Thursday, April 28, 2005

Blame it on B

According to a New Republic article, conservatives across the country have a host of reasons for opposing the emergency contraceptive Plan B:

  • Concerned Women for America has stated a concern for the long term effects of the drug
    • they emphasize this concern completely disregarding the fact that it is an acute use drug so exposure is essentially minimal and the fact the drug has been available without prescription in many countries since 2002 (and with a prescription even longer), & there is considerable safety data regarding long-term use of both high and low dose hormonal contraceptive
  • Those who believe that an unimplanted zygote is the equivalent to a living, breathing human being consider all hormonal contraception (emergency and routine) as abortifacients based on the possibility of ovulation and fertilization occuring followed by the resulting blastocyst possibly being unable to implant in the endometrium due to use of these medications
    • I'll need an OB/GYN to explain why they believe a high dose of progesterone will induce abortion or prevent implantation, since progesterone levels decrease if conception doesn't occur and increase when it does (the corpus luteum produces progesterone, so if fertilization does occur one wouldn't expect the sudden drop in progesterone after final dose of Plan B to trigger menstruation if the corpus luteum continues to produce adequate levels of progesterone to make pregnancy viable post implantation)
  • EC will increase risky sexual activity (i.e., sex when pregnancy isn't a desired outcome of sex)
Jessica, at Bush v Choice, commented on the article as follows [emphasis added]:
I'm glad that Cohn points out that women who are suffering most because of the lack of EC availability are rape victims and not crazy spring breakers, as the conservatives would have us believe. But don't crazy spring breakers deserve EC, too? By focusing on victims of sexual assault as the primary users of emergency contraception are we somehow bolstering the argument that "irresponsible" teen girls shouldn't have access to it? Just putting it out there...
Jessica obviously hadn't checked out the comments to my favorite self-described fat Jew's post about Colorado Gov. Bill Owen's veto of a bill that would have required hospitals to tell rape victims about emergency contraception. I know she didn't read the comments earlier because there is no notice about her having a stroke directly related to comments that put the responsibility for being prepared to know about and have access to EC prior to rape (if you have a uterus and are of child-bearing potential you best plan ahead) or hunt down that information and medication when the "moral" healthcare providers intentionally mislead you by lies of omission.

What will become of us if we require police/healthcare providers to provide EC information, access or referrals to those who will provide those things (and/or EC becomes available OTC) to rape victims? Well, if we're thinking as rationally as those who consider prevention of pregnancy as murder, the next logical step will be an alarming increase in the amount of non-marital sexual activity (both consensual and not). After all, if EC is readily available women will be more willing to be raped since there's an easy way to avoid their responsibilities by just aking a couple of pills. ..right?

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