Wisconsin University Women Targeted In 'Plan B' Ban

Well, when it rains it pours, or should we consider this yet another chip in the fragile rights of women in the United States. Wisconsin universities have been targeted by a bill that would ban both emergency contraception in the form of Plan B, as well as counseling on emergency contraception at the advocacy of anti-choice groups such as Pro-Life Wisconsin. Despite The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists report and affirmation that Plan B is not an abortificant, the group claims to represent 20,000 Wisconsin families in their quest to prohibit 26 state campuses from prescribing Plan B, or counseling on Plan B.

“The morning-after pill kills tiny embryonic human beings and very much harms women,” said Peggy Hamill, state director of Pro-Life Wisconsin.

According to an article written up in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, pro-choice and family planning advocates have a distinctly different point of view.

“This is just basic, basic female health care, and it’s extremely disturbing … that women’s health is under attack here and at the national level,” said Tanya Atkinson, field manager for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin.

The article then goes on to talk about more anti-choice plans that Wisconsin legislators have in the works, including a bill that would support pharmacists to deny Plan B based on moral grounds, as well as denying birth-control pills on moral grounds.

Sickeningly, and in some ways entertainingly enough, Republican legislators in Wisconsin are under the impression that university women in Wisconsin consider Plan B a new and exciting form of Skittles, with a zany and sometimes useful after-affect.

“I think it puts young women at great risk when they are told by medical professionals it’s just OK to take these emergency contraceptives at whim,” said state Rep. Jean Hundertmark, R-Clintonville, a co-sponsor of the bill. “It shouldn’t be taken like candy.”

The only potential silver lining to this rather dark and disgusting cloud is that while the Wisconsin House has approved the bill, and the Senate may pass it as well, Governor Jim Doyle has vowed to veto the bill when and if it came to his desk.

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19 Responses to Wisconsin University Women Targeted In 'Plan B' Ban

  1. 1
    dK says:

    I think you meant to cite the Minneapolis Star Tribune, not the Wisconsin Star Tribune. My original post earlier today found two articles down cited the Minneapolis paper.

    http://asilentcacophony.blogspot.com/2005/07/those-cheeseheads-again.html

  2. 2
    Kim (basement variety!) says:

    Thanks for the catch. I did in fact mean the Minneapolis Star Tribune!

  3. 3
    Kim (basement variety!) says:

    Nice post on the situation, DK!

  4. 4
    Kyra says:

    “It shouldn’t be taken like candy.”

    But pregnancy should be?

    That’d be pretty expensive candy, too—and I’ll bet it doesn’t even taste good. And it’s NOT on a whim, it’s in response to the very real threat of pregnancy. Nobody tells us not to keep fire extinguishers in our houses “on a whim.”

    By the way, filed under Criminally Illogical Logic, I’ve heard a lot of “concerns” about the hormones in EC, generally in relationship to its potential over-the-counter status and potential use by young women. Doesn’t pregnancy have an absolute shitload more hormones than this?!?!

    Reading the actual article, the part where the counselor describes girls asking for help with broken condoms and sexual assault, and asks what she is going to tell thes girls, really hit me. And, of course, there’s the requisite anti-choice “other people should be forced to do what my beliefs say they should” comment, which hit me in another way: with the urge to throw up.

  5. 5
    Josh Jasper says:

    “on a whim”? “like candy”?

    What an idiot.

  6. 6
    Sarah says:

    EC is actually pretty safe compared to a lot of other medications , which don’t seem to elicit anything like the same “concern” from these people.

    In any case, no one is saying that EC is a fantastic thing in itself. It makes you feel horribly nauseous and unwell, and no one would take it for fun. But if you don’t want to have a baby, and you accidentally become pregnant, the only other option is abortion, which is surely more traumatic and potentially harmful to a woman than the EC pills. Of course enforced pregnancy and birth would be many times more harmful again.

    It’s a predictable route we’re going down though. First opposition to abortion, then to EC which often removes the need for abortion, then it’ll be opposition to ordinary birth control pills, which reduce the need for either.

    I wonder sometimes whether it isn’t just ignorance, and the EC opponents are genuinely confusing it with the pills that are used for medical abortion? You might guess that from the way they talk about ” killing tiny embryonic humans” or whatever it was. EC doesn’t cause an abortion, it prevents implantation, ie prevents pregnancy. You can’t have an abortion if you were never pregnant in the first place. If implantation hasn’t even taken place yet, there is no embryo, it’s far to early in the process for that.

    Of course another part of me suspects that they know this perfectly well, and are just taking advantage of the general ignorance and confusion to try to sell their point better.

