So, I was reading an article that’s one of a series dedicated to debunking myths used by people who are anti-choice. And in said article, it mentioned the idea, usually found expressed in a derogatory fashion, that women [especially women of particular social groups or groupings; for example, “teenagers”, “working class”, “ill-educated”] will, if they can, use abortion “as birth control/ contraception”, depending on which side of the Atlantic you’re on.

Anyway, this got me thinking, and my thinking was this:

abortion is birth control. It is, quite literally, controlling the birth of the unwanted foetus. You can’t get much more controlling of birth than deciding that you absolutely don’t want it to happen after carrying the foetus to term, and having the means to make that birth not happen.

On the other hand, abortion is clearly not contraception. Abortion is the removal of a pregnancy that has already developed; contraception is making sure that there isn’t a pregnancy in the first place. The two are qualitatively different.

And yet, contraception could also be described accurately as birth control. Clearly, if one controls the presence or absence of a pregnancy, that will give, by definition, some control over the presence or absence of a birth. Evidently, contraception is only birth control if it works – if not, then there will be a pregnancy, and to control the birth then would require a decision to either have an abortion or not.

Yes, I am pedantic.

Still, I think there’s merit in pointing out that actually, abortion is a very valuable form of birth control.

It’s all in the wording, you see. Because the anti-choice brigade don’t like the idea of women having any kind of control at all.