9.06.2006

EC - What's the truth?

I thought I would come out of the woodwork on this blue-moon occasion. I won't even promise that there will be another entry for the next year. It would be great, but no promises. I've been doing a lot of research into EC (emergency contraception, the morning-after pill, MAP, Plan-B, etc.) along with a lot of thinking. I've come up with a few conclusions, and I'd love to hear the opinions of others.

1. We just don't know what the actions are. Some great blog entries have been made by pro-life individuals who aren't too sure about jumping on the "EC is murder" bandwagon, including this phenomenal study series on EC by Serge at LTI blog (begins here). Most likely, there is little to no effect on the uterine lining that would be significant enough to call it an abortifacient, and it's unlikely that we will ever know for certain whether or not it will truly create the "inhospitable" uterine lining that it is claimed to cause.

So what do we do then? Do we stamp a seal of approval on it, knowing that it might slightly decrease the amount of abortions? Do we never ever recommend it, based on the fact that there is the slimmest of chances that it may cause a developing embryo to pass right through the uterus without being able to implant? Or do we shrug our shoulders and change the subject?

I still don't have a clearcut answer on how to approach this. I think that EC is no good, but only based on the fact that it is going to be overused by people who have no real idea of when ovulation occurs. It's going to be thought of as real protection against pregnancy, when it really isn't that reliable. This could increase abortion rates - we'll have to see. And who knows what the effects are from prolonged use of this medication? It's bad policy to me to have it available over the counter. As far as its abortifacient properties, I'm starting to feel better about recommending its responsible use. I think the abortifacient properties it may or may not have are no greater than an average cycle, in which any number of things could thin the lining just enough to not allow an embryo to implant. Caffeine intake, for one, causes hormone changes that could be construed on a limited basis to inhibit the proper growth of the endometrium. But I don't want to make the leap and call all soda and coffee "abortion cocktails." I also take comfort that God is bigger than Plan B, and if He intends a woman to be pregnant, I think He can take Plan B.

2. Ideologies stink. It's unbelievable how quickly both sides of the abortion issue were willing to draw their lines. If the PCs say it's good, the PLs must in turn say it's horrible. Neither is really true, as often is the case when you want to box the truth into your own political belief system. I've seen it called an "abortion-causing drug," heard that it contributes to the "deaths of countless preborn children," and heard it called a "deadly drug." Come on people...Since we don't know the truth of the matter, why jump to the extreme? Woudn't a more even-tempered response be appropriate? Do you expect anyone to take you seriously using language that way? It almost makes me cringe when I read and listen to comments such as this.

3. Pro-lifers need to get out of the "anti-sex" business. Yes. I know. What???? Is she insane? Maybe. I don't know. I know that it isn't "anti-sex." I fully support abstinence before marriage. I know that increased casual sex leads to an increase in abortion. I know that it leads to a moral decline. I know, I know, I know. However, always appearing on the side of sex=bad does not help women and men to hear our message that abortion hurts women and ends the lives of babies. Being anti-birth control, anti-EC, and anti-sex education as well as anti-abortion makes us hard pills to swallow by women and men who are engaging in risky behavior. Why turn to us for help when all we do is shame them? Hear me clearly. There does need to be abstinence education, and we do need proponents of abstinence before marriage, parents to teach their kids, etc., etc. I just wish that more pro-life organizations wouldn't double as the ones to teach about abstinence. It isn't working in our favor.

My bottom line is: The only major issue we can have with EC at this time is that it does increase irresponsible sexual behavior by creating an unsafe safety net. Education about human reproduction will go far in this way if we have the credibility left to do this. As far as I am able to, I will be educating on when the safest time to take EC is as well as providing the information about the slim possibility that it could inhibit implantation. In other words...I'll just tell the truth.

5 comments:

Funky Dung said...

Excellent post. :)

Wonder Woman said...

Your truth, I see.

wendy said...

Finally, someone who will tell the whole truth about EC!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the excellent post on this difficult subject. I hope you can return to do some more blogging eventually! Maybe even sometime soon? :)

Harper said...

You should also note that sperm can survive several days in a woman's body, so there is absolutely no guarantee that conception takes place during or immediately after copulation. In that particular case, Plan B and the like do nothing more than other forms of contraception. Also, as something for the "morning after," there is absolutely no guarantee that it is doing anything at all because there is no way of confirming that a pregnancy was going to result at all that early on.