LifeSiteNews.com

Plan B Manufacturer Admits Morning After Pill Can Cause Death of an Embryo

LifeSiteNews.com
LifeSiteNews.com

Special to LifeSiteNews.com by Prof. Richard Stith, PhD

Recent publicity concerning Plan B has been seriously misleading. The Plan B morning-after pill has been referred to as “contraception,” even though it may act after fertilization to cause the death of a human embryo. This is an important mistake because, whatever one’s judgment on abortion may be, I think we all agree that no woman should be misled into doing what she would consider to be taking a life without realizing that she is doing so.

  There has been a shameful disinformation campaign on Plan B for years, and the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has failed to demand candor. Perhaps the simplest way to discern the truth is to look very carefully at the manufacturer’s own “information” for consumers, found on its website at http://www.go2planb.com/section/about/index.html:

How does Plan B work (mechanism of action)?
  Plan B is believed to act as an emergency contraceptive principally by preventing ovulation or fertilization (by altering tubal transport of sperm and/or ova). In addition, it may inhibit implantation by altering the endometrium. Plan B is not effective if a woman is pregnant. Plan B is a contraceptive and cannot terminate an established pregnancy.

Will Plan B harm an unborn fetus?
  There is no evidence that Plan B would harm a pregnant woman or a developing fetus if the product were accidentally taken during early pregnancy…. Plan B is not an abortifacient. It is an emergency contraceptive and should not be confused with RU486 or any other abortifacient.


  Note that the manufacturer claims that Plan B is “contraceptive”, “not effective if a woman is pregnant”, will not “harm an unborn fetus,” and “is not an abortifacient.” Sure sounds like it doesn’t destroy an unborn human life, and that’s the message swallowed and spread by the media.

  However, note also that the drug maker admits that Plan B “may inhibit implantation by altering the endometrium [i.e. the lining of the womb].” In other words, Plan B may cause a newly-conceived embryo to die (and be expelled) because it cannot implant itself in the lining of the womb. For this reason, some South American courts have found the Plan B drug to violate an unborn child’s constitutionally-guaranteed right to life.

  In light of the manufacturer’s own admission, its other statements above may at first seem to be flat-out lies. But careful analysis reveals them to be deeply misleading rather than flatly false. Although many people (e.g. the legal philosopher Ronald Dworkin) use the word “fetus” to refer to an unborn child at any stage of development, in medicine a developing human life is usually called an “embryo” rather than a “fetus” prior to implantation in the mother’s womb. The statement that Plan B does not “harm an unborn fetus” is true if we use this technical medical definition of “fetus,” even though it may be misleading for those of us who don’t distinguish fetuses from embryos.

  But if Plan B may work post-fertilization, may cause the death of a newly-conceived human embryo, how can the drug maker say that the pill is only a “contraceptive,” is “not effective if a woman is pregnant,” and “is not an abortifacient”? The short answer is that the manufacturer appears to rely on recent (and perhaps politically motivated) redefinitions of conception, pregnancy, and abortion: According to the new definitions, “conception” and “pregnancy” begin at implantation rather than at fertilization, and “abortion” means the termination of a post-implantation “pregnancy.” The drug makers can claim, rightly, that their statements are true under these new definitions.

  One large problem is that the lay readers of the drug information packet are not told up front that these special new definitions are being used. Thus this “information” is quite unfair and misleading to average men and women who may remember from high school biology that fertilization and conception meant the same thing and that fertilization marked the beginning of pregnancy.

  Moreover, the drug maker’s insistence that Plan B does not terminate a pregnancy is a red herring to begin with. Nobody has any qualms about terminating pregnancies per se. After all, that’s what birth itself does! What pro-life women and men don’t want to do is to have an “abortion” in the ordinary sense of terminating LIFE. When the drug maker tells them not to worry because they are not terminating a pregnancy, they may conclude incorrectly that Plan B cannot cause the death of their unborn child. When they find out too late that they were misled and may have taken the lives of their own children, they may be devastated. And the drug maker, the media, and the FDA will be responsible.

