Sunday, March 13, 2016

Are Emergency Contraceptive Pills Also Abortifacients?

It seems like abortion is going to be a pretty big issue in this year's upcoming election, thanks in large part to what was happening with the Planned Parenthood sting. Recently, I was talking with someone about emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) such as Plan B and RU 486. The idea was advanced that it would be better for a woman to use ECPs following a rape instead of waiting several weeks to do an abortion that would involve "sucking out" the baby. It would be better, so the theory goes, because a pregnancy doesn't begin until implantation. Of course, it's a scientific fact that life begins at conception. ECPs disrupt the embryo from attaching to the uterine wall. Thus, an abortion occurs. Below, I'll post some exerpts from my discussion. I found a lot of interesting information that I wasn't aware of, and answered the question that had been burning in my mind for some time now: When do certain organizations (like the Food and Drug Administration) declare that a pregnancy begins? The answers may or may not surprise you. Relevant links to the information I cite will also be provided.
The Child Jesus Sleeping on a Cross- Cornelio Schut

...There is no moral issue with one using the Pill for medicinal reasons [such as severe hemorrhaging], this is where the principle of double effect comes into play. However, [on the subject of ECPs], I think that several polemicists and pro-abortion advocates have skewed facts on where life begins, thus obscuring basic facts. I think many of us agree that, scientifically, human life begins at conception, when the sperm meets the egg. This makes "fertilized" egg a misnomer.

Take a look at this paper put out by Princeton in January of this year, just a couple months ago:
"ECPs [Emergency Contraceptive Pills] do not interrupt an established pregnancy, defined by medical authorities such as the United States Food and Drug Administration/National Institutes of Health and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as beginning with implantation. Therefore, ECPs are not abortifacient."

This statement can only be valid if we accept the definition of pregnancy laid out and first used by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in 1965, when they declared (as does the FDA today) that a pregnancy begins only when an embryo implants in the endometrium (the uterine wall).

Second, this statement from the Princeton report can also only be valid if we dismiss numerous statements made by the scientists in objective studies, such as this one:
"The development of a human being begins with fertilization, a process by which two highly specialized cells, the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female, unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote." [Langman, Jan. Medical Embryology. 3rd edition. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1975, p. 3]
So we know that a life is physically present not only when an embryo implants, but before then; when the sperm and egg meet at the moment of conception. So I agree that one does not have a right to kill that child conceived in rape, either before or after the child implants on the uterine wall. We can certainly argue that the evidence that ECPs can cause abortions are "weak" (I do not think that), but lets take a look at what the Princeton report goes on to say:
"To make an informed choice, women must know that ECPs—like all regular hormonal contraceptives such as the birth control pill, the implant Implanon, the vaginal ring NuvaRing, the Evra patch, and the injectable Depo-Provera, and even breastfeeding—prevent pregnancy primarily by delaying or inhibiting ovulation and inhibiting fertilization, but it is not scientifically possible to definitively rule out that a method may inhibit implantation of a fertilized egg in the endometrium."
So we see right here an admittance that not only RU 486 is an abortifacient, but Plan B very well may be as well, especially since the FDA is defining pregnancy as beginning at the implantation on the endometrium and not at conception. Again, this is why I cannot support the use of Plan B.
Massacre of the Innocents- Jean-Baptiste Marie Pierre
Some might argue that even through all this, it doesn't make it wrong to use Plan B in certain situations. Perhaps, in a sense. First off, , I do think it is wrong an immoral to use contraceptives, that is, for the sole purpose of preventing pregnancy. The case you've mentioned of hemorrhaging doesn't apply; that's a legitimate use. I also believe that a woman can certainly defend herself against being impregnated by a rapist attacker by using something such as spermicide. Even the Catholic Church agrees on this matter, as seen HERE:
"A douche or spermicide is licitly used by a woman violated by one other than her husband; a female condom is licit, if such be available. But the use of an abortifacient IUD or a sometimes abortifacient Pill attacks the life-or deliberately risks attacking the life-of another person. And that is an offense against God's commandment: "Thou shalt not kill." Once a child is conceived, the mother must say yes to God and allow the child, who is innocent, to live. Love covers a multitude of sins, we know; love can cover over even the sins of rapists, and make life tolerable for the violated woman and for the new baby."
But here's why I don't see Plan B as a right or moral action after a rape. From the Charlotte Lozier Institute:
"To summarize: It is possible that Plan B may delay ovulation when given before or at the beginning of the fertile period, when the chance of pregnancy is slim to none, and therefore, it is not “needed” to prevent pregnancy.When given after intercourse in the fertile period and before the LH peak that triggers ovulation, Plan B fails to act as a contraceptive 80-92% of the time; it acts instead as an abortifacient, eliminating all embryos likely to have been conceived. When given on the day of ovulation or later to prevent pregnancy from intercourse during the fertile period, it almost always fails to prevent established pregnancies."
To view all the data in an un-summarized form, read the full article at the following link:

...we can see that Plan B also can get rid of the embryo, as it acts as an abortifacient at least 80% of the time when given after intercourse. Whether the child is being sucked out or ripped out (as mentioned in an above comment) or dying as a result of Plan B, both are still defined as abortions.

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