The media has been abuzz lately with conversations about “emergency contraception.” The FDA has approved over-the-counter access to Plan B for 15-year-old girls. The Obama Administration has decided to appeal a federal district judge’s decision demanding that Plan B be available to minors (without a downward limit). And of course, there are currently at least 59 cases challenging the “HHS Mandate”—that portion of Obamacare that requires nearly all health insurance plans to cover, without co-pay, all drugs and devices labeled by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as “contraception,” including Plan B and ella.
And sparked by the media discussion, opinions start flying. From editorials to friends’ facebook comments, the belief among the general population appears to be that “emergency contraception” prevents pregnancy—so that is good, right? What’s the big deal?
The “big deal” is that “emergency contraception” can end the life of an already-developing human organism. That means it is not always preventing a “pregnancy”—it is sometimes ending a human life.
It is scientifically established that a new, distinct human organism comes into existence during the process of fertilization. Examples from scientific literature abound:
- “The fusion of sperm and egg membranes initiates the life of a sexually reproducing organism.”
- “The life cycle of mammals begins when a sperm enters an egg.”
- “Fertilization is the process by which male and female haploid gametes (sperm and egg) unite to produce a genetically distinct individual.”
- “The oviduct or Fallopian tube is the anatomical region where every new life begins in mammalian species. After a long journey, the spermatozoa meet the oocyte in the specific site of the oviduct named ampulla, and fertilization takes place.”
- “Fertilization—the fusion of gametes to produce a new organism—is the culmination of a multitude of intricately regulated cellular processes.”
Even the government’s own definition confirms that life begins at fertilization. According to the National Institutes of Health, “fertilization” is the process of union of two gametes (i.e., ovum and sperm) “whereby the somatic chromosome number is restored and the development of a new individual is initiated.”
Thus, a new individual human being is initiated at fertilization. Of course, some drugs prevent fertilization from taking place, i.e., they prevent the sperm and egg from fusing. However, if such drugs go further and prevent implantation in the womb, the drugs will cause the death of the already-existing human being by denying it the safety and nutrition supplied after implantation—safety and nutrition necessary for the human being to continue to live.
We refer to this as a “post-fertilization mechanism of action.”
Plan B acts primarily by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation). It may prevent the union of sperm and egg (fertilization). If fertilization does occur, Plan B may prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb (implantation).
The same explanation is provided by Duramed Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Plan B One-Step. Duramed states that Plan B One-Step “works primarily by”: 1) preventing ovulation; 2) possibly preventing fertilization by altering tubal transport of sperm and/or egg; 3) altering the endometrium, which may inhibit implantation.
By preventing implantation, Plan B is terminating the life of an already-developing human being. Plan B thus has a post-fertilization mechanism of action.
Similarly, studies confirm that the “emergency contraceptive” ella is harmful to a human embryo. The FDA’s own labeling notes that ella may “affect implantation.” A study funded by ella’s manufacturer, HRA Pharma, explains that ella can “impair implantation.” Notably, at the FDA advisory panel meeting for ella, Dr. Scott Emerson, a professor of Biostatistics at the University of Washington and a panelist, raised the point that the low pregnancy rate for women who take ella four or five days after intercourse suggests that the drug must have an “abortifacient” quality.
So that’s the big deal. “Emergency contraception” (such as Plan B and ella) can work after fertilization has occurred and prevent implantation, thereby ending the life of an already-developing human being.
By making Plan B available to minors, young girls may take the lives of their unborn children without parental involvement and without really knowing the effects of the drugs. Allowing over-the-counter status for “emergency contraception” makes it easy for sexual predators to end the life of a tiny human being and cover up criminal activity. And by coercing employers to provide insurance coverage of “emergency contraception” or face ruinous fines under Obamacare, those employers are being forced to pay for drugs that end the lives of human beings—regardless of their religious or conscientious objection.
We’d call that a “big deal” of unconstitutional proportions.