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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Morning-After Pill...

Posted by on Tue, Jun 5, 2012 at 12:16 PM

...does not induce abortions:

Labels inside every box of morning-after pills, drugs widely used to prevent pregnancy after sex, say they may work by blocking fertilized eggs from implanting in a woman’s uterus. Respected medical authorities, including the National Institutes of Health and the Mayo Clinic, have said the same thing on their Web sites. Such descriptions have become kindling in the fiery debate over abortion and contraception. 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.

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. It turns out that the politically charged debate over morning-after pills and abortion, a divisive issue in this election year, is probably rooted in outdated or incorrect scientific guesses about how the pills work. Because they block creation of fertilized eggs, they would not meet abortion opponents’ definition of abortion-inducing drugs. In contrast, RU-486 is an abortion pill because it destroys implanted embryos, terminating pregnancies.

Don't expect this new information to end the "fiery debate" about the morning-after pill. Rightwing groups are still out there pushing the lie that abortions cause breast cancer. Republicans around the country are pushing laws that would require doctors to lie to women about a supposed "link" between abortion and breast cancer.


Comments (22) RSS

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and you can take a pill the morning after and the fertilization will not yet have occurred? the sperm are that slow? am I missing something?
Posted by myr on June 5, 2012 at 12:27 PM · Report this
biffp 2
Verifable science end a debate with Republicans? Not likely. The Republicans are pushing for birth control not to be legal and re-dating the Scopes Trial of 1927. By the 2016 election, expect a debate about the planet being round if the Koch Brothers think it might enrich their pocketbooks.
Posted by biffp on June 5, 2012 at 12:31 PM · Report this
Interesting. So a couple undergoing IVF treatments would be able to take the morning after pill with no effects, because conception has already happened at the time the zygote is introduced. I wonder if there have been any animal studies of this in particular.

@1- sperm can live in a woman for up to 5 days. She may not have ovulated by the morning after.
Posted by Teshumai on June 5, 2012 at 12:31 PM · Report this
Republicans are such bad bad men.

I wish they were all fuckin' dead.......
Posted by UWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA on June 5, 2012 at 12:41 PM · Report this
The Right will simply counter this scientific evidence by stating that, once the man has planted his seed in the furrow of the woman's nether-bits, it is GOD'S WILL that those sperm therefore have the right to fulfill their GOD-GIVEN DESTINY to become a fetus.

Shortly after which, GOP state representatives around the country will begin introducing "full human rights for sperm & ovum" legislation...
Posted by COMTE on June 5, 2012 at 1:03 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 6

The morning after pill prevents ovulation, not fertilization of an already released egg.
Posted by keshmeshi on June 5, 2012 at 1:30 PM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 7
Well. Part of the confusion here is because of semantics. The real "morning after" pill (RU-whateverthefuckitis) does, indeed, prevent implantation of fertilized eggs. But that's not legal here. What you're talking about is Plan B, which is an entirely different thing.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on June 5, 2012 at 1:46 PM · Report this
secretagent 8
My theory is that because they don't know *exactly* how it works in every case, and they can't rule out that it might do that, ever, they include that "implantation of a fertilized egg" verbiage. Because *if* it ever does that and they don't include it, someone would likely sue their asses off. Though how they'd prove it is likely beyond us at this point.

Kind of like how they have to say on soap bottles that eating it may lead to death, though how in the fuck someone could eat enough soap to cause death is questionable.
Posted by secretagent on June 5, 2012 at 1:55 PM · Report this
very bad homo 9
Masturbation is murder.
Posted by very bad homo on June 5, 2012 at 2:12 PM · Report this
Sea Otter 10
Be that as it may, it's insane to equate destroying a zygote (many of which are destroyed by the woman's body before they implant, buy the way) with murder.

A fertilized egg is NOT a person, any more than any other single cell is a person. It is a cell with the special property of being a potential person, but aside from that it's very much like any cell anywhere in your body. Think about the normal criteria for what constitutes a person. Whatever your criteria, it's likely that a zygote fulfills none of them (unless you believe that a zygote possesses a soul, in which case you believe in fairy tales IMO). It doesn't have a heart, a brain, feelings, or any recognizable features of a person.

