Monday, July 7, 2014

The Real Facts About Birth Control

The New Republic interrupted my post-mass contemplative peace today by putting in my mailbox (albeit at my continued request) an article by Jenn Gunter, an Ob/Gyn, called The Facts About Birth Control, which claims to tell us things we don't know about birth control.  She starts out by listing six ways to prevent pregnancy, such as creating an inhospitable environment in the uterus (something birth control pills do, by doing violence to a woman's hormonal system) or injecting spermicide into the cervix to prevent implantation (she uses the phrase "to make inhospitable" when she  means something a little less benign,  describing things like spermicide and chemical abortifacients which "affect" i.e. kill the implanted embryo. Interestingly the most basic and obvious means of preventing pregnancy is never even taken into consideration by this woman, which is not to engage in sexual activity.

     The telling phrase is of course "making inhospitable" which is a lovely euphemism but rather vague when you are discussing drugs that shock a woman's system to the point of destroying its own fertilized embryo in her own uterus. Yeah I guess that's pretty inhospitable, killing it. Killing sperm. It's very quiet, and hardly noticeable, unless you get a stroke or diabetes from the effects a birth control pill or device has on your body, or suffer serious damage to your internal organs or infertility from the violence done to your body by an intrauterine device.  Scientists who are not of the highest caliber tend to attempt to snow the public with abstractions--jargon and more jargon, used effectively by political oppressors and con artists to lie to the public, and  most effectively illustrated in George Orwell's 1984 where slogans are put up saying "War is Peace". No, Jenn, or Dr Gunter, vagueness won't cut it when you are talking about biology. Anyway I don't ask appliance manufacturers or repairmen what to cook for dinner or for nutritional advice, and you, Dr Gunter, have just relegated yourself to that category by talking about the human body as if it were a piece of machinery without a soul. You are a mechanic, and a very bad one--because a good mechanic knows what makes the car run, and what it needs for fuel, and that it has to have a driver to go from one place to another.  You don't talk about sex and all the rest of it--love, babies, families--all of the systems built around that little fertilized embryo that you can barely see with the naked eye--while excluding things like emotions, psychology, lust, objectification, rape, teenage pregnant girls, abuse as if the human body were a car without a driver.

     That is bad science, and lousy medicine. You are treating human beings, not machines. A woman's body is not an agglomeration of chemical and biological processes culminating in electromagnetic charges which act in some vague administrative way to direct our conduct. Sorry, No. Obstetrics is one field where materialism really falls flat on its face. I wouldn't consult you, Dr. Gunn, for a hangnail.

     There is a lot to be said on the subject of birth control, starting with a discussion of what it is, and what it is for, and why it even exists. It is an evil thing, and has never benefited anyone.  But a discussion which begins with obfuscation and a denial of human nature and human freedom, --is not really a discussion, but rather a very bald  attempt at misdirection. 

     If a counter-argument is offered that a merely mechanical description  is all that is necessary when discussing birth control, you might want to stop for a minute and think about what was just said. You have gotten, albeit indirectly, to the very heart of the matter. You are thinking about the one instance in human life where humans allow God to create life directly--and you are talking about preventing that intervention and creation as if even nature, which impels every species to reproduce and multiply, human or animal or plant, were not under consideration. Not very scientific.

     There is one group of individuals who seem to have been enabled by an understanding of contraceptive technology to further their own ends: rapists use condoms now. 

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