Lies, Lies and More Lies: How Anti-Choicers Are Using “Personhood” to Ban Birth Control


Editor’s Note: A number of commenters on this piece have argued that the pill may prevent implantation of a fertilized egg.  This is true: It *might.*  According to information from both Planned Parenthood and from Ortho, hormones in the pill work by keeping a woman’s ovaries from releasing eggs — ovulation. Pregnancy cannot happen if there is no egg to join with sperm. The hormones in the pill also prevent pregnancy by thickening a woman’s cervical mucus. The mucus blocks sperm and keeps it from joining with an egg. The hormones also thin the lining of the uterus. In theory, this could prevent pregnancy by keeping a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus. The primary action is to prevent ovulation and fertilization in the first place. “Egg-as-person” advocates don’t care either way as their agenda is to redefine pregnancy by rejecting the  medical definition, and ban all methods of contraception.

See all our articles on the “egg-as-person” movement here.

What do you do when all the discourse around a topic is based around a scientific fallacy—or even an outright lie—but pointing that out distracts from the most pertinent issues of a specific debate? Most of the time, the right wing war on science is an easy one to figure out how to fight: conservatives tell lies about science, pro-science people fight back with the facts. There are drawbacks to this strategy, since it’s often a matter of pitching emotions vs. reason, but at least the path of fighting lies with facts is clear. It’s the strategy we use to fight back against claims that global warming isn’t real, that evolution didn’t happen, or that the HPV vaccine causes mental retardation. But when it comes to debating whether or not the birth control pill should be made illegal, the strategy of simply pointing out that the right is lying falls apart, and unfortunately for very understandable reasons.

Here’s the story: Anti-choicers have been trying, in various states, to pass various versions of a “personhood” amendment that would define a fertilized egg as a person. They hope to sell this to the voters as nothing but a ban on abortion, but pro-choice activists who are familiar with anti-choice belief systems know that anti-choicers also hope that it can be used to ban the birth control pill.  The reason we know they hope this is anti-choice activists are both hostile to contraception use and believe that the birth control pill works by stopping fertilized eggs from implanting. The problem is that the birth control simply doesn’t work by preventing fertilized eggs from implanting.  That’s repeated a lot, but there’s no evidence to back that assertion up.  The birth control pill works by tweaking a woman’s hormones so she doesn’t ovulate. Since an estimated half of fertilized eggs slough off on their own anyway, a woman who uses no contraception will “kill” far more fertilized eggs than a woman on the pill, simply because a woman on the pill doesn’t fertilize the eggs in the first place. If you are truly weeping over the souls of the departed fertilized eggs, then you would want every woman in the world on the pill, though that effort to keep from “murdering” one-celled “persons” would effectively end our species. (Sadly, not enough people push anti-choice arguments to their logical conclusions, even though anti-choicers are extremists who really should die by the sword they live by.)

This is where the situation gets confusing and choices get hard. Because there are two separate issues at stake here: the fact that anti-choicers are trying to get the birth control pill banned and the fact that anti-choicers lie about the how the birth control pill works. In our soundbite-driven culture, trying to explain both these facts and how they work together is incredibly hard to do. You pretty much have to choose to fight anti-choicers on one front or another. You can explain how the science they’re working under is all wrong, or you can point out they’re trying to ban the birth control pill, but rarely will anyone have the time or column inches to explain both, and in enough detail for the audience to grasp the full picture.

With this in mind, most pro-choicers are simply stating that anti-choicers are trying to ban the birth control pill, which means that they inadvertently concede the scientific argument to the liars. This is coming up frequently now that Mississippi is poised to pass a personhood amendment. Katha Pollitt wrote about the amendment without explaining that the “science” behind it is simply wrong. Ann Rose failed to correct the lie in her piece on the Mississippi ballot initiative. Rachel Maddow went a step further, simply reporting anti-choice misinformation about the pill as if it were scientific fact. This stuff frustrates me as a cheerleader for more scientific accuracy in media, but I do understand why pro-choicers do it.

If you point out that the pill doesn’t actually “kill” fertilized eggs—and that instead it keeps those “deaths” from happening, if said “deaths” bother you, because the pill prevents fertilization from happening—then you have to explain to an audience how a bill that defines personhood at conception could be used to ban the birth control pill. You would have to get into a deep, involved explanation of how scientific misinformation often gets written into law. You’d have to point out that the same people passing personhood laws also refuse to believe in evolution or in global warming, so convincing themselves that the pill works by setting a birth control ninja to attack teeny-weeny babies isn’t really that big a leap. To explain how a lie like this could get by the courts, you’d have to point to various court decisions that rest on scientific misinformation get enshrined into law, such as in Carhart v Gonzalez, where Justice Kennedy invoked anti-choice propaganda about post-abortion depression in his decision, even though the repeated studies on this issue have shown that there is no scientific evidence to suggest that “post-abortive syndrome” exists.

