The Launch of ella: A New Way to Prevent Pregnancy, Another Anti-Choice Controversy

In August of this year, ella, a new form of emergency contraception was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with very little controversy. Unlike it’s predecessor, Plan B, also a form of emergency contraception, ella did not engender the debate, or get caught in the endless political delays characteristic of Plan B under the Bush Administration. Plan B was ultimately approved for over-the-counter sale to women ages 17 years old and older (despite the fact that the FDA’s own expert panel noted that it was perfectly safe for younger women to use EC as well – an issue womens’ health advocates are continuing to challenge).

Today, Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that ella will now be available to women in the United States by presciption, and, according to Watson’s Executive Vice President Fred Watson, “is the first truly new emergency contraceptive option for U.S. women since 1999.”

And while a “controversy” has been fabricated by anti-choice leaders who do not want another method of safe emergency contraception on the market, in reality the pill is just that – one more option for women who have had unwanted or unplanned sex or birth control failure and wish to prevent pregnancy.

What makes ella different than Plan B? Where Plan B works best if taken within 72 hours after sex, ella has a window of up to 5 days following unprotected sex. It’s especially important, of course, given that women around the country are still fighting for access to emergency contraception from pharmacists who believe their “moral opposition” to safe and legal contraception for women trumps a woman’s right to health care and to maintain control over her own life.

Ella works by preventing or delaying ovulation for five days, which is – the news release for ella notes – the amount of time sperm can live in female genital tract. Women who are, or who suspect they are, pregnant or women who are breastfeeding should not take ella, notes Jodi Jacobson writing on RH Reality Check earlier this year. The pill can be taken anytime, however, in that five day window. Maybe we can finally toss that “morning-after pill” misnomor now?

Ella will not only be available, by prescription, at pharmacies but also immediately available at a licensed, online pharmacy after a woman completes an assessment and consultation with licensed physicians. It will then be delivered overnight to the woman.

Anti-choice leaders who are firmly against contraception at all have been predictably frustrated over ella’s approval from the beginning. As Robin Marty wrote back in July of this year:

Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, a conservative group, called ella an unsafe abortion pill that men might slip to unsuspecting women.

“With ella, women will be enticed to buy a poorly tested abortion pill in the guise of a morning-after pill,” she said.

Anti-choice leaders like Wright are using the argument that ella uses a progesterone-like chemical similar to RU-486, which is used for medication abortions, and is therefore essentially an abortifacient. It’s an entirely medically-inaccurate argument though it hasn’t stopped publications like the Washington Post from using quotes which do not contain an iota of fact, from the anti-ella crowd.

Emergency contraceptive pills like Plan B and ella, do not end a pregnancy (which occurs after a fertilized egg has implanted to the uterine wall) but instead delay or inhibit ovulation or, less likely, prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.  This clear medical information from experts, however, has not stopped Wright and others from using a non-medically based, ideological opposition to attempt to prevent access to this  form of contraception.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America President, Cecile Richards, said of ella’s launch:

“Preventing unintended pregnancies is one of Planned Parenthood’s top priorities,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Today’s launch of ella in the U.S. gives American women one more option for backup birth control.”

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  • brianh

    Emergency contraceptive pills like Plan B and ella, do not end a pregnancy (which occurs after a fertilized egg has implanted to the uterine wall) but instead delay or inhibit ovulation or, less likely, prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.

    Interesting…What did Margaret Sanger founder of Planned Parenthood think about this?

    If, however, a contraceptive is not used and the sperm meets the ovule and development begins, any attempt at removing it or stopping its further growth is called abortion. – Margaret Sanger “Woman and the New Race”

    Link here to the text

  • goatini

    Last I checked, Sanger was not a physician or a scientist.  


    Also, last I checked, the text you quote is 90 years old. 


    Given the vintage of the text, the relative expertise of the source, and the last **90 YEARS** of scientific and medical advances, your post only demonstrates even more strongly the forced-birthers’ willful ignorance and lack of any credibility.


    The language used by Sanger in her 90 year old book was certainly consistent with the medical knowledge and practice of the times.  We now know that implantation of a fertilized egg can take up to 5 days to attach to the uterine wall, and that 60 to 80 percent never attach at all.

  • brianh

    What you are ignoring is that science changed to ignore the obvious truth that implantation has nothing to do with the humanity of the new life.  Political reasons are most likely behind that change.

    Neither does the likelihood of surviving implantation.  If 90% of infants died within 5 days of birth it wouldn’t mean that infants are not human.  Humanity is not derived from the uterine lining either.


  • cpcwatcher

    Not only was Sanger not a physician, physicians at that time had no way of distinguishing between fertilization and implantation.  Ask any medical professional or even an accredited childbirth educator when pregnancy begins.  They’ll tell you it’s implantation.  Are you really implying that life begins before pregnancy?? 

    Sometimes the outdated words of Sanger are all these antis have against us… yet they say it’s unfair when we use the outdated words of 19th century preachers against them!  They say Sanger was a racist and uphold a few out-of-context quotes by Susan B. Anthony without ever acknowledging that Susan B. Anthony had *tons* of racist stuff to say in her time.  It’s so hard to debate with hypocrisy and ignorance, isn’t it?

