What Do Bachelor Contestants and Evangelical Christians Have in Common? Birth Control Lies!
I have a confession—I’m a member of Bachelor Nation, and I’m deep in it.
Seriously. I keep tabs on the Instagram pages of former contestants with curious, if not zealous, glee. But lately, I’ve noticed this weird (yep, even weirder than usual) trend:
Bachelor influencers, and other influencers, have begun to promote “natural” birth control methods in the name of so-called “wellness.” I read things like, “I didn’t want to use scary, synthetic hormones, so I’m using a natural method.” The underlining thought is that hormones in birth control are dangerous. As someone who was raised evangelical, this messaging is eerily familiar to me.
In sermon after sermon, I was informed that one of my biggest goals in life was to keep myself pure (read: no sex) for my future husband and to serve him (read: have sex with him whenever he wants) when we’re married. All of that came with a healthy dose of fear around what birth control does to your body and suggestions that it was better to avoid that risk entirely. Birth control is a perceived threat to traditional gender roles because it means I can have sex with whoever I want for fun, not to have a baby, without fear of getting pregnant. It means I can have an identity separate from motherhood—one that serves only myself and not my future children or partner.
Since I’ve left the church, I’ve watched these fears around birth control become more and more (and now Bachelor-level) mainstream.
We’ve been seeing a ton of attacks on birth control that attempt to limit birth control access, especially for certain methods and for minors. And extremists have realized that, if they want to restrict contraception access even further, one sure-fire way is by pushing out the false narrative that birth control is dangerous, so no one should use it or there should be limitations on its use because it’s too risky.
As an abortion doula, that logic sounds, once again, eerily familiar to me. The clinic where I used to volunteer had to shut down for a while to make medically unnecessary changes after politicians passed a bill just to make a hallway wider. Yep. And all of this was done in the name of “safety,” when abortion is safe. Misinformation on the so-called “dangers” of abortion is on purpose—making abortion seem unsafe paved the way for restrictions and eventually bans on abortion. And birth control is headed down that same path.
The bottom line is that everyone deserves access to abortion, and to the method of birth control that they want. All of the misinformation out there, from Bachelor-nation influencers to state legislators, makes it hard for people to feel empowered to make the choice that’s right for them and could lay the groundwork for so-called “safety” restrictions on birth control access. And that would be an offline, real-world threat against our ability to control our own bodies, lives, and reproductive futures.
It happened with abortion, but no matter what Bachelor nation says, we won’t let it happen with birth control next.