Whew! That’s a lot of explaining! Ninety-five percent of your audience has stopped listening to your fascinating explanation of how an anti-choice myth about female reproductive systems could be written into law and pass a court test all while being a complete lie, and are now watching a YouTube video of a kitten playing in a hamster ball. Politically speaking, avoiding the tedious biological discussions of how the pill works and the tedious legal discussions of the interaction of science and policy and going straight to what the audience needs to know—anti-choicers are trying to ban the pill!—is the smart move. I don’t blame anyone for going there. It’s probably the right decision, and certainly caters to audience needs the most.

But still, it bothers me. Every time we fail to address the blatant lie about how the pill works at the center of this debate, we allow the lie to linger. We allow the public to believe women on the pill are sloughing off fertilized eggs frequently, when they simply aren’t. This works to give anti-choice slander of the pill a little more credibility, and works to increase the stigma attached to taking it.  If they persist in this, and the stigma of the pill continues to grow, eventually they won’t need elaborate lies to ban it. They’ve already been able to convince much of the public that women who get abortions are dirty sluts. This scientific misinformation campaign is about convincing the public that the same is true of women who use the pill.  And every time we let the lie go, we let the stigma of the pill grow.  

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

Follow Amanda Marcotte on Twitter: @amandamarcotte

To schedule an interview with Amanda Marcotte please contact Communications Director Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.

  • joejp

    It is my understanding that there are some forms of birth control that prevent the implanation [that is to prevent "pregnancy" -- which would not occur]  of fertilized eggs, including IUDs and at least some uses of the “morning after pill.”  At least, it’s possible.  Planned Parenthood:

    “The morning-after pill can also thin the lining of the uterus. In theory, this could prevent pregnancy by keeping a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus.”

    http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/emergency-contraception-morning-after-pill-4363.asp

    The Mayo Clinic:

    “The morning-after pill can be used after you’ve had unprotected sex. Depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle, the morning-after pill can prevent or delay ovulation, block fertilization, or keep a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.”

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/morning-after-pill/MY01190

     

    It is quite right to say that lots of fertilized eggs die naturally and the use of these drugs should obviously be protected and supported, but if there is “no evidence,” perhaps these and other sources can be informed so they can correct their websites. 

    Since the logic of the other side would make even a small chance of “murder” unconsciousable, the fact that there might be a small chance that this occurs would not answer their arguments. So, if even PP and the Mayo Clinic and others who are not pro-life kneejerks suggest it is possible that some techniques prevent implantation, not counting IUDs, why fight the battle on the point?  It would seem to have little positive returns. 

     

     

     

  • colleen

    why fight the battle on the point?  It would seem to have little positive returns.

    It seems to me you’re asking the wrong side. Why should Personhood USA fight a battle intended to criminalize anything as popular as effective birth control. By “popular” I mean that a 97% approval rating. Even amoungst practicing Catholics.

    I cannot imagine one benefit to being forced to live as if a zygote is more valuable than a woman. Not one.

     

  • amanda-marcotte

    Those quotes are taken out of context. That’s a theory, but there is no real evidence that there’s a “second level” of protection. Notice the use of “can”, not “definitely”.

    But let’s assume for the sake of argument that a somewhat higher percentage of fertilized eggs in a woman on the pill die, say 60% instead of the typical 50%. Typical use means that 14% of women on the pill will get pregnant, and 1% perfect use. That means of 1 in 5 typical pill users and 1 in 100 perfect users will “kill” a fertilized egg.

    Women who use no contraception are about 80% likely to get pregnant in a year. At the slightly lower 1 for 1 rate of attachment/slouching off, 80% of non-contraception users will “kill” a fertilized egg.

    If you are concerned about fertilized eggs, the stats are clear: the pill prevents death.

  • amanda-marcotte

    That Joe is pulling a trick anti-vaccination people pull, which is exploiting the way scientific language diverges from ordinary language in order to introduce claims that can’t be supported. When something is unknown but unlikely in science, it’s still included in the list of “possibilities”. There is no positive evidence that the pill makes the loss of a fertilized egg more likely, but there’s no negative evidence, either. They can’t cut you open and look!

