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.


I'm confused...

I find it very confusing how pro-choice activists can moan about the notion that if abortion is outlawed women will have to have illegal abortions, and then when S. Dakota bans abortions, the first thing they do is tell women how to do just that. (Note - Please avoid if triggers bother you. This how-to is disgusting.)

Isn't that strange? You would almost think that they want women to have an illegal and unsafe abortion so that they can claim that women are dying because of pro-life legislation.

There is no reason you should be beholden to doctors...For under $2000, any person with the inclination to learn could create a fully functioning abortion setup allowing for both vacuum aspiration and dilation/curettage abortions...I believe this information has been kept from women for too long, and there is no reason they should not know about a procedure being performed on their own body, and no reason women should be kept in the dark about how to perform it -- especially if someone they know is having their health jeopardized by this law.

This just seems so backwards to me. I've heard nothing but complaints and warnings about women dying in the streets from illegal abortion, and now the claim is that there is no reason to go to a doctor...anyone can do it, especially if their health is in jeopardy from a law that says they have to :gasp: carry the pregnancy? An illegal abortion performed by an inexperienced person is safer? I guess we have nothing to worry about then, right?

HT: Rachael's Web Journal


Minorities in the pro-life movement

This article discusses the lack of African-Americans and Hispanics in the pro-life movement. Reasons abound according to the story. These reasons include:
  • "...[minorities] simply didn't know the disproportionate numbers of African-Americans having abortions."
  • "...the pro-life movement is perceived as a white, Republican, conservative movement...And that group is on the wrong side of the civil rights movement."
  • "...the issue is just about the baby, and not about the person...It's like they're saying, 'I just want to save the baby and then kick you to the curb.'"
  • "...the issue is still a relatively low priority compared with other ills that plague their communities..."
  • "...the anti-abortion movement, unlike corporate America and government, has not made an effort to make sure that its membership is more ethnically diverse."

Hmmmm. I, for one, don't know an African-American that is involved in the pro-life movement. I do know a wonderful Hispanic woman...but only one. By and large, I know many, many white women (and a few white men) that are involved. I hadn't thought about this before. Perhaps because I'm white? I don't know...

The article sites the March for Life photos that showed "an image of thousands of earnest, enthusiastic and nearly all white protesters." Looking back at the pictures of the Marches, I do notice that there are a predominance of white people, but I do notice African-Americans and Hispanics too. And, despite what the article states about African-Americans being better represented in abortion-rights groups, ("Those are their natural political allies") I didn't see a predominance of African-Americans or Hispanics on the pro-choice side either. Wouldn't it be upsetting to hear someone say that you were "better represented in abortion-rights groups"? That would make me outraged...regardless of the movement. Talk about a race card. A race cannot be better represented by those that want to keep abortion legal. What is this person saying about minorities exactly? That minorities are dependant upon abortion and need pro-choice activists to act on their behalf? They're doing a great job, aren't they? Just ridiculous...

One of the sites showing photos mentions www.blackgenocide.org. (WARNING: Small icky picture alert.) The information there is wonderful (but horrendous). Unfortunately, they link their tactics to the Center for Bioethical Reform, so most likely, their message will not be received the way it could be. They do have some March photos as well. Are there other Black organizations that are trying to get their message out? I don't know...

As far as the pro-life group being perceived as a "white, conservative, Republican" group, is that true? Secondly, if it is true, does that matter? There are numerous groups that are not white, conservative, or Republican. If you were not "mainstream" pro-life, would that stop you from doing anything other than you are doing? I know it wouldn't stop me, and that's because it's about something bigger than party lines, color of skin, or litmus tests. It's about right and wrong and serving God. You can't stop someone that has a purpose, and if they don't feel they fit in the "mainstream" groups, they fit in somewhere else doing just as much good.

What about the pro-life worker who said:

"I think the movement as a whole is diluted because the issue is just about the baby, and not about the person," she said. "It's like they're saying, 'I just want to save the baby and then kick you to the curb.'"

Of course, that's one thing I'm all for changing, but is that the reason that minorities aren't involved? And I question anyone who later says in the interview:

"We're in a war. You're just trying to do what's in front of your face. I'm on the front line with a gun and I'm trying to protect babies."

How about the issue being not as important as other issues? That I might agree with. And not because other issues are more important than abortion, but because the African-American leaders are totally absent on the issue of abortion. African-American women make up 12 percent of the female population, they account for about one-third of all abortions, while Hispanic women, also 12 percent of the female population, make up about 20 percent of all abortions. Those statistics are huge! 1,452 black babies are aborted every day in the United States. 78% of Planned Parenthood clinics are in minority communities. This should be a HUGE issue to black leaders.

