Some birth control options could be banned if they are seen as abortion methods rather than pregnancy prevention, experts say

Some birth control options could be banned if they are seen as abortion methods rather than pregnancy prevention, experts say
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  • Some methods of birth control could be outlawed if they are seen as techniques to terminate a pregnancy.
  • Experts told Insider that birth control is not used to terminate a pregnancy, but to prevent it.

As public furor intensifies over a potential reversal of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court, experts warn that access to contraception could also be severely restricted in the near future.

Insider spoke to reproductive health doctors about the realities of private health decisions in a possible post-Roe world.

Some methods of birth control could be prohibited if they are viewed as abortion-inducing methods rather than pregnancy prevention, Seema Mohapatra, a law professor at the SMU Dedman School of Law, told Insider.

For instance, she said the Plan B pill and IUDs are seen as abortifacients, or medications used to induce an abortion, rather than their true function — techniques to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

A leaked draft opinion suggested the Supreme Court is open to overturning the landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide.


If the court curtails the right to an abortion, experts said it could further complicate access to reproductive medical care, such as the right to contraception.

For instance, Pennsylvania and Louisiana have introduced bills that would give rights to a fetus, starting at the point of fertilization.

Dr. Stephanie Gustin, a reproductive, endocrinology, and infertility specialist based in Omaha, Nebraska, told Insider that using contraception to induce abortions isn't scientifically accurate.

"The actual main way that combined oral contraceptives work is to make the lining of the uterus inhospitable because of progesterone, plus it makes cervical mucus harder for sperm to penetrate," Gustin told Insider.

The same goes for an IUD, she said, whose primary goal is to keep the uterine lining thin and inhospitable due to the introduction of progesterone in the uterus.


"Its primary purpose isn't to inhibit ovulation. Progesterone is helping to prevent unwanted pregnancy among other things," she said.

She continued: "If someone read the bill as they wanted to and interpreted it in their own light, one could say this is abortion because it is making it so an egg cannot be fertilized, but we know that's not the case."