     

    Personally, I wish that scientific info packaged for the public was more real people-friendly, and possibilities that are *highly unlikely* were rounded up to *not true*, which is how the real world works. For the purposes of real world understanding of the pill, it works by preventing ovulation, and if you’re not on it, you will lose more fertilized eggs over a lifetime than if you are on it. 

  • susmart3

    …because they are innocent souls from god, not sinful female creatures.

    Note that “pro-life” has never come up with one piece of legislation that would even inconvienience, let alone cause harm, the invisible half of the equation: MEN. 

     

    It would seem that a movement that claims to hold life so dear, would address the fact that we could find ways to scold, threaten, vilify and legislate against men, too.

    Unless all this really is just an anti-woman movement.

  • joejp

    Colleen, if something is wrong, the fact it is “popular” is not the test.  That’s not a good idea or stuff feminists support that aren’t “popular” will be next.  The test is right and wrong, and the personhood amendments are wrong.  

     

    Susmart, hurting women hurts men too.  Absistence education hurts men too — if it causes unwanted fathers as well as mothers, men are harmed. Many other cases can be imagined. 

     

    Ms. Marcotte, I’m sorry, but I’m on your side here.  I’m against these amendments and for a strong right to choose.  I have repeatedly said as much on my blog, but who cares.  The point is that I’m not trying to “trick” or “exploit” anything here. I don’t know what sort of “context’ they were in either.  PP and the Mayo Clinic stated that could occur. 

     

    There is a reason why RACHEL MADDOW said what she said.  When neutral or supportive sources, and I could have found more, notes that IUDs (I just looked at a Planned Parenthood site that says it) or emergency conception might — given how they reasonably work, which in some other context, such as risks of a food additive or a safety device you probably wouldn’t find unsatisfying to rely on — do something, and even if it happens it shouldn’t prevent women (and teens) from using them — arguing over the point is a questionable use of time. If anything, if birth control — which as someone noted so many find appropriate — is threatened by a law, more people would be inclined to be against it. 

     

    I didn’t dispute most of what you said, so arguing about the pill “preventing death” isn’t getting us anywhere.  You are not going to get far trying to debate rationally with the pro-life side on the point … they will likely say that artificially interfering with fertilization is against God’s path or something.  It would be spun their way somehow. This plus the fact that neutral sources, obviously relying on some evidence or they wouldn’t put blind theories there (if they are, again, tell them to edit it), say what they say, relying on your way is to me counterproductive. 

     

    If I’m wrong, I’m wrong.  I’m still not trying to (scare word alert) “exploit” or “trick” here.  If you want to accuse strong pro-choice supporters that way, be my guest.  I again will find it not the best use of your resources. Meanwhile, I will continue to listen to your weekly webcasts.

  • crowepps

    If you are truly weeping over the souls of the departed fertilized eggs, then you would want every woman in the world on the pill, though that effort to keep from “murdering” one-celled “persons” would effectively end our species.

    I’ve seen this false statement from ProLife advocates and it’s just as untrue when ProChoice advocates use it.  Most women have children because they WANT to have children.  If every woman in the world was supposed to be on the pill, enough of them would lie and cheat to have the children they want so that the species would continue regardless.  As this article makes clear, people don’t like having a tyrannical government butt into their private decisions.

    Michael Kazin: What the Temperance Movement and the Anti-Abortion Movement Have in Common

    http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/95625/prohibition-documentary-ken-burns-lynn-novick

     

  • beenthere72

    Interesting that you posted that link.  I watch much of the PBS special last night (fascinating, it was!) and couldn’t help but think about the correlations, especially when they referred to it as a wedge issue.   

  • crowepps

    “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”  Mark Twain

    The similarity to the various witch hunt hysterias is also stunningly obvious.

  • beenthere72

    And the hypocrisy!

  • ahunt

    The amazing thing is that the pro-lifers actually believe that women will simply meekly submit to these efforts to destroy their ability to fully participate in public life.

     

    I think pro-lifers truly believe that the nature of women is submissive, maternal and self sacrificing. Full Stop.  And that this inability to see women as human will have them scratching their heads in “innocent” bewilderment when the reality permeates the fog of blissful, idiotic idealism.

     

     

  • colleen

    Colleen, if something is wrong, the fact it is “popular” is not the test.

