Trigger warning: extreme slut shaming and body shaming, brief mention of sexual assault
In case you missed the deluge of this sort of thing last year, there’s an entire Wikipedia article devoted to documenting how prominent Republicans are apparently suffering from a very poor understanding of how reproductive processes well, work. And we’re not talking about common misconceptions, like that all women have innately and extremely regular menstrual cycles of precisely 28 days. No, the ignorance of basic biology in some conservative corners of the US is actually quite exotic. Senatorial candidate Todd Akin, famously, held the apparent belief that women can magically “shut down” the entire process of getting pregnant if the conception would have occurred because of a rape. Say what you will about the unusual and untrue nature of his statement, but at least it had the fig leaf of a long history as a pseudo-scientific theory.
Apparently, some people who want to control female bodies have decided they’re not even going to go with dubious but established mythology about reproductive processes, and are just going to start making stuff up. Late last week, radio show host Kevin Swanson went on air and declared-
I’m beginning to get some evidence from certain doctors and certain scientists that have done research on women’s wombs after they’ve gone through the surgery, and they’ve compared the wombs of women who were on the birth control pill to those who were not on the birth control pill. And they have found that with women who are on the birth control pill, there are 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.
Yeah, there’s a lot of WTF there. Birth control pills prevent the fertilization of ova (or “eggs”). But according to Swanson, they ostensibly allow something “just like dead babies” to develop, and then get embedded into the womb? The tissue that lines the uterus (that’s fancy talk for “womb”) is actually constantly being expelled and replaced. But somehow, years of “dead babies” are still there?
Basically, if you know pretty much anything about anatomy this entire explanation makes no sense. It’s quite literally just something Kevin Swanson came up with on the fly to explain why he’s opposed to (among other things): “men and women fighting and not being happy with the role that God put them in that he laid out in Genesis.”
Yes, this pretty much the opposite of science – it’s one person independently reaching for an explanation that fits the desired conclusion (in this case, that birth control is unimaginably terrible). If Kevin Swanson doesn’t want to admit to simply making things up on the fly, he should name some names. Tell us what scientists and doctors have worked out that a given uterus rotates around the earth, rather than the sun.