical correlations that work in the favor of the hypothesis — almost a decade after the hypothesis has been proven false.

In terms of how abortions affect fertility, the Mayo Clinic states, “Generally, abortion isn’t thought to cause fertility issues or complications in subsequent pregnancies.”

The Mayo Clinic goes on to say that some research suggests a possible link between an increased risk of vaginal bleeding during early pregnancy, preterm birth, low birth weight and placenta previa — none of which affect fertility.

To suggest that having an abortion will restrict a woman’s future conception offers a narrow and extreme view that discounts reality and plays to the emotions of women who would, one day, like to have children.

These platforms of misinformation are incredibly dangerous as they pair political and social agendas with medical procedures.

Those who write these policies present them as a “women-centered” approach to a pro-life movement; but the reality is that the government is using misinformation to manipulate women during an extremely vulnerable time.

 

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