Cory Gardner has recently been under fire for retracting his support of personhood amendments, and many are seeing this action as nothing more than a political ploy to gain more voters. And it very well might be — it reeks of suspicion that he is just now choosing to voice his problems with personhood.
But, what many people may not realize is that there are many of the Republican Party that hold the same view that he does. The only reason that Gardner is getting flack for it is because he’s in the spotlight.
Personhood in general is something that Republicans gravitate towards. Since the party is notoriously pro-life, it makes sense that they would want to define personhood in absolute terms to determine whether abortion should be a feasible option or not.
Where things turn gray for Reps is in the details. On many personhood amendments, there is inevitably a clause about contraception and the forms therein in which people may feel that there is termination of life. Hard right-wingers automatically admonish any form of contraception that would interfere with the zygotic stage immediately after fertilization, hence why birth control clauses would find their way into personhood amendments.
Those who are wary of birth control and the possible effects it may have on zygote development want those forms of contraception to be as illegal as they want abortion to be. It’s not too difficult to see where the problem lies.
What many don’t understand here is how exactly birth control works. This country is ridiculously uneducated on how contraception exactly prevents pregnancy, and that is something that needs to be fixed, but that’s an entirely different column.
Let’s get something straight: contraception is not — and I can’t emphasize this enough — ever a form of abortion. Bottom line, end of discussion.
A basic intrauterine device, or IUD, does many things, first and foremost preventing sperm from making their way through the fallopian tube. If, for some reason, a sneaky little sperm finds it way through and to an egg, an IUD will also prevent implantation. That piece is what has anti-abortion proponents up in arms, screaming murder while not educating themselves on the other methods that IUDs have to prevent pregnancy.
You see, when you define life at the moment of conception, anything that would interfere with implantation is easily labeled as a form of abortion. But what many people don’t understand is that a female’s body does this naturally a lot of the time, and no one is there to scream murder in these cases. The thing to remember is that contraception never has implantation-blocking as the main method for use. That is not how birth control is designed to work; there are other ways of preventing a sperm and ovum from ever meeting in the first place.
Some of the heavier personhood amendments also want to outlaw basic hormonal forms of birth control such as the pill, the patch, the ring, the shot, the hormone-based IUD and Plan B. Never mind that hormonal methods of birth control work by preventing ovulation, anti-abortionists are convinced that hormone-based contraception could stop implantation, regardless of the fact that science is not backing that up.
Those that take the time to educate themselves on birth control know that it is not, in any way, a form of abortion, hence why many Republicans support the accessibility and education of contraception. There is a huge difference between supporting personhood and outlawing birth control.
Gardner is getting heat for “switching sides” in his political campaign, but the truth of the matter is that he was not previously educated on how far the long arm of the law would extend in these amendments. Many members of the Republican party support personhood, but do not support the clauses on contraception. This is not a new view; this is simply people gaining knowledge on the topic and understanding what they are and are not comfortable with. Yes, voicing this change in opinion looks fishy right in the middle of his election campaign, but this is not an uncommon view. Don’t let this change your view of Gardner — look exactly at what he does and does not support, and acknowledge that he took the time to get educated on contraception, which is more than we can say for most politicians.
Brittany Jordan is a Republican that is also a full proponent of contraception. Feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cory Gardner is getting heat for switching sides on personhood, but a lot of Republicans hold the same view.
There is a huge difference between opposing abortion and opposing contraception.
Admire someone that took the time to get educated, even if this causes a switch in viewpoints.