Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Monday, October 24, 2016

The Supreme Court’s decision to hear two cases about the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate is likely to popularize a word many Americans have never heard before: abortifacients.

The word has been around since the mid-19th century but recently it has become completely politicized — as everything involving a woman’s reproductive system has — as conservative Christians have sought to classify emergency contraception like Plan B and the “morning after” pill as drugs that cause abortion.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) recently told the Values Voters Summit that the federal government is coming after Christian organizations, “saying they have to provide abortifacients.”

The Green family, who owns two of the businesses represented in the contraception case the nation’s highest court will hear next year, aren’t Catholics who oppose all birth control. They are fundamentalist Christians who believe the mandate that all health insurance provided by private companies must include coverage of  Plan B and the “morning after” pill violates their religious beliefs. And that belief is, apparently, that emergency contraception is an abortifacient.

It’s a belief they hold so fervently that they were willing to risk over a million dollars in fines to stick to it.

Like many articles of faith, this assertion has little to no science to back it up.

“Morning-after pills do not end a pregnancy that has implanted,” reports the Mayo Clinic. “Depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle, morning-after pills may act by one or more of the following actions: delaying or preventing ovulation, blocking fertilization, or keeping a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.”

The owners of Hobby Lobby agree with the technical assertion of what the pills do. They’re simply arguing that preventing a fertilized egg from becoming implanted in a woman’s womb is an act of abortion. Their argument is that life begins at fertilization. It’s an argument backed up by medical organizations — that all seem to have the words “pro-life” or “Christian” in their names.

If you make that argument, it’s not hard to make the leap that anything that prevents fertilization is abortion — as regular birth control does. As does menstruation.

Princeton University’s The Emergency Contraception Website states categorically that fertilization and pregnancy are not the same:

Emergency contraceptive pills work before pregnancy begins. According to leading medical authorities – such as the National Institutes of Health and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists – pregnancy begins when the fertilized egg implants in the lining of a woman’s uterus. Implantation begins five to seven days after sperm fertilizes the egg, and the process is completed several days later. Emergency contraception will not work if a woman is already pregnant.

By preventing an egg that was fertilized unintentionally from becoming a pregnancy, emergency contraception prevents unintended pregnancies.

What Hobby Lobby is asking for is the right to deny its employees coverage of prescription medications that would avoid abortions.

Let’s see if the media points that out.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • midway54

    There he is in the photograph: The Loon Star State’s idol. While on the subject of this guy, here is a quote from the current issue of Mother Jones magazine found in a large article on the stooges advocating for the financial comfort of the oil industry:

    “Though Cruz was born in Canada, his parents met at a Texas oil company. The junior senator from the Lone Star State has shown his loyalty to the family biz by proposing to end the ban on offshore drilling, allow unrestricted fracking, abolish the Energy Department, slash corporate taxes, and block cap-and-trade.”

    The Gilded Age II plutocrats, especially those in the top 1/2 of 1% of incomes, who own the Country and its governmental institutions of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches and practically all of the main street media will be wildly donating to political campaigns for the next four years in an effort to get hordes of rightwing servants like Cruz in both the federal and state legislatures. Thanks to the broadcasting and print propagandists who will convince the teabagger crazies, dupes, and yahoos in the red(neck) States that real patriots vote Republican, off they will go to dependably vote against their own political, economic and social interests.

    • roooth

      They can only get away with it if we let them. If we don’t want the states run by these clowns, we had damn well better get out and get active. Posting on FB or blogs is not enough.

      They are not going to stop trying, we cannot stop trying to stop them. The alternative – letting them be in charge – is not acceptable. They are hazardous to the nation’s health.

  • Zoey Kay

    I find it ironic, because these folks come from the same cloth of those who accuse President Obama of being a dictator, while they try to dictate their personal and religious beliefs onto their employees.

    • Independent1

      You can’t get any more hypocritical than the hypocrites that support the GOP. And as a consequence you can’t get any more anti-Christian.

  • m8lsem

    Well, wouldn’t keep happy those who believe human life is to reckoned from the moment sperm and egg unite.

  • detroit365

    International Federation Of Gynecology Obstetrics: Emergency Contraceptives “Do Not Inhibit Implantation.” A 2012 statement by the International Federation of Gynecology Obstetrics with a section titled “Do not inhibit implantation,” explained:

  • detroit365

    This article includes a mistake. Plan B has been found to NOT inhibit implantation.

  • John Van Pelt

    “If you make that argument, it’s not hard to make the leap that anything that prevents fertilization is abortion” — for example, saying “no.” So it’s not curious at all that many of the same people who are against choice are also against… choice.