  • crowepps

    I went back over and over the foregoing posts but no matter how many times I reread them, I just CANNOT find the part where it says that the fertilized ovum isn’t human or that it only becomes human upon implantation.  Could you point me to it?

  • crowepps

    Sangster didn’t have a whole lot to say in that book about sulpha drugs or any of the other antibiotics either.  Of course, none were actually invented for another quarter of a century.  But I guess she should have known that they would be discovered!

  • forced-birth-rape

    You can not get pregnant BrianH, mind your own business. Life begins at conception is dreamed up by religious “MEN” to make it as if men create life with their sperm and their penis, and women have nothing to do with it. You people do not give a damn about any woman, any little girl, or any female rape victim.

  • saltyc

    Because just preventing ovulation is obviously not effective enough to prevent pregnancy. I know of several instances when EC failed taken the next day, and this might be ovulation had already occurred and because Plan B was no good at preventing implantation. We need a method that is effective or what’s the point!

  • goatini

    where some forced-birth nutter said that “fertilized egg” was an “F word” that should not be used for a Blastocyst-American Person?

  • goatini

    Nobody expects the Roman Inquisition!   


    But seriously… Yeah, that Galileo, trying to change science to ignore the obvious truth.  It’s only due to “political reasons” that we heretics now think our solar system revolves around the sun.  


    As it took the Catholic Church over 200 years to remove Galileo’s works from the Index of Prohibited Books, I’m thinking that your preference would be for reproductive health care science facts to linger another 110+ years or so (at least) in the purgatory of “heresies”, before being recognized as fact – that is to say, absolute truth.  


    And speaking of Purgatory and related realms, wasn’t Limbo the “truth” until not too long ago?  And wasn’t the guaranteed ticket to Hell for the “mortal sins” of eating meat on Friday, or not fasting for Holy Communion starting at midnight of the previous day, “truth” until not too long ago?  


    Oh, yeah, and about that “humanity” thing:  


    Quick rule of thumb for determining if something is “humanity”: If you can freeze it in liquid nitrogen for an indeterminate number of years, then thaw it out and let it keep growing, it is NOT “humanity”. 

  • crowepps

    Considering that women get pregnant even when they take EC promptly because ovulation has already happened (and implants), and women get pregnant because they miss ONE birth control pill or don’t take all the pills at the same time (and implant), it should be easy to debunk those myths about ‘insufficient endometrial lining’.


  • brianh


    Look you can try to ignore the science that a distinct human life begins at conception all you want, but it only makes you look like an ignoramous with their fingers in their ears insisting that the world is flat.


    The woman doesn’t create life.  The man doesn’t create life.  Implantation certainly doesn’t create life.  Implantation is simply the child nursing from the mother for the nutrients she needs to continue growing.  That’s continue growing because she’s already been growing for multiple days as you all well know.  At this size we all must nurse directly with the blood stream.  That is all that happens with implantation.  The newly formed life (formed after a single sperm cell united with a single ovum cell and formed a single celled human being that grows until death) needs nutrients to survive and those nutrients are provided by the Mother’s blood cells.


    You folks are just as bad as the flat earthers and those who believed that the universe revolved around the Earth.


  • crowepps

    Nurse directly from the blood stream

    Oh, golly, that just sounds all sweet and cuddly and ADORABLE!


    Lots better than”the blastocyst invades the endometrium” and “secretes immunosuppressants” so that it is not “rejected as a parasite”.  Nothing about “implantation bleeding” from the wound site.  No mention of rearranging the woman’s blood vessels or highjacking her thyroid.  No mention of the fact that way over half of those blastocysts will never make it all the way to birth.


    You guys are so consistently dishonest with your CUTSIE-POOH propaganda!

  • goatini



    the sound of that whole Galileo thing going right over a little silhouetto of a man :-)


    “Twilight” fans should also appreciate the whole “nursing directly from the blood stream” thing.  


    And ladies, the phrase “a single celled human being that grows until death”, given the 60-80% of fertilized eggs that never attach in the first place, makes me wonder if I should estimate a number of “people” that I should have claimed as dependents on my taxes for every fecund year I spend on this mortal coil.  It also assures me that Brian won’t be happy until all fecund women are subjected to a homicide investigation (aka gyno exam) each and every month, including DNA testing of all discarded sanitary products for the month.  


    PS, I love it when forced-birthers make a point, when posting on feminist boards, of calling the zygote “she”.  Because, of course, our pretty little “ignoramous” (sic) heads had NO IDEA that statistically, about half of all ZBEFs lack the Y chromosome!!  (I suspect this “tactic” is in a “Forced Birth Trolling for Dummies” guide.)

  • goatini

    EXACTLY, my dear FBIR!


    That’s the ENTIRE scheme behind patriarchal religions.  G-d the Father, G-d the Son. 


    Actually, I’m reading a book right now, “The Papal No:  A Comprehensive Guide To The Vatican’s Rejection Of Women’s Ordination”, which does go into some detail about the specific appropriation, by the patriarchal desert religions, of the title of “giver of life” to men, and specifically taking it away from women, to whom it rightfully belongs (despite Brian’s silly protests to the contrary).  