    You appear to have missed my point. You were, I believe, attempting to offer political and strategic advice. You were clearly telling us where and when to fight.You were pretending to appreciate our POV while simultaneously offering extremely poor advice.

    I was pointing out that  is not “wrong” to use effective contraception. Indeed the ‘wrongness’ of effective contraception is a view held by a small minority of lunatics who view women as breeding livestock while simultaneously and grotesquely deifying and sentimentalizing ZBEF. The fact that this tiny minority of right wing social conservatives believes it is wrong to use effective contraception does not make them or their idiot arguments “right”. What is wrong is that a tiny minority of morons believes they have a right to speculate about and regulate and control the uterine lining of millions of women.

    I was asking why you weren’t offering your bad advice to the tiny minority of fanatics involved in or donating money to ‘Personhood USA’, not trying to establish a legal precedent or establish ‘The Test’, whatever that means. I notice that you failed to answer my question.

     

  • cmarie

    um… global warming isn’t real (but of course you know that)… otherwise interesting article.  Having grown up Catholic and attended Catholic school for five years, I never, ever had a friend who opposed birth control.  Plenty of people who opposed abortion (barring EC for rape obviously or mother’s life in danger) but you can’t very well oppose both abortion and birth control.  You’ll find them (quiverfulls for example) but they are far from common.  My story is a good example of the benefit of the pill.  When I got married, I really wanted to have a baby.  I was almost thirty and just really felt ready.  Unfortunately, I was not immune to measles, mumps or rubella and those (especially rubella or German measles) are very dangerous for a pregnancy.  It was only a few weeks before the wedding that I got my immunization and I could NOT get pregnant for three months after that because of the live vaccine so the only responsible thing I could do was go on the pill and stay on it until the vaccine was no longer in my system.  So when my daughter came, she was perfect and that was partly thanks to the pill which prevented pregnancy during what would have been a dangerous time.   Condoms are really the best though, not only because they remove the vast number of religious concerns (eliminating restrictions like the one cited above) but also because they are easily available, have no side effects and help prevent to spread of not just HIV but other STD’s as well.

  • ahunt

    Thanks. My response was nowhere near as well thought out…or civil.

  • wendy-banks
  • susmart3

    “…hurting women hurts men too.  Absistence education hurts men too…”

    And “an injustice to one is an injustice to all.” In theory, yes. In practical application, not so much.

    These insane/ridiculous restrictions and laws ONLY target woman. Men get a free pass on any resulting pregnancy.

    It truly amazes me.

     

  • forced-birth-rape

     

    Anders Behring Breivik christian terrorist, pro-forced-birther.

    What he thinks about womens rights, women need to breed, breed, breed.

    He has the same ideas for women as republicans, conservatives, and pro-lifers.

     

    1. Limit the distribution of birth-control pills (contraceptive pills): Discourage the use of and prevent liberal distribution of contraceptive pills or equivalent prevention methods. The goal should be to make it considerably more difficult to obtain. This alone should increase the fertility rate by 0,1 points but would degrade women’s rights.

    2. Reform sex education: Reform the current sex education in our school institutions. This may involve limiting it or at least delaying sex education to a later age and discourage casual sex. Sex should only be encouraged within the boundaries of marriage. This alone should increase the fertility rate by 0,1 points.

    3. Making abortion illegal: A re-introduction of the ban on abortion should result in an increased fertility rate of approximately 0,1-0,2 points but would strip women of basic rights.

    4. Women and education: Discourage women in general to strive for full time careers. This will involve certain sexist and discriminating policies but should increase the fertility rate by up to 0,1-0,2 points.

    Women should not be encouraged by society/media to take anything above a bachelor’s degree but should not be prevented from taking a master or PhD. Males on the other hand should obviously continue to be encouraged to take higher education – bachelor, master and PhD.

     

    Self-Described ‘Christian Counterpart To Osama Bin Laden’ Arrested In Plot To Bomb Abortion Clinic

    Justin Carl Moose describe “himself” as the Christian counterpart to Osama bin Laden. Moose wrote: “I have learned a lot from the muslim terrorists and have no problem using their tactics.”

  • plume-assassine

    cmarie, If it’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s the science-illiterate garbage that conservatives spew about nearly everything, including the topic of anthropogenic climate change. Global warming is science fact. There are many natural causes, as well as unnatural causes due to human pollution in recent times. There is no scientific organization of national or international standing that has maintained a dissenting opinion on this.

