First, you need to go read three articles, one from Huffington Post, one from Rheality Check and one from the NY Times.
I'll summarize for those of you who are busy. The Department of Health and Human Services would like to redefine contraception as abortion.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services has a lovely new proposal. In it, many forms of contraceptives, including oral contraceptives, the ring, the shot, and the patch would be redefined as a form of abortion. There new definintion is as follows:
"Abortion: An abortion is the termination of a pregnancy. There are two commonly held views on the question of when a pregnancy begins. Some consider a pregnancy to begin at conception (that is, the fertilization of the egg by the sperm), while others consider it to begin with implantation (when the embryo implants in the lining of the uterus). A 2001 Zogby International American Values poll revealed that 49% of Americans believe that human life begins at conception. Presumably many who hold this belief think that any action that destroys human life after conception is the termination of a pregnancy, and so would be included in their definition of the term "abortion." Those who believe pregnancy begins at implantation believe the term "abortion" only includes the destruction of a human being after it has implanted in the lining of the uterus."
The proposal continues,
"Both definitions of pregnancy inform medical practice. Some medical authorities, like the American Medical Association and the British Medical Association, have defined the term "established pregnancy" as occurring after implantation. Other medical authorities present different definitions. Stedman's Medical Dictionary, for example, defines pregnancy as "[t]he state of a female after conception and until the termination of the gestation." Dorland's Medical Dictionary defines pregnancy, in relevant part, as "the condition of having a developing embryo or fetus in the body, after union of an oocyte and spermatozoon."
Although there is no proof that hormonal birth control does anything like act as an abortificant, under these new regulations anyone who feels like refusing to provide access to prescription birth control would be federally protected to do so. Here in my home state, a pharmacist has the right to refuse filling a prescription, but he must allow a collegue to fill it. This new proposal would essentially allow him or her to throw it in the bin.
The proposal defines abortion as follows: “any of the various procedures — including the prescription, dispensing and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action — that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation.”
Christina Pearson, a spokeswoman for the department, declined to discuss the draft. “We don’t normally comment on whether we are considering changes in regulations,” she said.
I am livid, and while I'm sure you all know why, it's not just the offense to my feminist sensabilities and reproductive rights. I have PCOS, a medical condition where I don't produce enough of various hormones to be healthy. I use the Nuva ring to regulate and supplement these hormones. Without it, I am not a functional person. If I miss changing it by as little as 24 hours, I suffer increased symptoms for a week.
Yes, I also use it to have sex with my boyfriend. I believe that easy access to contraceptives is one of the most important issues that we face. I am so angry, and I'm not sure what I can even do to fight this. Any ideas?