  • crowepps

    The thing I find bizarre is the constant iteration of “you can try to ignore the science that a distinct human life” when actually, as I was TRYING to point out,  nobody ever argued that wasn’t true.


    What people are saying, and what Brian seems to have trouble recognizing, is that there is actually a whole NOTHER “distinct human life” involved, and calling that life “Mommy” and referring to the highjacking of her body as “nursing” doesn’t magically make all her rights disappear.


    Teh Guyz sure have a terrible, terrible time with the idea that women have children because they WANT to have children, and if women don’t want to have teh Guyz’ children, it’s impossible to force them to do so.  I personally can’t think of very many circumstances in which I would ever have an abortion, but being pregnant by someone like BrianH would be one of them.

  • brianh

    All you need to do is look at modern medicine textbooks and you’ll all see the lie you’ve bought into.


    Here are some quotes:

    some drugs, such as alcohol, produce a hostile intrauterine environment that can prevent implantation and cause a spontaneous abortion – Drug Therapy in Nursing 2008


    The IUD works by causing an inflammatory response that includes the release of prostaglandins, which prevent implantation of the fertilized egg. Another way of interfering with implantation is through the use of “morning-after pills” – Life the Science of Biology 2006

    A child nursing in the womb I think is a perfect description.  How else is the young child going to get the nutrients to survive?  You can dehumanize the child as the Nazi’s dehumanized Jewish prisoners, but it doesn’t change the reality that this is not some virus or parasite, but a human child.

  • goatini

    where the woman’s immune system is trying to fight off the inflammatory burden of pregnancy.   It’s an immunological disorder where the woman’s immune system unleashes a destructive attack on the tissues of the developing fetus.  


    A very dear friend, and her daughter, barely survived eclampsia.  My friend was in a coma, seizing, for a week after she HAD to give birth prematurely to prevent her death.  


    Damn the forced-birthers who use weasel words to attempt to Disney-fy pregnancy. 


  • ahunt

    A child nursing in the womb I think is a perfect description.  How else is the young child going to get the nutrients to survive? 


    Nursing? The distinction being that an infant nursing at Mom’s breast is not cannibalizing Mom’s body.

  • brianh

    Do you folks always use terms such as parasite and cannibalizing when referring to children in the womb?  Do you not now see why some folks might think you can be a bit creepy with such talk?

  • crowepps

    “Life, the Science of Biology” is a Bob Jones University text book, not an actual SCIENCE book.


    And now that you’ve brought up the Nazis, continuing this discussion must be pointless.  “Gott Mit Uns”

  • goatini

    that I’ve heard this “nursing in the womb” junk-science term.  It must be a new one from the Corapi/Pavone charlatans, that they’re trotting out for the Advent “Vigil For Life”.  


    Yes, you heard me, the “Advent Vigil For Life”.  I heard about THAT one yesterday on EWTN Radio.  Not content with the Lent “40 Days For Life” of escalated harassment of people seeking medical care, now they also have to taint Advent with it too.  


    I expect next year, there’ll be the “Skatey-Eight Sundays After Pentecost Vigil For Life” too, to justify escalated harassment all damn year long.


    I’ll have to tune in every now and then over the next few weeks, to find out if I hear any of this “nursing in the womb/from the bloodstream” nonsense.  I’d like to know if Brian thought all this patronizing non-science twaddle up all by himself, or if it’s directly from the Vatican League Of Child Molesters propaganda machine.  

  • ahunt

    Godwin’s Law. Look it up, Brian.

  • goatini

    as I was 100% SURE that the “source” was some Dark Ages-inspired psuedo-science text.

  • brianh

    Yeah, Yeah.  Dehumanization of the Jews.  Look it up ahunt.

  • brianh

    I tell ya what goatini let’s go find some innocent gal happily expecting her child who isn’t pro-abortion like yourself or anti-abortion like myself.  Then you tell her about her parasite in her womb and I’ll talk about her child nursing sweetly in her womb.  We’ll see who sounds like a crackpot then eh?

  • crowepps

    The embryo differs from the cells of the mother, and would be rejected as a parasite by the immune system of the mother if it didn’t secrete immunosuppressive agents. Such agents are Platelet-activating factor, human chorionic gonadotropin, early pregnancy factor, immunosuppressive factor, Prostaglandin E2, Interleukin 1-alpha, Interleukin 6, interferon-alpha, leukemia inhibitory factor and Colony-Stimulating Factor.

    Do you folks always use terms such as a 40 cell blastocyst floating around being “children in the womb” and blastocysts “nursing” from the blood stream?  Do you not now see why some folks might think you can be a bit weird?  I mean, talk about Disneyfication of reality — I bet the itsy-bitsy “children” are all wearing cute clothes and the female ones have little hairbows.

  • crowepps

    One of the less attractive parts of Christianity, isn’t it?  Too bad it took the excesses of the Nazis to FINALLY make it unpopular.