I would also agree to a certain extent that the pro-life movement has not targeted minorities to get involved. I say "to a certain extent" because again, I feel it is up to the individual to plug themselves in. I didn't wait for an invitation that read "Calling all white, conservative, Christian, Republican women...please head to your local pro-life center to get involved." Instead, I decided that I needed to do something, and I found a way to plug in. Perhaps minorities do not feel comfortable doing this? I can't imagine that's true, but...I don't know...

The part I found most interesting was at the end of the article:

And at the march Monday, the Rev. Luke Robertson had to argue fiercely with march organizer Nellie Gray that a presence by an African-American on the stage of featured speakers opposing abortion was important. Gray countered that it was irrelevant, but ultimately gave in, and Robertson, Hunter and a few other prominent African-Americans were allowed to speak.

But Gray still chafes at the incident. "March for Life does not look at people by race, color, creed, sex and so forth," said Gray, who has been with the march for all 33 years. "To say you have a group of people here, but you don't have blacks, I find that highly un-American. That is what I told Pastor Robertson. I don't do outreach because I think it's un-American."

Gray's position was naive at best, Ensor said. "If she's sincere, she hasn't thought it through enough," he said, "Anytime you do a public event, symbolism is important. That's why you have women on the platform and not just a bunch of Baptist ministers. Besides, they do target people. They have their own databases."

I wouldn't be for not letting the black leaders speak, but I guess I must be naive as well...it's an open tent. Everyone is welcome. That's what I saw in the pictures of the March...I saw African-Americans, Hispanics, and whites all pulling together. I can understand Nellie's point of view, because I just don't see it in "color" I guess, but then again, the Reverend has a point that symbolism is important. You wouldn't want a bunch of men up there because women would feel alienated and as if they were being told what to do. Is that the way minorities feel? I don't know...


I miss blogging...

Life is so busy. The last month has been insane. "Business" is booming, with many women discovering that they became pregnant at the New Year's Eve bash. Dealing primarily with abortion-minded women (versus women who want help with parenting), it's been a stressful time lately. The beginning of March will see another increase - a couple of weeks following Valentine's Day.

I've been following the blogs, and I miss being able to comment and post here regularly. So here is a quick summary of the things I would have liked to say, had I had the time.
  • The March for Life pictures were beautiful, and I am so encouraged to see so many young people out there! I hope that times are changing from the inside-out, without legal change. The brave souls from SNM were just beautiful, and I am so proud of all of them. It's also quite telling how different the two groups acted at the marches. Pro-lifers certainly came off as more respectful, calm, and gentle. That isn't always the case, I know, but in this case, pro-choicers really came off as full of rage and hatred.
  • Samuel Alito Jr. was voted into the Supreme Court. Wonderful, wonderful. :) Even though we will have miles to go should Roe ever go, it would be a place to start, and I'm happy that we have that chance now.
  • After Abortion has had some interesting conversations as of late, and I wanted to jump in so many times, but I just can't give the time to it that I'd like to. I'm glad to see the new posters there that are recently post-abortive and pro-choice (although sorry that they joined the group). It's so important to have open dialogue, since we can learn so much from eachother.
  • A study came out about abortion and depression in relation to miscarriage and depression, and I would have loved to go on and on about that, but I didn't have the time. :P In summary, it said that women who miscarried showed higher anxiety immediately following the abortion, while women who aborted showed higher anxiety in the years following their abortion.

That's about all I can think of for now. Back to work for me. Perhaps if I had a job where I could sit and blog, I'd be around more. ;) Until I get that lucky, I'll be around when I can. My apologies for not keeping up with this more often. Hopefully, "business" will calm down soon. Then again, I'm happy that I'm busy. It means that more women might make a choice that they'll be able to live with in the long-term.


It's a baby when I say it is...

Another topic brought up recently is the notion that we become a human being when "the mother decides the fetus in her body is a human being and she wants a baby and she accepts reponsibility for its care." Moral relativism anyone? Someone who does not believe that truth is relative to person, place, and time will find this statement quite irrational. It creates quite a headache to try to work out all the possibilities that a statement like this creates.

No matter how much you disagree with moral relativism, you must agree with me that it is widely believed, particularly by those who do not have a Judeo-Christian faith. So, while the principle of moral relativisim is not true, the belief the people have in it is very real. With that in mind, we can use this to our advantage when we are speaking with women who are considering abortion.

