Monday, July 7, 2014

Ob/gyn: Morning-after pills are not abortions

Posted By on Mon, Jul 7, 2014 at 9:19 AM

In a political world where faith often trumps facts, this essay will be little noticed. But, for the record from The New Republic:

A medical doctor writes simply and clearly about how certain types of contraceptives work. He focuses on the types that Hobby Lobby doesn't want to supply for its employees in its group health insurance plan  — a type of IUD and the Plan B so-called morning after pill. The most virulent defenders of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling have claimed that the ruling prevented Hobby Lobby from being forced to cover "abortion." Is that so?

In other words, the owners of Hobby Lobby think these contraceptives end pregnancies rather than prevent them. And they believe that is tantamount to ending a life.

The claim, which you can find on virtually any conservative website, has been making the rounds for a long time. It’s stuck because the science on how these particular drugs and devices work wasn’t that great. But recent advances in medical diagnostics and some ingenious studies have changed that. We know a lot more about how the contraceptives work. We can be very confident that three of the four contraceptives do not lead to abortion, even using the conservative definition of when life begins, and we can be almost (although not quite) as sure that the fourth does not, either.

If facts and science influence your thinking, I urge you to read the whole article.

The Hobby Lobby ruling didn't turn on these scientific questions. Under the Supreme Court's edict, employers with deep convictions — say Catholic beliefs like those of the Supreme Court majority — could refuse to provide conventional birth control pill coverage. Nobody believes The Pill is an abortifacient. (In Arkansas, even the leading anti-abortion organization doesn't view Plan B and IUDs as abortifacients.)

UPDATE: This is rich. A federal judge, a George W. Bush appointee, writes on his blog that the Supreme Court should "STFU." He says there's been too much activism in rulings

Pointing out that all five justices who decided in favor of Hobby Lobby are Catholic males appointed by Republican presidents, Kopf argued that the decision "looks stupid and smells worse."

"While 'looks' don’t matter to the logic of the law (and I am not saying the Justices are actually motivated by such things), all of us know from experience that appearances matter to the public’s acceptance of the law," he wrote.

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