Monday, February 27, 2006

Morning-after: Why MSOC has it wrong

Let me start by saying that I love MSOC's diaries--especially the one on D&X, which I will be quoting repeatedly in any future discussions I have on this issue with members of the Christofascist Zombie Brigade.

But MSOC's latest effort concerning emergency contraception is a wee tad off the mark, in my opinion. Not that she's not correct in everything that she was saying, but I don't think she and others realize the awful and terrible truth--and that is this. You see, the point is that they actually are following logic and reason with regard to the methodology of the morning-after pill.

THIS SB609 BILL IS MUCH WORSE THAN YOU THINK.

Let me start by restating the stipulations of SB609:

Employers cannot refuse to hire, discriminate against, segregate, or terminate a pharmaceutical professional because of their opposition to any service involving a particular drug or device that they have a good faith belief is used for abortions.


Now, of course it's true that most people who hear this are going to believe that all this law does is allow pharmacists not to dispense RU-486 if they don't want to--failing, of course, to realize that pharmacists don't dispense RU-486 to begin with.

MSOC is correct in pointing out that this is an assault on the availability of birth control, but what she failed, in my view, to realize is that this assault isn't being done only by engendering confusion among the populace between RU-486 and the morning-after pill--it's a cold, calculating logical maneuver.

You see, MSOC is of course right about the difference between RU-486 and progestin-based contraceptives: RU-486 ends an established pregnancy, whereas progestin-based contraceptives, like The Pill and the morning-after pill, do not.

But let's take a look one more time at how progestin-based contraceptives prevent pregnancy:

For those of you who aren't familiar, "The Pill" works to prevent pregnancy:

* By stopping the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation).
* It may prevent the union of sperm and egg (fertilization).
* If fertilization does occur, it may prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb (implantation).

Since the "morning after pill" is the very same hormone as "The Pill," you might be curious as to how it works to prevent pregnancy:

* By stopping the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation).
* It may prevent the union of sperm and egg (fertilization).
* If fertilization does occur, it may prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb (implantation).

Sound familiar? It should, because it's the same hormone, and it prevents pregnancy in exactly the same way.


All well and good, you say? Different from RU-486, you say? Not so. Let's take a look at postulate number three one more time:

If fertilization does occur, it may prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb (implantation).


Guess what that means? If one defines life as beginning with conception, as the Wingnuts are more than happy to do, the morning-after pill--and even The Pill itself--have the capability to cause a fertilized egg not to implant, and thus TO CAUSE AN ABORTION THAT IS BY THAT LOGIC NO DIFFERENT FROM THOSE CAUSED BY RU-486. It doesn't really matter that at least half of fertilized eggs fail to implant anyway, which by Wingnut logic would mean that God is conducting a perpetual and massive holocaust every single day. It just matters that by the "life begins at conception" logical standard, there is no difference between RU-486 and progestin.

If, at any future point in time, this bill becomes law and any other previous or future bill in the state of Missouri defines life as beginning with conception, any pharmacist anywhere will have the legal right not to dispense birth control--simply because progestin can sometimes prevent the implantation of a zygote.

MSOC is right: This is an assault on the availability of even simple birth control. But it's not coming from the platform of "lack of logic and understanding" that she thinks it's coming from. It's coming from a frighteningly well-calculated logical position. If we want to fight for availability of birth control, we need to realize what angle they're taking on this--and shut it down before it gets a chance to implant.

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