    In the Middle Ages Antisemitism in Europe was religious. Though not part of Roman Catholic dogma, many Christians, including members of the clergy, have held the Jewish people collectively responsible for killing Jesus, a practice originated by Melito of Sardis. As stated in the Boston College Guide to Passion Plays, “Over the course of time, Christians began to accept… that the Jewish people as a whole were responsible for killing Jesus. According to this interpretation, both the Jews present at Jesus Christ’s death and the Jewish people collectively and for all time, have committed the sin of deicide, or God-killing. For 1900 years of Christian-Jewish history, the charge of deicide has led to hatred, violence against and murder of Jews in Europe and America.”[1]

    During the High Middle Ages in Europe there was full-scale persecution in many places, with blood libels, expulsions, forced conversions and massacres. An underlying source of prejudice against Jews in Europe was religious. Jews were frequently massacred and exiled from various European countries. The persecution hit its first peak during the Crusades. In the First Crusade (1096) flourishing communities on the Rhine and the Danube were utterly destroyed; see German Crusade, 1096. In the Second Crusade (1147) the Jews in France were subject to frequent massacres. The Jews were also subjected to attacks by the Shepherds’ Crusades of 1251 and 1320. The Crusades were followed by expulsions, including in, 1290, the banishing of all English Jews; in 1396, 100,000 Jews were expelled from France; and, in 1421 thousands were expelled from Austria. Many of the expelled Jews fled to Poland.[2]

    As the Black Death epidemics devastated Europe in the mid-14th century, annihilating more than a half of the population, Jews were taken as scapegoats. Rumors spread that they caused the disease by deliberately poisoning wells. Hundreds of Jewish communities were destroyed by violence. Although Pope Clement VI tried to protect them by the July 6, 1348 papal bull and another 1348 bull, several months later, 900 Jews were burnt alive in Strasbourg, where the plague hadn’t yet affected the city.[3]

    Jews in India faced no persecution from Hindus from the time they migrated to India, but they were subjugated by Christian missionaries during the Goa Inquisition from the year 1552. Portuguese invaders in the South India committed massive atrocities on South Indian Jewry in the 17th Century [4].

    In the Papal States, which existed until 1870, Jews were required to live only in specified neighborhoods called ghettos. Until the 1840s, they were required to regularly attend sermons urging their conversion to Christianity. Only Jews were taxed to support state boarding schools for Jewish converts to Christianity. It was illegal to convert from Christianity to Judaism. Sometimes Jews were baptized involuntarily, and, even when such baptisms were illegal, forced to practice the Christian religion. In many such cases the state separated them from their families. See Edgardo Mortara for an account of one of the most widely publicized instances of acrimony between Catholics and Jews in the Papal States in the second half of the 19th century.

    In the 19th and (before the end of the second World War) 20th centuries, the Roman Catholic Church adhered to a distinction between “good anti-Semitism” and “bad anti-Semitism”. The “bad” kind promoted hatred of Jews because of their descent. This was considered un-Christian because the Christian message was intended for all of humanity regardless of ethnicity; anyone could become a Christian. The “good” kind criticized alleged Jewish conspiracies to control newspapers, banks, and other institutions, to care only about accumulation of wealth, etc. Many Catholic bishops wrote articles criticizing Jews on such grounds, and, when accused of promoting hatred of Jews, would remind people that they condemned the “bad” kind of anti-Semitism. A detailed account is found in historian David Kertzer‘s book The Popes Against the Jews.


  • goatini

    but terms like “nursing directly from the blood stream” are, aside from being scientifically illiterate, REALLY creepy.  


  • brianh

    The text here is stating that since the cells of the human in the embryonic stage of development “differs from the cells of the mother” that the mother’s body would reject him/her as if he/she were a parasite.  This is not the same as calling a human in the embryonic stage of development a parasite.

  • brianh

    As wikipedia made clear antisemitism was never and will never be a part of Catholic dogma.  Therefore what you are pointing out is that ignorant human beings used religion to influence people to be antisemitic.  This is quite a bit different than antisemitism coming from religion.


  • crowepps

    Eclampsia already kills 50,000 women worldwide annually.  I’m sure that as more and more restrictions are placed on abortion, that death rate will rise.

  • crowepps

    None of us has any right to “go find some innocent gal” and insist that she listen to OUR opinions about her pregnancy.  Her pregnancy isn’t any of our business.  What an outrageous suggestion.  Don’t you have ANY moral sense or awareness of people’s right to be left alone at all?

  • goatini
  • goatini

    let’s go find some pregnant female, respect her as an autonomous individual and as a full citizen, AND STAY THE HELL OUT OF HER BUSINESS.  


    I dare you.


    On edit:  The fact that this particular response was to my question of whether all this “nursing in the womb” nonsense was a new meme rolled out for the new “Advent Vigil For Life”, tells me that I just might have landed on something here.  Be warned… the next 4 weeks should be knee-deep in it.   

  • brianh

    Are you nuts?  I didn’t say anything about changing her opinion.  I suggested that you speak about her pregnancy as a parasite and I speak of her pregnancy as a child nursing in the womb.  Do you not feel comfortable speaking to pregnant women about their parasites?

