"I'm Just a Pill" aims 'Schoolhouse Rock'-inspired birth control lessons at Neil Gorsuch

"I'm Just a Pill" aims 'Schoolhouse Rock'-inspired birth control lessons at Neil Gorsuch
Source: YouTube
Source: YouTube

Listen up, conservative male lawmakers: An abortion rights group is reimagining a Schoolhouse Rock classic to clear up some stigmatizing misconceptions about emergency contraception. 

With its "I'm Just a Pill" video, the Lady Parts Justice League delivers a timely explainer on the basic facts of human reproduction and what birth control does. 

The video opens on a judgmental cashier refusing to sell a woman Plan B, an over-the-counter drug, on the grounds it "causes abortion," and abortion runs contrary to his faith. Plan B is supposed to be freely available to any customer, regardless of age or gender or insurance status, without a prescription. Many drugstores, however, still throw up obstacles to emergency contraception. 

As "I'm Just a Pill" points out, the moralizing is misplaced, because Plan B prevents ovulation — and if a woman's egg never makes it out of her ovary, it can't become fertilized. But even that, the jazzy Ms. Pill points out, doesn't constitute a pregnancy: A fertilized egg needs to implant in the uterus before it can be called a pregnancy, a process that takes about 72 hours if it happens at all. 

Lady Parts Justice League creator and Daily Show co-creator Lizz Winstead told the Huffington Post the video was timed specially for Judge Neil Gorsuch's Supreme Court confirmation hearings. 

"In his past rulings, [Gorsuch] has shown he lacks an understanding of basic science, for example, how pregnancy happens or birth control works," Winstead said. "It is imperative that we don't fill our Supreme Court with judges whose working knowledge of the reproductive system is akin to their working knowledge of pagers."

Indeed, Gorsuch's judicial record portends a less-than-promising future for women's reproductive health. In 2013, Gorsuch sided with Hobby Lobby in the 10th Circuit Court's ruling that religious freedoms excused businesses from covering employees' birth control. He also has a history of siding with anti-abortion rights factions. So "I'm Just a Pill's" refrain is a useful one for legislators and laypeople alike to remember:

"I'm just a pill, a helpful birth control pill, no matter what they say on Capitol Hill."

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Claire Lampen

Claire is a staff writer at Mic who covers women's issues and reproductive rights. She is based in New York and can be reached at claire@mic.com.

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