Access to contraceptives is one of the best ways to prevent abortion. Yet anti-choice leaders consistently oppose not only contraceptive access, but contraceptive use. Across the Internet and in abstinence-only sex education classrooms, they are promoting the dangerous myth that birth control pills cause abortion. So can birth control induce an abortion? The answer is a resounding no.
Is Birth Control an Abortifacient?
Birth control pills work in two different ways: first, by preventing ovulation, which is the release of an egg. Second, they also prevent implantation if you do ovulate. Implantation is the official start of pregnancy. If your egg is fertilized and it doesn’t implant, you didn’t have an abortion or miscarriage; you were never pregnant in the first place.
What about if a person is already pregnant? Some women worry that by using birth control pills, they increase their risk of a miscarriage if they become pregnant. Numerous studies have found no link between birth control use and miscarriage or birth defects. Moreover, the few studies that have purported to find such a link were either subsequently retracted or conducted by biased researchers who oppose birth control. When later researchers test their results, they don’t arrive at the same conclusion; this is a strong indication of fraudulent science.
Pro-Life: Not About Life at All
The right wing opposition to birth control might seem like a bizarre turn for a group that claims to want to prevent abortions. But the truth is that far-right opposition to abortion has never been about preserving life. Republicans oppose almost all strategies that could lower the abortion rate because that’s not actually what they want to do. Their opposition to abortion, just like their opposition to birth control is about punishing women for having sex.
Abortion is a moral and safe choice. And if it’s not the choice for you, rest assured that your birth control pills may prevent you from needing an abortion. They certainly will not cause one.