     

    The only reason people such as yourself disregard science fact as mere “belief” is because you have been continuously misinformed or under-educated for years about everything from astronomy to zoology. That, and because your religion tells you that a God made this planet especially for human beings, and we can destroy and rape the planet as much as we please, because “God will provide.”

  • atleebreland

    For context, I’m speaking as a Mississippian who’s on the front lines of anti-26 advocacy — I’m the founder of a grassroots group called Parents Against MS 26. This is, honestly, kind of un-helpful.

    The package inserts of every major brand of hormonal contraceptive clearly discuss post-fertilization effects. For example, <a href=”http://www.drugs.com/nuvaring.html”>NuvaRing’s insert</a> says right up there at the top:

    <blockquote>What is NuvaRing? NuvaRing contains ethinyl estradiol and etonogestrel, a combination of female hormones that prevent ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary). They also cause changes in your cervical mucus and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus.</blockquote>

    That’s not exactly the same as reporting it as a rare side effect or an unlikely possibility, the way that vaccine side effects are treated. The manufacturers are putting post-fertilization effects up there as a primary mechanism of action. 

    Yes, I know there is scientific controversy over whether the endometrial changes generally caused by BCP (which are not in doubt) would actually prevent a fertilized egg from implanting if ovulation occurred and produced the corresponding progesterone levels. For purposes of this discussion, though, what matters is that if Initiative 26 passes, the state Legislature, or a state judge, is going to read that package insert right up there and decide that BCP DOES have post-fertilization effects, and therefore is not permissible under 26.

    Remember, post-fertilization effects don’t have to happen often to be prohibited by 26. Disposition of cryopreserved IVF embryos is actually very uncommon in Mississippi — we are literally talking about a bare handful of embryos, simply because there are only three IVF clinics here. That doesn’t stop the pro-lifers from going after essentially the entire practice of IVF, by imposing a legal standard that would require doctors to do everything possible to preserve embryonic “life” until there is an unavoidable conflict with the mother’s life. (I’ve written extensively on our site about the possible ramifications for IVF.)

    It’s similarly pointless that the pill might result in a lower overall rate of microscopic embryo loss than nature (and I think your stats are on somewhat shaky ground too, but that’s another post). To people who believe that life begins at fertilization, a deliberate action like taking the pill is equivalent to manslaughter, whereas natural loss is just God’s plan at work. It’s the same logic they use with selective reduction; you can’t kill one fetus to save the other two, even if that means you’re going to lose all three of them.

    For those people, the bottom line is that you have to “err on the side of life”. If there’s any evidence at all, even bad and biased evidence, that BCP <a href=”http://archfami.ama-assn.org/cgi/reprint/9/2/126.pdf”>can cause endometrial changes which prevent implantation</a>, up against the wall it goes. 

    Ultimately, I’m rather less concerned with settling out the scientific niceties than with wondering what endometriosis treatment options will be available to me on November 9th. You may think it’s bad science, and I may even agree with you, but this is a legal issue, not a scientific one. If the state government believes it to be true, they can take BCP out of the hands of women like me.

    That’s my major concern right now, and I could wish that you weren’t giving the pro-lifers fuel for their “see, it WON’T outlaw contraceptives” doubletalk.

  • donnag

    When they claim “personhood” laws won’t be used to ban contraception.  But I refuse to engage in that argument anymore.  Because even if they were honest about their intentions – that they seek to stop abortion only and not birth control – it wouldn’t matter.  The proponents of Measure 26 are not the ones who will be interpreting and enforcing the law, therefore they cannot guarantee how it will be applied.   There would be nothing stopping the MS legislature from immediately passing a law banning all forms of hormonal birth control and IUDs because of the possiblity that they may destroy a fertilized egg.  There would be nothing stopping overzealous cops and prosecutors from investigating “suspicious” miscarriages or even late periods.  

     

    Anti-choicers swore up and down that late-term abortion and so-called fetal protection laws would not be used to target women yet that is exactly what’s happening all over the country.  

  • crowepps

    — Doctors at two major Indianapolis hospitals have stopped performing abortions even for women with serious health risks because of concerns over the new state law aimed at defunding Planned Parenthood.

    The Indianapolis Star reports that doctors at Indiana University and Wishard Memorial hospitals stopped offering abortions. The law exempts hospitals from the possible loss of Medicaid funding, but the newspaper reports that the doctors are part of a private practice and not technically employed by the hospitals.

    Wishard obstetrics chief Elizabeth Ferries-Rowe says the new law ties the hands of doctors trying to provide appropriate care.