Ask a woman what she believes about her pregnancy. Is it a baby? Does it have the potential to become a baby? At what point does it become a baby - before birth or after? These things are going to be different for each woman, depending on her beliefs, her background, and even her current situation. She might just believe that it isn't a baby until it is a week old. What are you going to do then? Show her that she's wrong? You can try, but if she is abortion-minded, you won't get far with most women. Your best bet is to work from a different angle. Usually there is some line of thought that says, "I would have this baby (fetus, etc.) if it weren't for ____." Use that angle rather than arguing the basics right now. Be willing to make adjustments in your approach to have the most positive effect on the situation.


Are Pro-Lifers Anti-Woman?

It seems like wherever there is debate about abortion rights, anyone who thinks abortion is wrong for whatever reason is eventually painted as being anti-woman. Even those who have had an abortion and now speak out against aren't free of this accusation. In the eyes of many a pro-choicer, pro-life cannot equal pro-woman - only pro-choice thought upholds women apparently. First, let's all remember that this is thrown up as a distraction. No one likes to be called anti-woman or guilty of misogyny. But once you're accused of being this way, it's hard to fight both battles - showing that you are pro-woman as well as remaining firm that abortion is wrong, and quite often, the "anti-woman" accusation goes by the wayside and never gets addressed. Let's take care of that, shall we?

  • Being pro-life does not make you anti-woman, but some pro-lifers are anti-woman.
  • Being pro-choice does not make you anti-woman, but some pro-choicers are anti-woman.

Let me speak to my pro-life friends first. You are not anti-woman because you advocate that abortion is wrong. It is often said that we are wrong for "forcing" a woman to carry a baby to term if she does not want to be pregnant. Pregnancy is a natural result that sometimes occurs from sex. Pregnancy, except for the case of pregnancy resulting from rape, is not forced on anyone. If left to progress naturally, a child will be born about 9 months after sex occurs. No one has to force that to happen - it happens naturally. It is unfortunate when a woman does not want to be pregnant but finds herself that way despite precaution. However, since we know that the fundamental truth of the matter is that abortion does end the life of a child that happens to be in utero, it is wrong no matter the circumstances.

So what makes a pro-lifer turn the corner to being anti-woman? It is when we become unsympathetic to the feelings of the woman. In our zeal to protect the life of the unborn child, some of us have a tendency to look at the women as mere tools that give birth. Hearing things like, "It's her fault she's pregnant," "She needs to take some responsibility," and "It's only 9 months..." really grate on my nerves. Logically, these statements are true. These statements do not exist in a vacuum though, and there is a real person going through a difficult time. Whether she is pregnant with her 4th child or her 1st...whether she wants to have the child but doesn't know how or doesn't want anything to do with the "fetus" inside her, she still deserves our compassion and our assistance. Doesn't she? Let's try to make it as easy as possible for her to give up those 9 months of her life to bring her child into the world. We aren't going to get there with anger or with the attitude that says her needs aren't important. When a pro-life person argues for the life of the child, we cannot do so at the cost of the woman's life/liberty/pursuit of happiness. The two should be inextricably linked, and if they aren't, that's when we are making a huge mistake.

Now onto my pro-choice friends. You are not anti-woman because you advocate that abortion is good. For the most part, I know that you think that abortion helps women because it got you or someone you know out of a bad situation. Abortion does have its positives. It depends on the individual woman - over the course of her life - to discover whether those positives outweigh the negatives. For at least half (if not more) it does not. That's a lot of women out there that don't buy abortion hook, line, and sinker - even after having one.

I won't use this space to tell you why abortion does not help women. Suffice it to say that I believe that abortion does hurt women individually and as a whole.

I will tell you where pro-choicers cross the line to being anti-woman. Much like pro-lifers that have tunnel-vision, pro-choicers can become so zealous to protect Roe v. Wade that they do not allow themselves to think that abortion should be restricted in any way, that it can sometimes be a bad thing for some women, and that it can end the life of a homo sapiens. Conceding these points (any or all) is too hard for many pro-choicers to do, and that becomes anti-woman. When you do this, you run the risk of not seeing the faces of the many women that do not want an abortion. You run the risk of hurting the women that do regret their abortions, and you run the risk of not giving women all of the information they need to make this important decision.

We both have issues that need some work. Fixing these issues will help women, and that's what we both need to focus on doing.

HT: JivinJ