  • crowepps

    Sure, sure, anti-semitism wasn’t part of Catholic DOGMA!  The various popes and priests who encouraged it just grafted it on independently of dogma.  I’ll agree they sure were ignorant!  Your ignorance of church history is actually worse than your ignorance about reproduction!

    The following is just a sampling of how the Church fathers spoke against the Jews:

    • The Epistle of Barnabus shows the Church exalted at the expense of the synagogue and the deadly word “Deicide” (the killing of God) appeared in Christian writings.
    • Justin Martyr charged that the Jews crucified Christ in the highest pitch of their wickedness. It was during this time (150 A.D.) that the first encounter with Replacement Theology was embraced where the church replaced the Jews as God’s chosen people.
    • Tertullian argued that divine judgment is upon Israel, and Jews are destined to suffer for the crucifixion.
    • New ideas opposing “law” sprang up as early as 160-320 A.D. Marcion, 2nd century, adopted Matthew 5:17 as key theme to ending God’s law and taught that the grace of God superseded it, rejecting the Old Testament.
    • Several Church Councils from 341 A.D. to 626 A.D. prohibited Christians from celebrating the Sabbath, festivals, and even eating with the Jews. It seemed that the greatest concern with Judaism on the part of Christians leaders was the attraction that it held for Christians. . . . These rules do not come out of bad relations between Jews and Christians (what would now be called, erroneously, antisemitism), but rather were enacted because relations were good and the authorities wanted to separate the two peoples. God has always had a remnant who has followed the Torah.
    • John Chrysostom, 344-407 A.D., preached: “The Jews … are worse than wild beasts … lower than the vilest animals. Debauchery and drunkenness had brought them to the level of the lusty goat and the pig. They know only … to satisfy their stomachs, to get drunk, to kill and beat each other up … I hate the Jews … I hate the Synagogue … it is the duty of all Christians to hate the Jews.


    Other Christian leaders that were strong proponents of anti-semitism include: Constantine the Great (280-337 A.D.); Saint Gregory of Nyssa (335-394 A.D.); Saint Augustine (354-430 A.D.); Saint Jerome (374-419 A.D.); Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe (467-533 A.D.); Pope Innocent III (1160-61-1216 A.D.); Pope Pious IV (1499-15654 C.E.).





  • brianh

    So you quote another ignorant bigoted nutcase as an attack on religion?  Again where is it in the teachings of the Church that antisemitism is good?  You can give all of the examples of racists nuts all you want, but you still don’t have examples of it as an official teaching. 

  • arekushieru

    I take your Godwin’s Law and raise it to turn it back on you.  Hitler was ProLife AND ProAbortion.  BOTH of which were anti-choice, NOT ProChoice.  Hitler also wanted to take away the rights of a group he deemed inferior (Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, women, etc…) and grant rights to those he deemed SUperior (basically, all white, commonly-abled, cissexual, heterosexual German men).  Something the ProLifers want to do by denying a group THEY deem inferior (women) the same rights as EVeryone else and granting EXtra rights to one they deem superior (fetuses).  So, now, you know that the only true feminazi, is an anti-choice women, too!  You may thank me for your education, now.

  • goatini

    is simply an exercise in marketing strategy?


    Proof that forced-birthers think women are really, really stupid.  Because it’s ALL about the marketing strategy.  


    Remember, these are the people who want people to think that the term “fertilized egg” should be a proscribed “F WORD”.  


    What in the hell am I going to call that egg in my dozen with the bloody spot in the yolk?  Do I have to call it a “preborn chicken” now?

  • brianh

    This comment has been removed.


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  • goatini

    And how is church dogma distinguishable from church canon, when the end result (anti-Semitism) is the same?

  • goatini

    long, long ago in this thread.  


    Projection is an ugly thing.

  • arekushieru

    Umm, did you miss the whole quote thing around the statement, too, Brian?

  • goatini

    my quote of the Slovakian bishop IS dogma.  Get your dogma and your canon straight.  

  • crowepps

    The Church never taught that “antisemitism is good”.   Instead it taught that the Jews bore blood guilt as a people and that because of that it was okay to steal their possessions and throw them out of a country, torture them, even burn all of them alive in their synagogues.  Certainly it’s easy to demonstrate that individual Church authorities are ignorant bigot nutcases.  How about:

    In Slovakia, for example, Archbishop Karol Kmetko responded to a Jewish plea of assistance in March 1942 with the words, “You shall not merely be deported. You shall be killed..And this will be your punishment for your killing of our saviour.”


    Now I’ll agree with you that this isn’t necessarily “official”.  The Jews, of course, ended up just as dead as though it were. 

  • plume-assassine

    Brian, there have probably been a few times in my [reproductive] life in which a blastocyst failed to implant in my uterus; there have probably been times when I have spontaneously aborted without knowing it. Do you think I should mourn the loss of a fertilized egg? Should I hold a funeral for every time I experience a suspiciously early period? You can dress it up all you want in cutesy words, but the human blastocyst (and the human embryo) is not a child. 4 days post-ovulation, a human blastocyst is about 0.1-0.2 mm in size. Its continued existence/growth is not more important than my life circumstances and health, because I am not an incubator.

