Ted Cruz's Comments on Birth Control Are Factually Incorrect — Here's Why That's a Problem
In the midst of Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation hearings on Oct. 13, Senator Ted Cruz misdefined birth control in a misleading and problematic way. Namely, he referred to birth control as "anti-abortion drugs."
在10月13日艾米·科尼·巴雷特(Amy Coney Barrett)的最高法院确认听证会上，参议员特德·克鲁兹(Ted Cruz)以一种误导性和有问题的方式错误地定义了节育。也就是说，他将节育称为“反堕胎药物”。
To catch you up, Cruz brought up birth control when discussing implied threats to religious freedom. He specifically referenced the Supreme Court case of The Little Sisters of the Poor Saints Peter and Paul Home v. Pennsylvania. In this case, the Little Sisters of the Poor asked for exemption from the part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that requires health plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptive methods. Key word: contraceptive. (The Supreme Court ultimately ruled that organizations could opt out of this requirement for religious and moral reasons.)
In the hearing, Cruz said, "The Little Sisters of the Poor, our Catholic Convent of nuns, who take oaths of poverty, who devote their lives to caring for the sick, caring for the needy, caring for the elderly, and the Obama administration litigated against the Little Sisters of the Poor, seeking to fine them in order to force them to pay for abortion-inducing drugs among others."
Buried in the rhetoric is a glaring error. Cruz is saying that contraceptives are "abortion-inducing drugs," which is medically inaccurate. Here's why.
Pregnancy officially begins when a fertilized egg is implanted in the uterine lining. According to the New York Times, anti-abortion groups use the phrase "abortion-inducing" to describe methods that they say can prevent this implantation from happening.
As the NYT explains, this assumption is already incorrect; if pregnancy does not begin until implantation, a contraceptive that prevents implantation can't be called abortion-inducing, because there is not yet a pregnancy to terminate. (Implantation, not fertilization, is considered the beginning of pregnancy because many fertilized eggs naturally fail to implant in the uterus.) Regardless, nearly all forms of birth control do not prevent pregnancy in this way. Rather, they prevent eggs from being fertilized at all, one step before implantation would even occur. Here's how several of the most popular forms of birth control work.
Birth control by definition does not end a pregnancy; it prevents it from happening in the first place. As reproductive health continues to be a political talking point, it's crucial to hold politicians accountable on these key points, which have a direct effect on our bodies and lives.