    Republican state Sen. Scott Schneider sponsored the defunding law. He says it isn’t intended to prevent abortions in hospitals if the woman’s life was in danger or the fetus had no chance to survive.”

    http://www.courierpress.com/news/2011/jun/27/some-indiana-doctors-stop-abortions-after-new-law/

    And yet regardless of Sen. Scott Schneider’s INTENT, the law was crafted poorly, and the legislature was ignorant of why medically necessary abortions are done and how medical practices are structured and how doctors work with hospitals, with the result that the law did indeed prevent abortions in hospitals, and resulted in women having to travel out of state for medically necessary abortions at a time when their health was precarious.

     

    It doesn’t matter what legislators INTEND, what matters is how the law is interpreted by the providers of medical services who face the punishments outlined in those laws.  The ‘Personhood’ bills imposed by the Catholic heirarchy in several countries in South America have resulted in many women dying totally unnecessarily from ectopic pregnancies because doctors don’t want to go to prison for saving their lives.  Nobody goes to jail if they merely turn their backs and refuse to provide appropriate medical care to pregnant women, because the Church thinks pregnant women should WANT to die with their fetus.

  • veracity-mama

    Saying that “the pill prevents fertilization from happening” confuses the issue and does not get to the factual foundation, which is this:

    1. The Birth Control Pill simply SUPPRESSES OVULATION.

    2. No ovulation, no eggs produced.

    3. No eggs produced, nothing to fertilize.

    4. Nothing to fertilize, no possibility of pregnancy.

    Especially with the personhood fetish people, simplicity is paramount, IMHO.

     

    Amanda, I so appreciate your committment to exposing these “biblical liars.”

  • donnag

    It doesn’t matter what legislators INTEND, what matters is how the law is interpreted by the providers of medical services who face the punishments outlined in those laws. The ‘Personhood’ bills imposed by the Catholic heirarchy in several countries in South America have resulted in many women dying totally unnecessarily from ectopic pregnancies because doctors don’t want to go to prison for saving their lives. Nobody goes to jail if they merely turn their backs and refuse to provide appropriate medical care to pregnant women, because the Church thinks pregnant women should WANT to die with their fetus.

    Exactly. If there’s a possibility of facing murder charges, some medical providers are going to err on the side of safety. No abortion, no prosecution. These laws introduce horrible Prisoner’s Dilemmas into health care settings.

  • elburto

    1) you’re concern-trolling about the poor ickle ZBEFs and 2) you use the ever-pathetic “WHAT ABOUT THE MENZ?” argument and 3) You consistently misrepresent scientific facts.

    There is no form of contraception that works by doing anything to an implanted fertilised egg. The pill, patch and ring work by preventing ovulation. The Mirena IUS also prevents ovulation. Non-hormonal IUDs work by ensuring that the uterine environment is inhospitable to sperm and eggs alike, and prevents them meeting. The only time an IUD will stop a fertilised egg implanting is if it’s used as emergency contraception.

    Emergency contraception in pill form, Plan B in the US, works by delaying ovulation. If you’re nowhere near ovulation or you’ve already ovulated, then nothing will happen. That’s why it has a pretty high failure rate. It won’t do anything to an existing pregnancy (ie one that implanted some time ago, and is already causing production of hcg).

  • joyce-arthur

    There is no evidence whatsoever that the pill interferes with fertilization or implantation.  It was once thought or assumed that the pill might work that way, but it does not. The ‘might’ you’re talking about was always purely conjectural and is now so exceedingly unlikely that it should never be conceded in the slightest. Please consider removing your editor’s note, thank you.

  • ack

    global warming isn’t real (but of course you know that)…

     

    Interestingly enough, conversation about a more recent study broke after you posted this. Muller, a prominent skeptic of global warming, was bankrolled by the Koch brothers to do a two year study after the whole “climategate” bullshit went down. Muller found that he was the one who was wrong.

     

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204422404576594872796327348.html

     

    If you read interviews with him from other sources, he talks about how reducing greenhouse gas emissions makes a lot of sense in light of his new studies, and that continuing down the path we’re currently on could have “disastrous results.” A lot of people are saying that this should effectively end the debate on whether the earth is getting warmer.

  • lapidarion

    Some people within the anti-choice movement admit the facts about the pill:
    http://lti-blog.blogspot.com/2008/06/dangers-of-overstating-our-case-serge.html

    Here they get into their own detailed discussion:
    http://lti-blog.blogspot.com/2008/06/does-thin-uterine-lining-support-pill.html