A frequent argument from individuals who believe in reproductive freedom is that the politicians proposing, passing, and enforcing laws restricting what Americans can and cannot do with their own bodies should have to pass a ninth-grade biology class before doing so. While it wouldn’t solve everything—even an anti-choice zealot could, conceivably, read up on how all this works—it would go far in terms of eliminating people who, for instance, think “the female body has ways” to stop pregnancy as a result of rape and that an ectopic pregnancy can be “reimplant[ed].” Or that emergency contraception has anything, whatsoever, to do with fentanyl. Which at least one conservative hoping to be elected to higher office apparently does.
Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Texas last month, Matt DePerno, who is running for Michigan attorney general, was asked if there is any law in the state preventing people from using Plan B. “What’s Plan B?” DePerno responded, according to audio obtained by Heartland Signal. After being informed that it’s a form of emergency contraception, DePerno declared that such things must be stopped.
“You gotta figure out how to ban the pill from the state,” DePerno said. Asked if he had any ideas about how to do so, he answered: “You have to stop it at the border. It would be no different than fentanyl…. The state has to ban it, and it should be banned. But it’s just an issue of how do you enforce it; how do you make sure that it stops? That’s your problem.”
Plan B is a type of emergency contraception designed to prevent pregnancy. Fentanyl is an opioid used for pain management that make up the majority of deaths by overdose in the United States. As Heartland Signal notes, the former has nothing to do with the latter, or US borders, and “is a legal and safe medication that millions of people use.” Last year, GOP representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, whose face greets you when you look up the word “ignorance” in the dictionary, claimed on the House floor: “Contraception stops a woman from becoming pregnant. The Plan B pill kills a baby in the womb once a woman is already pregnant.” In fact, Plan B merely prevents ovulation and fertilization; it does not end a pregnancy that has already implanted. Unfortunately, many Republicans are idiots who either do not understand this or willfully misconstrue the facts for political gain.
In June, when the Supreme Court struck down the constitutional right to an abortion, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in a concurring opinion that the court should think about reversing the rulings that protect contraception, same-sex marriage, and same-sex sexual activity.