Monday, June 11, 2012

New York Times Investigation Finds Morning After Pill is Not An Abortion Pill – Anti-Abortion Rights Group Should be Thrilled

But Of Course They Won’t Be

The people who spend their lives attempting to deny the rights of women to control their own bodies and health care are focused most strongly on the abortion rights issue.  The development of a ‘morning after’ birth control pill should have been a huge positive for them.  The pill allows women to prevent pregnancy even if they had not engaged in any previous form of birth control.  The logic here is simple, no unwanted pregnancy, no potential abortion.

Instead the anti-abortion rights people strongly fought the approval of the morning after pill, somehow arguing that the process itself was an abortion.

Based on the belief that a fertilized egg is a person, some religious groups and conservative politicians say disrupting a fertilized egg’s ability to attach to the uterus is abortion, “the moral equivalent of homicide,” as Dr. Donna Harrison, who directs research for the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, put it. Mitt Romney recently called emergency contraceptives “abortive pills.” And two former Republican presidential candidates, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, have made similar statements.

These beliefs would have had at least a minimal level of credibility has they been based on fact. It turns out they were not.  Here are the clinical details.

But an examination by The New York Times has found that the federally approved labels and medical Web sites do not reflect what the science shows. Studies have not established that emergency contraceptive pills prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in the womb, leading scientists say. Rather, the pills delay ovulation, the release of eggs from ovaries that occurs before eggs are fertilized, and some pills also thicken cervical mucus so sperm have trouble swimming.

And how did the misinformation come about?

The notion that morning-after pills prevent eggs from implanting stems from the Food and Drug Administration’s decision during the drug-approval process to mention that possibility on the label — despite lack of scientific proof, scientists say, and objections by the manufacturer of Plan B, the pill on the market the longest. Leading scientists say studies since then provide strong evidence that Plan B does not prevent implantation, and no proof that a newer type of pill, Ella, does. 

Of course the anti-abortion rights fanatics never ever want to admit they may have been wrong about anything.  So some have to accuse scientists of injecting their own personal beliefs into the studies and with absolutely no proof or evidence whatsoever they make unfounded accusations like this.

Critics said they wondered if scientists and government agencies were debunking an implantation effect because they support abortion rights. Jonathan Imbody, vice president of government relations for the Christian Medical Association, wrote on, that the fact sheets contradict Plan B’s abortion-inducing nature and raise questions about “whether ideological considerations are driving these decisions.”

But what is really clear here is that the anti-abortion rights people are only partly interested in preventing abortions.  If that was their only driving force they would loudly embrace these results.  An estimated 12 million doses of the morning after pill are sold each year,

Emergency contraceptive use has steadily increased, with about 12 million packages sold last year, according to IMS Health and the SymphonyIRI Group, health information and market research companies.

and if that results in prevention of several hundred thousand abortions then anti-abortion activists should be ecstatic.

The fact that they are not is just further evidence that there agenda is far more about controlling the private lives of citizens than it is about abortion rights. 

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