  • crowepps

    I didn’t say anything about CHANGING her opinion either.  What I said that it would be incredibly rude and inconsiderate for us to go bother some pregnant women as though we were so IMPORTANT that we were ENTITLED to use her to referee our discussion.  She is a PERSON, and she is PREGNANT and if there is any possibility AT ALL that she would be upset by having strangers show up and inflict their disagreement on her, then it would be IMMORAL to do so.


    I assume your original statement was hyperbole to score a point, but I will point out that a literal reading of it makes it clear you consider WINNING AN ARGUMENT ON THE INTERNET more important than her happiness or the success of her pregnancy.


    Good Lord Almighty, hasn’t it ever occurred to you that those “Mommnies” that you feel so free to discuss are REAL PEOPLE and that your obnoxious announcements about what they should do and should think and should be might actually have an impact on them?

  • plume-assassine

    Are you trying to be insulting or is it just ignorance about labels? Nobody here is “”pro-abortion.”” That would imply a lack of choice and an interest in coercion. The pro-abortion folk are just as anti-choice as the so-called “pro-lifers,” but on another end of the spectrum.


    The correct label you’re looking for is Pro-choice, and we recognize that every reproductive/pregnancy option is equally valid when decided by the woman.


    To respond to the other part of your post– for the pregnant women I’ve known, I only refer to their pregnancy on THEIR terms. For instance, one woman referred to it as a “baby/child” and another that just called it “my fetus” and even joked that there was a little parasite growing inside her. Yes, really. And both are pro-choice. I went along with the labels that they chose, even though scientifically, the blastocyst has all the qualifications for “parasite.” Emotionally, many women who want to have a baby don’t always think of it on purely scientific terms. (Since I do not want to have a baby, I do not think of a blastocyst in emotional bonding terms.) But it is not your place (or mine) to tell pregnant women how to feel about her pregnancy. It’s up to her how she wants to label it.

  • forced-birth-rape

    ~ You are a perverted creep brianH! Who asked you? No one has the right to be in a womans, little girls, or pregnant rape victims body against her will. No one has the right to use a womans, little girls, or pregnant rape victims body against her will. No one has the right to be in a womans, little girls, or pregnant rape victims body terrorizing her with worry and dread of future unwanted vaginal agony against her will. No has the right to cause a woman, little girl, or pregnant rape victim unwanted vaginal agony against her will. Any one who thinks some one has the right to do any one of those things to a woman, little girl, or pregnant rape victim is a misogynistic “sadomasochistic” pervert.~

    ~You can not get pregnant, you can not give birth, you do not know what it is like being a woman. How easy it is for you to set your man ass down in front of his computer and tell women their private female business, that effects their bodies, lives, and genitals, not yours.~

    ~ Forced birthers love, love the idea of forcing women, little girls, and pregnant rape victims into having extreme brutal unwanted vaginal pain, because pregnancy and birth is their sadomasochistic porn.~

    ~ It just drives pro-lifers insane women, little girls, and pregnant rape victims having the blessing of being able to escape extreme unwanted vagina pain, drives them crazy, because pro-lifers are pro-vagina pain.~

    ~Pro-lifers favorite piece of literature of all time.

    “I will greatly multiply your grief and your suffering in pregnancy and the pangs of childbearing; with spasms of distress you will bring forth children. Yet your desire and cravings will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16 Amplified version bible.~

  • purplemistydez

    Personally I do not care if it prevents or aborts a pregnancy.  I will have a child when I decide to, not before.  I’ve taken Plan B twice because of broken condoms and I never lost a second of sleep about it.  These medical breakthroughs help young women like me reach their potential in life.  It gives us control on the direction we want our lives to go.  No one has the right to tell us otherwise.

  • weltschmerz

    Wow, great list of anti-semitic Christians, the most recent one born in the 1400s.

    To everyone talking about the anti-semitic members of the Catholic Church during WWII… I can cherry-pick information too! Catholic priests and nuns who risked their lives to save Jews included Pierre-Marie Theas, Pere Marie-Benoit, Bernhard Lichtenberg, Edith Stein, Pierre-Marie Gelier, Sara Salkahazi, Jean-Baptiste Janssens, Alfred Delp, Elisabeth Hesselblad, Rufino Nicacci, Hugh O Flaherty…should I keep going? I have lots more!

    The last time I checked, you Americans do not have a great track record of being friendly to the Jews. I can name lots of examples of how the US government was antisemitic! But does anyone care? Of course not, because the only thing that matters is how institutions treat Jews and others NOW. And one would have to be a complete nut to claim that the Catholic Church is antisemitic now.

    p.s. I apologize for any spelling or grammar errors, English is not my native language.

  • brianh

    Has it ever occurred to you that those babies are REAL PEOPLE?  Killing babies whether they’re in the womb or out is always immoral no matter how small or dependent on their Mother they are.

  • goatini

    A sperm hanging around in the uterus, waiting for an egg (that by the use of emergency contraception will never arrive), is NOT, by any stretch of the imagination, “real people”.


