From Roe-Bots to Inflatable IUD in DC: Pro-Abortion Scare Tactics Hit a New Low

‘If they can convince the public Republicans are trying to ban contraception, it will be a good issue for them. The thing is, it’s all based on a lie …’

People walk past a 20-foot (6-meter) tall inflatable intrauterine device (IUD) outside of Union Station in Washington, DC, on June 5, 2024.
People walk past a 20-foot (6-meter) tall inflatable intrauterine device (IUD) outside of Union Station in Washington, DC, on June 5, 2024. (photo: Drew Angerer / Getty )

Claiming that access to contraception is in jeopardy, an abortion advocacy group recently placed a 20-foot inflatable IUD outside Union Station in Washington, D.C., signaling their determination to create a right to contraception.

Americans for Contraception (AFC), which claims “everything is under attack” since the 2022 U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health ruling against a constitutional right to abortion, timed the placement of the giant contraceptive device to coincide with a U.S. Senate vote Wednesday on the Right to Contraception Act. 

Although the Democrat-sponsored bill failed to garner the 60 votes needed to move the measure forward, supporters plan to employ it to target Republicans who voted against it. Meanwhile, with an announcement Tuesday that the House will seek a vote on a similar measure, Democrats and “reproductive rights” advocates are sending a strong message that they plan to make contraception access a key issue as the nation moves toward the November election. 

Mary Szoch, director of the Family Research Council’s Center for Human Dignity, said, however, that the issue is largely a fake one because contraception use is supported by previous Supreme Court decisions and is not under attack. 

“No state, no one at the federal level is even talking about banning contraception,” she told the Register. “This is a case of Democrats using scare tactics and trying to make something into an issue when it isn’t.” 

Nonetheless, Szoch said, Democrats know that such tactics have worked well for them in the past. “If they can convince the public Republicans are trying to ban contraception, it will be a good issue for them. The thing is, it’s all based on a lie.”

All but two Republicans voted against the Senate bill, which opponents claimed was not only unnecessary but problematic, in that it failed to protect religious freedom for employers and providers who believe contraception is immoral. 

Additionally, Szoch said, the bill’s definition of contraceptive as “any drug, device or biological product intended to prevent pregnancy or for other health needs” is so broad as to include the abortion drug mifepristone. Restrictions on that drug are currently the subject of a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. 

The American Principles Project also has criticized the bill, saying it could be interpreted in a way that would prevent health-care providers from denying minors “gender-reassignment”  procedures, including puberty-blocking drugs and genital surgeries. 

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA Pro-Life America, said in a statement that the so-called “Right to Contraception Act” should more accurately be titled the “Payouts for Planned Parenthood Act” because it would funnel money to the abortion industry and create a “right” to abortion drugs in addition to overriding conscience protections. Dannenfelser said, “Democrats clearly put contraception in the title of the bill to distract and cover up the taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood.”

Dannenfelser’s statement added that contraception is legal and available in every state and is funded by Congress through numerous federal programs every year. 

“This legislation requires taxpayers to bail out profit-driven abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood, where expectant mothers are sold abortions 97% of the time,” she said. “It’s clear the Democrats’ priority is not helping women, but helping the abortion lobby that spends millions to get them elected.”

Sen. Katie Britt, R-Ala., addressed the need for a right-to-contraception bill in a speech on the Senate floor earlier this week, accusing her Democratic colleagues of fearmongering in advancing the legislation. 

“Contraception is available in every state across the nation,” Britt said, adding that she supports nationwide access to contraception. “It’s not that [Democrats] believe there is a problem they’re truly trying to solve.” 

Indeed, the Supreme Court in 1965 ruled that state bans on contraceptives violated the right to privacy for married couples. In 1972, the court said unmarried couples also had the right to use contraception. However, Democrats who support establishing a right to contraception have argued that the Supreme Court cannot be relied upon to uphold its previous rulings

Americans for Contraception concurs, citing a statement by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas that the court should reconsider past rulings in which the legal basis for the overturned Roe v. Wade abortion ruling was also the basis for other rights, including contraception access. AFC also claims access to contraception is being targeted by a range of candidates and policymakers. Among the examples they mention are Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo’s veto of the Right to Contraception Act in that state and lobbying against the Right to Contraception Act by pro-life organizations. 

AFC has announced it plans to spend more than $5 million in ads in battleground states targeting legislators who voted against the Right to Contraception Act in the Senate. The day after the vote, the group’s account on X, formerly Twitter, included a reposting of the name of every Republican senator who did not support the bill and multiple other posts calling attention to the vote. 

The group’s multipronged campaign also includes introducing bills in 16 states where they claim the right to basic birth control is being threatened, enlisting support from faith communities and gaming streamers, running ads aimed at men aged 18-24 on ESPN and The Joe Rogan Experience podcast and using Instagram and TikTok to widen their audience. 

Family Research Council’s Szoch said the contraception issue is likely being raised now because it is something the Democrats need going into the November election. “The reality is the economy is terrible. ... Democrats need to make this election about fake issues because otherwise they have nothing to run on.”

She expects a big push on contraception that will employ tactics similar to those used following the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health abortion decision that overturned Roe v. Wade

After Dobbs, she said, the message was, “If you restrict abortion, women will die.” 

“That’s a lie that has been peddled around the country,” she said, “and in the weeks leading up to the election, you’re going to see a lot more of that. They will not only be saying women are going to die, but that Republicans are going to ban all birth control so couples are going to be left with no other options. None of it is true.”

Szoch urged voters to question and research the claims they hear during the campaign. “Democrats are trying to run from a failing economy, a border crisis, a completely failing administration, and they will do anything possible to ensure that that administration is in charge again.”