  7. 7
    AndiF says:

    I think that Peggy Hamill should be trying to get rid of Wisconsin’s sewer system since must be drowning hundreds of tiny embyonic human beings every month.

  8. 8
    AndiF says:

    And if I wanted more support for my argument (made inthe “we’ve lost” post) that we are paying too much attention to federal elections and the SCOTUS and not enough to local and state elections, this would certainly seem to provide it.

  9. 9
    Anne says:

    EC doesn’t cause an abortion, it prevents implantation, ie prevents pregnancy. You can’t have an abortion if you were never pregnant in the first place. If implantation hasn’t even taken place yet, there is no embryo, it’s far to early in the process for that.

    There is a lot of confusion and/or willful ignorance about what constitutes pregnancy. There are plenty of “pro-lifers” who will vehemently insist that just having a fertilized egg inside you means you’re pregnant — because that’s all that matters, not the condition of your uterus. Furthermore, there are “pro-lifers” who have decided that anything that prevents pregnancy is necessarily an abortion.

  10. 10
    Elena says:

    This movement against BC by pro-lifers is probably good for pro-choicers in the not very long run, although we still have to check them. They will have jumped the shark irrevocalbly once most Americans realize they want us all to not have any birth control. When it stops affecting only teenage girls, it gets serious.

  11. 11
    LAmom says:

    The thing is, research appears to show that EC doesn’t prevent implantation, it only works if it’s taken before ovulation occurs.

    But for a long time, the only information that was out was that it was uncertain how EC worked and that it might work by preventing implantation (the same thing was also said about BCPs). So for some people it may take a while for the new findings to reach them.

    This is one of the issues, though, that separates the folks who believe that life begins with fertilization from the folks who object to contraception across the board. I’m starting to see that some anti-EC advocates are moving away from the abortifacient argument and focusing more on the idea that EC promotes reckless behavior.

  12. 12
    Elena says:

    On Slate there was an article a while back stating that the long time pro-life groups are trying to back slowly away from the fringe groups that hate BC and even EC because that’s all they need for the public to turn against them. It’s like late-term abortion is for the other side.

  13. 13
    Sarah says:

    LAmom, that’s interesting, I hadn’t heard of that possibility!

    Also re the original article:

    “I think it puts young women at great risk when they are told by medical professionals it’s just OK to take these emergency contraceptives at whim,” said state Rep. Jean Hundertmark, R-Clintonville, a co-sponsor of the bill. “It shouldn’t be taken like candy.”

    If there are recorded cases of medical professional telling young women “EC pills are just like candy, it’s fine to eat handfuls of them every day just for fun”, then we might have cause for concern. But I’d be very surprised if that was the case.

  14. 14
    Kim (basement variety!) says:

    From what I understand they also make the woman very sick the next day or two, like a bad stomach flu mixed with painful cramps. Who the hell is whimsical about that? Gee, not busy for the weekend, think I’ll get layed friday night and then take Plan B saturday morning. That should cover the whole weekend!

  15. 15
    AndiF says:

    Well, at least the right has made it clear that they think young women are both immoral and stupid. Ought to be a good selling point for attracting the under-voting college set to progressive candidates.

  16. 16
    jrochest says:

    The “morning after pill” is a pretty old idea, and it’s been around for quite a while. I’ve used it a couple of times over the last ten or fifteen years. It’s basically a overdose of the original old-fashioned 1960′s birth control pills, and like them, it can produce queasiness — the first time I took it my doctor gave me a dose of Dramamine at the same time. I didn’t need it. I have more of a reaction to antibiotics, in fact. And the cramps are just normal cramps — you are, effectively, “making your period come”.

    But no, it’s not something I’d do for fun — but the morning after the condom broke it’s nice to know it’s there!

  17. 17
    wookie says:

    God I love Canada.

    So basically, in the minds of anti-contraception people, women should never have sex. Unless they want babies. Which really puts a whole “crimp” in the equality of the sexes, pursuit of life, liberty an happiness thing, don’t it?

  18. 18
    Nick Kiddle says:

    So basically, in the minds of anti-contraception people, women should never have sex. Unless they want babies.
    But… but…. why else would a woman have sex if not to make a baby? Surely women don’t want sex because, y’know, it’s fun or anything. Or if they do, it’s because they’re liberal pinko commie feminazis who are too depraved for the righteous protectors of public morality to waste another thought on.

  19. 19
    Robert says:

    So basically, in the minds of anti-contraception people, women should never have sex. Unless they want babies.

    Replace the word “women” with “people”, and you’re spot on.