    And an hours-old blastocyst that has failed to implant prior to the use of emergency contraception, is NOT, by any rational scientific definition, “real people”.  


    Since you are not a woman, apparently you’re not aware of the FACT that most women who are pregnant by choice wait to make the announcement until they’re pretty sure the fertilized egg has a solid grab on to the uterine lining.  Like, say, 6-12 weeks.  Given the fact that 60-80% of blastocysts never implant successfully, and out of the 20-40% that do make it, random chromosomal error causes 70% of the pregnancies to end before 6 weeks of gestation, your belief that the “rights” of an unimplanted hours-old blastocyst instantly trump the rights of the living, breathing female citizen is, frankly, insulting to female citizens.  


  • colleen

    Has it ever occurred to you that those babies are REAL PEOPLE?

    A zygote isn’t a ‘real person’ nor is it a ‘baby’. Gestating and raising a human child is a long term difficult task and the religious right DELIBERATELY elects men and women who believe that motherhood is obligatory and fatherhood is optional. Sadly they also believe that the larger society bears NO responsibility towards the children that are already born.

    The ‘pro-life’ republicans in congress are cutting funding for child nutrition programsd and they aren’t extending unemployment benefits in the middle of a depression. (Oh, I’m sorry, a ‘jobless recovery’) Their ‘pro-life’ constituents are silent or celebrating these events just as y’all were silent when ‘pro-life’ republicans cut federal fiunding for child support enforcement.. You know what this tells me? It tells me that you folks don’t give a crap about ‘real people’ including children. It tells me that you’re far more interested in creating a society in which the lives and persons of women and their children are reduced to basic survival. I’m not going to even approach the sociopathic indifference to REAL PEOPLE demonstrated by the current social security  ‘reform’ efforts and the dead silence we hear from the religious right on THAT subject.

    I am so sick of the terminally self righteous morons of the religious right. It’s obvious that your focus is on the contents of the wombs of women because then you don’t have to bother with the more difficult and expensive business of actually caring about ‘REAL PERSONS’.



  • prochoiceferret

    Has it ever occurred to you that those [hours-old blastocysts] are REAL PEOPLE?


    No, actually, it hasn’t, because that’s a ludicrous thing to have occur to us. Has it ever occurred to you that referring to microscopic cells as “people” and/or “babies” calls your basic cognitive abilities into question?

  • crowepps

    The subject came up in the first place with the tired accusation that people who believe abortion is a personal decision are “dehumanizing babies like the Nazis dehumanized the Jews”.  The POINT of the list was to make it clear that dehumanizing people (Jews/pagans/witches/heretics) is traditional in religious history and was part of the CONTINUUM of Germany religious history and not some new invention of the Nazis.


    Is the Catholic Church anti-semitic now?  Probably some representatives are and some are not, but that is irrelevant to the real issue which is after taking a look at the HISTORY of the Church and the evidence in that HISTORY of how Church representatives have interacted with others, that the Church doesn’t seem to have much abililty to get even its official representatives to CONSISTENTLY ACT IN A MORAL MANNER.  That being true, nobody cares much what the Catholic Church thinks.


    Edited to add: Particularly when the Church is talking about women, ANOTHER group which the Church has a long history of dehumanizing and stigmitizing in language very similar to that which it used to dehumanize and stigmitize the Jews.  “The Jews killed Christ” and “Eve doomed Adam” lead inevitably to “It’s okay if Jews die” and “It’s okay if women die”.

  • squirrely-girl

    I would like to share that the Catholic Church was INCREDIBLY complacent and in many cases complicit in the Final Solution. Whether the Church chooses to acknowledge it or not, Church leaders, particularly in the Eastern Block, were actively involved in identifying Jews and Gypsies/Roma through “process of elimination” (i.e., they aren’t one of of ours so…). Additionally, the Church has OPENLY acknowledged they benefited from camp/slave labor during the Holocaust to build cathedrals and other Church properties.


    Make no mistake, Pope Pius XII remained publicly silent about these atrocities (under the guise of “neutrality” of course), actively denied assistance to those in need, and there have been more than a few suggestions that he worked behind the scenes to avoid reprisals from Hitler (i.e., leave our precious city alone and we won’t say anything). Finally, the Church’s complicity in seeking clemency for as well as hiding Nazi MURDERERS following the war is WELL DOCUMENTED. 


    Further, it was only the 62-65 Second Vatican Council that actually “absolved” Jews of their “collective guilt”  for the crucification of Christ and made a public statement of disdain for anti-semitism. The Church leadership has a ways to go before I’ll be absolving them of their sins on this topic.




  • prochoiceferret

    Further, it was only the 62-65 Second Vatican Council that actually “absolved” Jews of their “collective guilt”  for the crucification of Christ and made a public statement of disdain for anti-semitism.


    Of course, some folks (e.g. Mel Gibson) don’t much like what happened at Vatican II, and pretend that it never really happened. So they continue to have their old-school Latin Masses, and their old-school hatred of all things Jewish.

