Today, in eyeroll emojis: ThinkProgress reports on a 19-year-old woman who visited anti-abortion centers that pose as clinics and lure women in with the promise of free pregnancy testing, then try to coerce them into staying pregnant with misinformation about abortion. This isn't a new practice—I helped investigate similar centers in Washington State in 2011 for our sister paper The Stranger—but this detail about IUDs is. Emphasis mine, because this is a new one:
And even women who aren’t necessarily interested in having an abortion may receive inaccurate information at CPCs from employees who aren’t actually trained in reproductive health. Cristina asked for an ultrasound at several centers; at two of them, the staff incorrectly identified her IUD as her “baby.” NARAL has also documented repeated instances of CPC employees misleading women about their risk of miscarriage, telling them they don’t need to make a decision about their pregnancy right away because they have up to a 50 percent chance of miscarrying — even though medical professionals put that risk closer to 15 percent.
Okay, do you know what an IUD looks like on an ultrasound? It looks like a stick. A shiny stick, glittering brightly among the black waves of one's endometrium. Do you know what an embryo looks like? A clump of pulsing organic matter! Quite different! I suppose I can understand a layperson confusing the two, maybe—sex ed sux, etc.—but anti-abortion activists? They're ALL ABOUT fetus illustrations and models. And frankly, I expect better from squishy fetus doll propagandists.
But then again, I can understand the urge to anthropomorphize one's long-acting, biohack-adjacent birth control. As objects, the IUD and its cousin the implant really are kind of cute, not to mention practical and worthy of admiration. A Mirena IUD saved one of my friends from horrible cramps. Another compares her ParaGard to a little copper sentry, warding off intruders. And I think of my Nexplanon as a cool little alien visitor that lives in my bicep and watches out for me. Don't worry, anti-choice activists. I choose life for my Nexplanon every day!