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‘Pious Baloney’ Leftovers

January 30th, 2012 • Contributed by Dino Corvino
Posted in: Birth Control, Emergency Contraception, Policy

Digg This!

[This letter from Lon Newman appeared at]

Thanks for the fact check on the South Carolina Gingrich-versus-Romney ad [“Gingrich’s ‘Baloney’-filled Attacks on Romney,” Jan. 11]. Confusing the public about emergency contraception pills (ECP) is deliberate, pervasive, and routinely served by opponents of contraception.

Although fact-checking the fact-checking seems tedious sometimes, it is important to explain that available research on Plan B One-Step (“the morning after pill”) shows that it prevents pregnancy by preventing ovulation and/or fertilization.

Ron Hamel, a Catholic ethicist publishing the conclusions of five years of scientific review in the January-February 2010 issue of Health Progress, said: ” … virtually all of the evidence in the scientific literature indicates Plan B has little or no post-fertilization effect, that is, it has little or no effect on the endometrium that would make it inhospitable to implantation. Its mechanism of action is to disrupt ovulation.”

One objection frequently repeated by Plan B opponents is that there is language in the pill package that the drug may prevent implantation. However, Nicanor Pier Giorgio Austriaco, a priest, theologian, and scientist also studied the active drug’s effects and determined that it has no post-fertilization effect. On the argument of labeling, he stated that: “ … labels mean nothing without the scientific data to back up their claims.”

These conclusions are reinforced in the 2010 World Health Organization’s fact-sheet on levonogestrel (LNG) which states: “… LNG ECP use does not prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterine lining.”

The important answer to the question on emergency contraception is that there cannot be an abortion before there is a pregnancy; therefore, preventing unwanted pregnancies prevents abortions. But even if you believe pregnancy is the same as fertilization, you no longer have to put up with the warmed-over baloney that Plan B is an “abortion pill.”

Thanks, again, for your excellent work.

Lon Newman
Executive director, Family Planning Health Services
Wausau, Wisc.

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