Personhood is a hotly debated topic in this year’s Republican Presidential Primary. Well actually, it’s hotly debated in the rest of the country, especially those of us with a uterus. The politicians in this year’s election circuit are oddly united when it comes to life beginning at conception. Every Republican nominee has either verbally endorsed personhood or signed a written pledge promising to respect it’s position. This argument has been framed as an abortion debate, but it’s so much more than that. Personhood would limit IVF treatments or outlaw them altogether, and it would severely reduce the birth control options available to the American public. Personally, I find this possibility completely terrifying.
While writing about my support of birth control and a woman’s choice to decide what reproductive health options suit her best, there was a lot of debate about the actual effects of Personhood on contraceptives. Even though some politicians, such as Rick Santorum, have openly spoken about the “dangers of contraception in this country,” and even though Personhood Colorado’s talking points specifically list all hormonal forms of birth control as being effectively illegal under the movement’s proposal, some of us simply don’t recognize this as a threat. In fact, the very first comment on my piece was, “Get over yourself. No one is taking your birth control away.”
That’s just the type of indifference that makes seemingly impossible debates such as this so dangerous. No one believes that birth control is actually under attack. And yet, Personhood will again be voted on in Colorado, and possibly Nevada, Arkansas and Ohio. And if a Republican wins the White House, they’ve pledged to support this cause.
So the best thing for us to do is learn up on birth control, what it does and what exactly Personhood is fighting against. So using some help from Planned Parenthood, to get precise descriptions on the various forms of birth control, how they work and how effective they are, here’s how Personhood would change your reproductive health options. Whether we acknowledge it or not, this extremely conservative political push would drastically reduce women’s choices. And it’s something worth paying attention to.