Colorado Lawmakers Can’t Decide If IUDs Are Actually Just Tiny T-Shaped Abortions

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iud birth controlWords are confusing. For example, the words “birth control“–do they mean the same thing as “abortion”? It appears that some Colorado lawmakers are a little confused on the difference.

For the past several years, the Colorado Family Planning Initiative has provided free or reduced-price IUDs to over 30,000 low income women. The IUD is a fantastically effective form of birth control, with over 99% efficacy, but the high up-front price tag (starting at a few hundred dollars) is prohibitive to a lot of families who are looking for some planning. Until now, the initiative has been funded by a $23 million private grant, but in three months that grant will run out–leaving lawmakers to decide either to carry on with public funding, or to crap their pants about how IUDs are actually tiny T-shaped abortions in disguise and thus a violation of a state law against publicly-funded abortions. Guess which they picked?

The moral objection to the IUD comes from its third line of defense against pregnancy. Its primary effect is to suppress ovulation: no egg, no pregg. Next, it thickens cervical mucus to try to keep sperm from getting past in search of that hopefully non-existent egg. And lastly, the IUD thins the texture of the uterine lining, which can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting. And yes, even though the general consensus among doctors is that pregnancy doesn’t start until that little egger has actually implanted into the uterine wall, some Colorado lawmakers are trying to insist that an egg’s failure to implant because of the IUD constitutes an abortion.

A quick science lesson for these politicians: eggs fail to implant all the damn time. Around half of all fertilized eggs can’t be bothered to implant, birth control or not. According to Colorado lawmakers, then, a certain number of you reading this article today are having a quiet little abortion while sitting at your breakfast table, or postponing opening Microsoft Outlook for a few minutes at work.

The icing on this legislative cake is that during the time the Colorado Family Planning Initiative has been running, not only did teen pregnancies drop, but there was a 1/3 drop in the number of annual teen abortions. So not only are these politicians trying to keep the public from funding something that is not an abortion, they’re setting things up so more kids will need abortions. The real kind of abortion, not the pretend kind you fight against to keep poor families from accessing birth control.

(Image: flocu / Getty)