  In making this potentially lethal pill more easily available, the FDA should at least have required the drug maker to come clean, to say prominently on its label something like “WARNING: THIS DRUG MAY CAUSE THE DEATH OF AN EMBRYO.” Its users would then be able to exercise informed consent about whether to take a chance on destroying a developing human life.

_______

  Richard Stith J.D.(Yale), Ph.D.(Yale) is a Professor of Law at Valparaiso University School of Law in Indiana

Truth. Delivered daily.

Get FREE pro-life, pro-family news delivered straight to your inbox. 

Select Your Edition:


Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

South African mom files ‘wrongful life’ lawsuit on behalf of Downs son

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

A South African woman has launched a "wrongful life" lawsuit against the Cape Town-based Foetal Assessment Centre, claiming a failure to inform her that the child she was carrying was at risk of having Down Syndrome prevented her from aborting her baby.

A twist in this lawsuit is that, unlike other "wrongful birth" lawsuits, the mother in this case missed the time limit to file the claim on her own behalf, so she is asking the South African Constitutional Court to allow her to sue the center for “wrongful life” on behalf of her now-born son.

“You have a duty to tell my mother carrying me that I'm malformed so that she can make an informed decision as to whether or not to carry me to term,” the statement of claim against the Foetal Assessment Centre reads, according to SABC News.

“It is not as if the foetus is sort of putting up its hand and saying why you didn’t destroy me," the mother's lawyer, Paul Hoffman, explained to Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke. "The foetus is complaining that its malformation, its development is the result of the bad advice that was given.”

The SABC report did not say what compensation the woman is seeking.

The scope of the case is similar to that of a New Zealand couple who won a lawsuit claiming monetary compensation after a routine 20 week ultrasound scan failed to discover that their daughter had spina bifida.

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

The mother, whose name has not been released, claimed that the continuance of the pregnancy was a “personal injury,” and, had she been given the correct diagnosis after that scan, she would have aborted her daughter.

"We consider that the continued pregnancy of the appellant following a misdiagnosis in the 20 week scan is capable of being an injury suffered by the appellant,” the court ruled, and directed the New Zealand Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) to make the woman eligible for compensation for the ongoing surgical and physiotherapy expenses incurred by their child.

New Zealand disability advocate Mike Sullivan said the underpinning attitude behind the decision is that those with disability, both born and unborn, are seen as a burden on society.

“This is what happens,” Sullivan said, when “the children become reduced to nothing – wrong even to exist.”

Advertisement
Featured Image
Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

PBS defends decision to air pro-abortion documentary ‘After Tiller’

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

Under pressure for showing the pro-abortion documentary "After Tiller" on Labor Day, PBS' "POV" affiliate has defended the decision in response to an inquiry from LifeSiteNews.

The producers of the film say their goal with the documentary, which tells the stories of four late-term abortion doctors after the killing of infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller, is to "change public perception of third-trimester abortion providers by building a movement dedicated to supporting their right to work with a special focus on maintaining their safety.” 

POV told LifeSiteNews, "We do believe that 'After Tiller' adds another dimension to an issue that is being debated widely." Asked if POV will show a pro-life documentary, the organization said that it "does not have any other films currently scheduled on this issue. POV received almost 1000 film submissions each year through our annual call for entries and we welcome the opportunity to consider films with a range of points of view."

When asked whether POV was concerned about alienating its viewership -- since PBS received millions in federal tax dollars in 2012 and half of Americans identify as pro-life -- POV said, "The filmmakers would like the film to add to the discussion around these issues. Abortion is already a legal procedure."

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

"This is an issue that people feel passionately about and will have a passionate response to. We are hopeful that the majority of people can see it for what it is, another lens on a very difficult issue." 

In addition to the documentary, POV has written materials for community leaders and teachers to share. A cursory examination of the 29-page document, which is available publicly, appears to include links to outside sources that defend Roe v. Wade, an examination of the constitutional right to privacy, and "a good explanation of the link between abortion law and the right to privacy," among other information.