And if your argument is that preventing a new human being from forming at all is the same as murder, well, then masturbation really is murder. In fact, if a woman says "not tonight honey" when she's ovulating, that should be considered murder too.

Posted by Sea Otter on June 5, 2012 at 5:42 PM · Report this
I've had an IUD for 10 years. A few different IUDs, but y'all know what I mean. That happy little bastard in my womb makes sure that nothing else takes hold in my womb. Women in my family are notoriously fertile. Sneeze in one of our general directions, and someone could be calling you daddy next year. Potentially, theoretically, I've had 120 abortions. Is that a record?

If we're going to stetch it to life begins at the point when there is a viable cell to be fertilized, then every female is pregnant at birth.
Posted by catballou on June 5, 2012 at 5:44 PM · Report this
Sea Otter 12
*by the way. Dammit.
Posted by Sea Otter on June 5, 2012 at 5:44 PM · Report this
The GOP has never let facts stop them before, why let it now? When they're wrong, the just shout or filibuster until the other person gives up.
Posted by MinnySota on June 5, 2012 at 6:18 PM · Report this
Ob Gyn here:
The kind of Emergency Contraception used in my country is based on the progestagen Levonorgestrel. Same used for Mini-Pills for breastfeeding women. Since it's a progestagen (a progestin derived drug) it wouldn't actually harm HUMAN zygotes. The initial confusion derives from earlier studies (Yale studies in the late 60's if I remember right) that showed Levonorgestrel could have an anti implantatory efect in MICE AND RABBITS. The reproduction of such animals is quite diffrent from human's and those studies were fast left behind. Catholics are trying to use these kind of arguments since then, though.

As far as IUD's go, there are two kinds: the copper ones DO NOT CAUSE ABORTIONS. The copper in them is toxic for sperm, and the actual rate of fertilization while using one is very small, as studied in monkeys. The other kind of IUD's, the progestin ones, act pretty much like mini pills do, avoiding ovulation.
just my nerd intervention for the day.
thanks for listening.

Posted by ferfer on June 5, 2012 at 6:22 PM · Report this

have you tried lube?
Posted by Harry Knuckles on June 5, 2012 at 7:24 PM · Report this
Even if it did stop implantation of a fertilized egg (which happens all the time by the way), that fertilized egg is akin to a paramecium. It has less ability to feel or think or react than the mosquito did before it hit your windshield. It is less like a human being than a cup of yogurt. You violently end more life with every footstep than is in a fertilized egg. It's not a person.
Posted by beccoid on June 5, 2012 at 11:01 PM · Report this
sounds like your typical slog liberal
Posted by remember Liberals- abort early and often! on June 5, 2012 at 11:27 PM · Report this
venomlash 18
@17: Sorry, is "paramecium" too big a word for you?
Posted by venomlash on June 6, 2012 at 12:55 AM · Report this
Sorry. Is the concept that Liberals have less ability to feel or think than the mosquito and are less like a human being than a cup of yogurt too complex a comparison for you?
Posted by Your Momma is a Paramecium on June 6, 2012 at 4:48 AM · Report this
Actually, 5280, RU-486 is a full-on abortion drug (frequently referred to as a "medically-induced abortion") that can be administered up to 6 weeks of pregnancy, and will almost always cause, essentially "miscarriage." It is 100% legal here, but is expensive and must be administered by a doctor. The morning after pill is Plan B, prevents pregnancy in the first place, and is only effective for, at most, 72 hours after *sex*. It is also 100% legal here, but any woman 17 or older can pick it up from a pharmacy without a prescription, and take the medication at home, on her own.
Posted by Ms. D on June 6, 2012 at 6:50 AM · Report this
venomlash 21
@19: If I wanted my own comeback, I'd have wiped it off your mother's chin.
Do you even know what a paramecium is? (NIGHTMARE MODE: no Googling allowed)
Posted by venomlash on June 6, 2012 at 3:36 PM · Report this
Sea Otter 22
@20 RU-486 can be used (in a lower dose) as an emergency contraceptive as well. It's dual purpose.
Posted by Sea Otter on June 7, 2012 at 12:19 AM · Report this

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