Nefarious Public Radio

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This NPR report may seem like an objective search for the truth about the morning-after pill, but their starting point is precisely incorrect.

Critics say the medication causes very early abortions. The Food and Drug Administration classifies it as a contraceptive that prevents pregnancy. Who's right depends on the answer to the question "When does pregnancy start?"

Wrong. The answer depends on the question "When does life begin?" When a pregnancy begins is irrelevant. It's perfectly possible to terminate an embryonic human life without terminating a pregnancy. See embryo-destructive stem-cell research for an example. Focussing on when a "pregnancy begins" is a red-herring.

Another dopey line:

[Some schlubby pro-choice scientist] says what really renders a woman pregnant from a medical point of view is a positive pregnancy test.

How can people get away with saying something so obviously dumb and misleading? What renders a woman pregnant is a living human embryo implanting in her uterus. A pregnancy test provides evidence of certain hormones being present, nothing more.

The result of this obfuscation is the implication that the human life created by the union of egg and sperm has no value until it implants in the woman's uterus. Using this definition automatically excludes any question of the morality of abortifacient "contraceptives." It may be a convenient definition for the embryophobic to work with, but it's purely arbitrary and denies the fact that human life begins at fertilization. Destroying an unimplanted embryo is no more benign than destroying an implanted one.

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Here's the part that weirds me out.

For a long time, we have had nothing more to go on than theoretical ideas that emergency contraception might work by preventing ovulation or maybe by preventing implantation or maybe both.

Finally there has been research done -- the only research that I've seen so far that actually cared enough to find out how the stuff works. The results indicated that emergency contraception worked by preventing ovulation. When it was given after ovulation had already occurred, pregnancies still happened at the same rate as if nothing was given.

Now you would think that people would be shouting that from the housetops, but they're not, at least not so far. I wonder if the reason it's not getting much attention is that some pro-choicers have a strong belief that people shouldn't care about how it works. Would talking about the fact that this current form of emergency contraception only works before ovulation be an admission that pro-life concerns really matter? Would they then lose ground for acceptance of other stuff like the IUD and other technologies that might be on the horizon that really do interrupt implantation?

That's very interesting, though I think more trials and study would be necessary.

In cases of rape, the Catholic Church allows for contraception that prevents ovulation but not implantation. So if this study is right, the Church could actually approve of this method.

Of course, I think tests would have to be done to make sure that the MAP does no harm to a zygote before it is implanted.

Huh? A positive pregnancy test? (That should be news to at least two of my children for whom I never really had a pregnancy test - I showed up at the doctors office knowing I was pregnant and the doctor corroborated the fact with that little doppler gizmo. So if your human franchise depends on a positive test? Well, let's explain that to the twenty year old who just borrowed shampoo and gas money from me. )

It's all about Schroedinger's Cat. The "boil-that-dust-speck" crowd are totally dependent on the power of ignorance, both ours and theirs. Nothing is true until we know it to be true, and accept its truth.

So you're not pregnant until the little stick turns blue, and it's not a baby until you say it is. And we can't know if it's a person or if it feels pain. Like the philosophers in The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, they "demand rigidly-defined areas of doubt and uncertainty."

Science. Bah.


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This page contains a single entry by Papa-Lu published on August 6, 2005 8:59 AM.

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