Likewise, seven clips recommended for student viewing -- grades 11 and beyond -- include scenes where couples choose abortion because the children are disabled. Another shows pro-life advocates outside a doctor's child's school, and a third is described as showing "why [one of the film's doctors] chose to offer abortion services and includes descriptions of what can happen when abortion is illegal or unavailable, including stories of women who injured themselves when they tried to terminate their own pregnancies and children who were abused because they were unwanted."

Another clip "includes footage of protesters, as well as news coverage of a hearing in the Nebraska State Legislature in which abortion opponents make reference to the idea that a fetus feels pain." The clip's description fails to note that it is a scientifically proven fact that unborn children can feel pain.

The documentary is set to air on PBS at 10 p.m. Eastern on Labor Day.

Kirsten Andersen contributed to this article.

Advertisement
Featured Image
Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

,

He defended ‘real’ marriage, and then was beheaded for it

Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
By Pete Baklinski

A Christian man was executed during the night by a high-profile ruler after making an uncompromising defense of real marriage.

The Christian, who was renowned for his holiness, had told the ruler in public that his relationship with his partner was “against the law” of God. The Christian’s words enraged the ruler’s partner who successfully plotted to have him permanently silenced.

John the Baptist was first imprisoned before he was beheaded. The Catholic Church honors him today, August 29, as a martyr and saint.

While John’s death happened a little less than 2,000 years ago, his heroic stance for real marriage is more pertinent today than ever before.

According to the Gospel of Mark, the ruler Herod had ‘married’ his brother’s wife Herodias. When John told Herod with complete frankness, “It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife,” Herodias became “furious” with him to the point of wanting him killed for his intolerance, bullying, and hate-speech.

Herodias found her opportunity to silence John by having her daughter please Herod during a dance at a party. Herod offered the girl anything she wanted. The daughter turned to her mother for advice, and Herodias said to ask for John’s head on a platter.

Those who fight for real marriage today can learn three important lessons from John’s example.

  1. Those proudly living in ungodly and unnatural relationships — often referred to in today’s sociopolitical sphere as ‘marriage’ — will despise those who tell them what they are doing is wrong. Real marriage defenders must expect opposition to their message from the highest levels.
  2. Despite facing opposition, John was not afraid to defend God’s plan for marriage in the public square, even holding a secular ruler accountable to this plan. John, following the third book of the Hebrew Bible (Leviticus 20:21), held that a man marrying the wife of his brother was an act of “impurity” and therefore abhorrent to God. Real marriage defenders must boldly proclaim today that God is the author of marriage, an institution he created to be a life-long union between one man and one woman from which children arise and in which they are best nurtured. Marriage can be nothing more, nothing less.
  3. John did not compromise on the truth of marriage as revealed by God, even to the point of suffering imprisonment and death for his unpopular position. Real marriage defenders must never compromise on the truth of marriage, even if the government, corporate North America, and the entire secular education system says otherwise. They must learn to recognize the new “Herodias” of today who despises those raising a voice against her lifestyle. They must stand their ground no matter what may come, no matter what the cost.

John the Baptist was not intolerant or a bigot, he simply lived the word of God without compromise, speaking the word of truth when it was needed, knowing that God’s way is always the best way. Were John alive today, he would be at the forefront of the grassroots movement opposing the social and political agenda to remake marriage in the image of man.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

If he were alive today he might speak simple but eloquent words such as, “It is against God’s law for two men or two women to be together as a husband and wife in marriage. Marriage can only be between a man and a woman.” 

He would most likely be hated. He would be ridiculed. He would surely have the human rights tribunals throwing the book at him. But he would be speaking the truth and have God as his ally. 

The time may not be far off when those who defend real marriage, like John, will be presented with the choice of following Caesar or making the ultimate sacrifice. May God grant his faithful the grace to persevere in whatever might come. St. John the Baptist, pray for us!

Share this article

Advertisement

Customize your experience.

Login with Facebook