Since personhood supporters consider any form of birth control which works after fertilization has occurred to be the equivalent of abortion, both personhood supporters and opponents agree that personhood would prohibit at least some commonly used forms of birth control. There is, however, considerable debate about precisely which methods might be protected.
Personhood would not affect barrier contraception, such as condoms and diaphragms, since these work exclusively by keeping sperm from reaching the egg, and have no post-fertilization effects. Likewise, natural family planning (the “rhythm method”) would not be affected.
At the other extreme, any form of birth control which prevents a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus would be considered abortifacient under personhood. IUDs would almost certainly be prohibited under personhood, as would emergency contraception (the “morning-after pill”). The IUD prohibition would also potentially affect women with existing IUDs, and force them to have their IUDs removed.
All forms of hormonal birth control pills have at least a theoretical possibility of preventing implantation of a fertilized egg, meaning that they would possibly be illegal under personhood. Many personhood advocates, including the sponsor of the proposed 2012 Ohio initiative, the drafter of the proposed 2012 Colorado initiative, and a key spokesperson for Yes On 26, are on record as stating that they believe some or all types of birth control pills cause abortion.
State personhood organizations in Wisconsin, Colorado, and Nevada are explicit that they consider birth control pills to be “chemical abortifacients” which are incompatible with personhood because of their potential implantation-prevention effects.
If a state enacts personhood, it will ultimately be up to that state’s legislatures and courts to decide which methods of birth control will remain available, and which will be prohibited. Do you really trust your legislators and judges to make your birth control decisions for you?