Matt C. Abbott
April 25, 2009
Yes, Virginia, Plan B is an abortifacient!
By Matt C. Abbott

I received the following e-mail from "Jane," a student at William Mitchell College of Law in Saint Paul, Minn. (I should note that she is not speaking on behalf of the college):

    'I am utterly disgusted by your article I stumbled across today, titled 'Plan B and the 'contraception will reduce abortions' myth.'

    Contraception is not abortion. Contraception works to prevent ovulation primarily, secondarily to thicken the cervical mucosa to prevent sperm from reaching the egg in the case of ovulation. However, if fertilization is to occur, birth control does not prevent implantation of the embryo into the uterine lining.

    'Plan B, or emergency contraception, works similarly. When taken within 72 after unprotected sex, Plan B works to prevent ovulation. If ovulation has already occurred, and fertilization is able to occur, pregnancy results. Scientific studies have not shown that emergency contraception has the ability to prevent implantation, or somehow terminate the pregnancy after implantation. In fact, scientific studies from the Oxford Journals of Medicine in Human Reproduction show that the pill in fact does not work in this way. Please see this research at http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/19/6/1352.

    'While I fully understand that a degree in Communications qualifies you to discuss almost nothing, this topic is most certainly outside of your knowledge. Lying about contraception to fit your political agenda is dishonest and repulsive. Not to mention that you are a male who is obviously trying to dictate the lives of women. You will not have to use birth control, and you will never be pregnant. You will never be raped and have to deal with the decisions following that. Your position is disgusting, disingenuous, and intellectually incompetent. I suggest that prior to discussing topics that are outside of your competency, you educate yourself on the topic so you do not look so foolish in the future.'

I am grateful to Brian Clowes, PhD, researcher for Human Life International, for responding to Jane's delightful (ahem) e-mail.

Wrote Dr. Clowes:

    'This is why she is going to be a lawyer and not a doctor. Contraception means 'against conception,' which is the fusion of sperm and egg. Contraception is a barrier method such as a condom or cervical cap. Anything that allows conception to take place but then kills the embryo is an abortifacient.

    'The doctors in the 1960s redefined 'conception' from fertilization to implantation, not based on medical evidence, but simply as a matter of convenience to pave the way for IUDs. The idea that Plan B simply prevents fertilization is simply stupid, because fertilization takes place anywhere from a handful of minutes to six hours after the sperm enters the vaginal tract.

    'Sounds to me as if this lady is so angry she can't think straight. And don't lie down for this idiotic argument that men can't talk about contraception/abortifacients. This is a sexist argument, since truth does not rely on the sex of the speaker or writer. Even the Plan B manufacturer admits it is an abortifacient.

In an August 21, 2006 press release from the Catholic Medical Association, Kathleen M. Raviele, MD, wrote:

    '...The drug may interrupt ovulation, but as it can be taken up to 3 days after sexual contact and still be effective, it also has been shown for over 30 years to alter the endometrium and prevent implantation of a human blastocyst. Those who respect the sanctity of human life would not choose to take this drug; however, the package insert reassures a woman that it does not cause an abortion. Life does not begin at implantation, it begins at fertilization.

    'In Scotland, Plan B was made available over the counter from 1990 to 1999, and abortions increased in every age group. It will not decrease abortions as proposed. In Washington State, when EC was made available in a pilot program in pharmacies, the rate of chlamydia increased 56% over the next five years, when in the years before the trend had been declining....'

See also this 2007 article from LifeSiteNews.com.

Well, if nothing else, I think Jane would make a good lawyer (assuming she gets her license) for the Obama administration.



In stark contrast to Jane's e-mail, Gina Siebers wrote in response to my April 22 column:

    'I would like to thank you for your article. I am Catholic and a mother of one child, 18-years-old. I feel it is great when our children, who have been raised with moral values, speak up and say what they have been taught. It makes us proud that we are their parents.

    'Two years ago my daughter was dismissed from Catholic high school when an unfortunate situation arose. She was completely honest in the situation, which made me proud as her mother. It took me a long time to get over [the fact that] people I respected would so quickly dismiss a child without even speaking to her. Maybe it was because I was a teacher at one time in the inner city. I raised her with values to care and love others. I feel that Carrie Prejean and my daughter both have a bright future as young adults who have been raised with good moral values. Thank you again! I know you must make your parents proud, too.'

God bless you, Mrs. Siebers!

© Matt C. Abbott

 

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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He's been interviewed on MSNBC, NPR, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. He can be reached at mattcabbott@gmail.com.


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