They may not be coming for your guns, but they might be coming for your birth control pills if this ever manages to gain any momentum. Radio host Kevin Swanson believes that birth control pills result in “these little tiny fetuses, these little babies, that are embedded into the womb. They’re just like dead babies. They’re on the inside of the womb. And these wombs of women who have been on the birth control pill effectively have become graveyards for lots and lots of little babies.”
Um, what? Anybody who’s been through high school-level human biology, or even a halfway decent sex-ed course or health class, knows that a fertilized egg implants onto the lining of the walls of the uterus, which is shed each month in the form of that most annoying blood women hate dealing with when there is no implanted egg. So there are no “little tiny fetuses” that stick to the inside of the wombs of women who take the pill.
In fact, hormonal contraception does three things: prevents ovulation, thickens cervical mucus (to make it harder for sperm to pass through), and makes uterine lining too thin for implantation should ovulation and subsequent fertilization occur anyway.
Furthermore, it’s generally accepted in the medical community that pregnancy doesn’t begin until an egg is implanted in the uterine lining. As much as 50% of all fertilized eggs in women fail to implant in the uterus, and no pregnancy occurs. The uterine lining is shed as it would be during any menstrual cycle, and the fertilized egg goes along with it. Oftentimes, a woman never knows she had a fertilized egg to begin with. This can happen whether a woman is on the pill or not; every fertilized egg does not result in implantation.
So, again, there are no “little tiny fetuses” embedded inside the wombs of women on the pill.
Other “lolwut” moments (or headdesk/facepalm moments) regarding women’s biology include:
Rush Limbaugh’s assertion that women take birth control pills based on how often they have sex. This was the Sandra Fluke story; he accused her of wanting taxpayers to pay for her birth control, because she couldn’t afford enough pills for all the sex she was having.
Back in October 2012, Limbaugh also said that women on the pill feel sexier, and, alluding to the apparent sex appeal of both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, are therefore more likely to vote Democratic. Of course, this speech was full of odd contradictions, such as the idea that ovulating women feel sexier, so women on cycles regulated by hormonal contraception are more likely to vote Democratic because of heightened sexual feelings. Given that women on the pill generally don’t ovulate, and don’t experience those hormonal fluctuations that come with ovulation, this makes no sense. In fact, one of the potential side effects of hormonal contraception is a reduced sex drive.
There is also, of course, Todd Akin’s famously ridiculous notion that when it’s “legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Because an egg and a woman’s cervix can distinguish between sperm that came from rape and sperm that came from consensual sex.
Similarly, back in 1995, Henry Aldridge of North Carolina said that rape victims don’t get pregnant because “during an attack, the juices don’t flow, the body functions don’t work and they don’t get pregnant.” Like others, he named an unspecified group of authorities in the medical field who supposedly had solid research to back this claim up.
And Alternet.org has a list of the top 7 most outrageous myths regarding female biology ever.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that Mr. Swanson would try to espouse the idea that women who are on birth control pills have all kinds of tiny, dead babies just littering the walls of their uterus. It’s merely the latest in a series of both hilarious and downright saddening and disappointing myths that abound regarding women’s biology.