  • rebellious-grrl

    la plume, great post. I don’t think Brian is getting the point that we are not incubators. Let’s say it a little louder for him,



  • rebellious-grrl

    Lots better than”the blastocyst invades the endometrium” and “secretes immunosuppressants” so that it is not “rejected as a parasite”.  Nothing about “implantation bleeding” from the wound site.  No mention of rearranging the woman’s blood vessels or highjacking her thyroid.  No mention of the fact that way over half of those blastocysts will never make it all the way to birth.

    Great explanation crowepps! Brian’s comment was really strange. What the hell is he talking about? He doesn’t seem to have a grasp on the realities of pregnancy.

    Implantation is simply the child nursing from the mother for the nutrients she needs to continue growing.

  • ahunt



    Uh Brian, so I am clear, are you insisting that zygotes and blastocyts are babies? Jus’ checkin’.

  • colleen

    What the hell is he talking about? He doesn’t seem to have a grasp on the realities of pregnancy.


    From his POV 14 cells and ‘unique DNA’ = ‘human being’. Of course, from his POV women are morally obligated to view themselves  as sacrificial soil or as human flower pots. Because he believes that ‘unique DNA’ is THE sole defining characteristic of a human being he is defending his religious belief as ‘science’.

    On an idealistic day I would argue that his beliefs are neither science or religion . But the days when I was idealistic enough to believe that Christianity or Catholicism could be a force for good are long gone.

  • crowepps

    Not only does he not have a grasp of the realities, he rejects them outright for his Disneyfied version, because to him what is REALLY important is an egocentric mythology of pregnancy founded in sentimentality and the view of women explained in The Giving Tree.


    MEN are so important that even when they only exist as a single cell, women should WANT to sacrifice everything on their behalf and give and give and give until they self-destruct, because that’s what women are for.

  • colleen

    They’re creepy because they’re so obviously designed to emotionally manipulate  and appeal to the ‘maternal instinct’ which Brian and his clergy believe to be the True Nature of Women. We’re bovine, stupid and emotional, didn’t you know?

    Who would fall for  this crap, particularly considering the fact that Bri and his ilk do fuck all to help care for children after they are born (or, for that matter, women during pregnancies)? Indeed the religious right votes for the most draconian and cruel public policies possible in order to ASSURE the maximum amount of suffering for the poor, the elderly, for children and for women while simultaneously indulging themselves by scapegoating and browbeating women for not wanting to have children we can’t afford to feed, shelter or properly care for.   Indeed if women were forced to rely on the men of the religious right, their churches and their unspeakably vile politicians many of us would be dead and most of us wouldn’t be able to afford a varied and interesting diet.

  • saltyc

    The Giving Tree! Snort! I remember

  • saltyc

    The Giving Tree! Snort! I remember that

  • saltyc

    The Giving Tree! Snort! I remember that one,,,,

  • saltyc

    The Giving Tree! Snort! I remember that one,,,, scary

  • saltyc

    My computer did some kind of hiccuping spasm that posted after each word, please I wish I could delete…

  • turkeybfree

    “Morning-after pills aren’t the same as mifepristone (Mifeprex), the so-called abortion pill. Emergency contraceptive pills such as Plan B prevent pregnancy. The abortion pill terminates an established pregnancy — one in which the fertilized egg has attached to the uterine wall and has already begun to develop.”
    -Mayo Clinic

  • ack


  • ack

    Believe you’re looking for the Necromonacon… preferably read aloud by Mr. Burns.

  • ack

    I know a lot of women who talk about their pregnancies as parasites, or in similar terms. The ZBEF consume sleep, food, energy, moods, etc… And yes, the women ACTUALLY use the term parasite. And most pregnant women, by the 7th month, can’t wait to go through the most excruiciating pain known to people in order to JUST GET IT OUT.


    So I’m totally comfortable. Are you totally comfortable with the details of a pregnancy and a birth? I mean… ALL the details. Oh, and this doesn’t even START to cover it. The worry that you’re pregnant, the hope that you’re pregnant, the puking in a bush, the mood swings, the pains in your legs and hips, the insomnia, the cravings, the puking when you open your car door to puke at an intersection, the pains, the puking in a garbage can at work while hoping you won’t lose your job, the insomnia, the SEARING PAINS, the blood clots, the ankle swelling, the weight gain in places you didn’t know you had to gain weight, the inabilty to lift anything over 10 pounds even if it’s your job, the pissing yourself (yup, not a lie), the occasional shitting yourself (yup, not a lie), the insomnia due to the PAIN, the inability to find a bathroom every 20 minutes like you need it, the muscle aches, the cravings, the feeling like your hips are actually spontaneously combusting, the reconfiguration of every bone and muscle in your body in order to accomodate a fetus…


    Oh, and all of that is before you attempt to push an 8 pound cantalope thorough a canal the size of a cucumber.


    And this is if nothing goes wrong. There are towels shoved up vaginas to stop bleeding. There is sowing of live, un-numbed tissue. There are scars, and stretch marks, and parts of your body that will never, ever be the same. If we did this to people without their consent under ANY other circumstances, the US would lose any and all crediblity regarding torture. State mandated childbirth is torture.


    I’m totally capable of speaking to women about pregnancy and childbirth. You, however, are not.