There are a great many of us who would never think of obtaining a clinical abortion. We even refused to use the IUD because we knew even in the ’70s that those were not true contraceptives. However, as Katie is showing us, hormonal contraceptives can themselves act as abortifacients.
Part Two of her post to Deliberate Engagement reveals the way in which the industry manipulates language in order to protect the marketability of the product. This is particularly critical for us who oppose abortion because this same manipulation of language is common in the abortion/”choice” argument.
Please read carefully, and if this is an issue that effects you, please begin now to research your other options. We will always recommend materials from Couple to Couple League and advocate Natural Family Planning, which is also known as Cooperative Birth Control, to anyone who will listen – but we recognize that not everyone is going to share our views on this issue. Always discuss with your health care provider – and inform others as you have the opportunity.
I’ve bolded particularly salient phrases and words for emphasis – Laura
So why can hormonal contraceptives be marketed to *prevent* pregnancy?
Remember, years ago, some groups in the medical community worked to have an established pregnancy recognized after implantation, not fertilization. [How this all came to be is a whole other post in itself!] So if you look at the semantics of how pregnancy is defined, even the last mechanism of action of hormonal contraceptives would be considered to prevent a pregnancy, when it is defined as occurring after implantation.
Deceitful? Yes. Illegal? No.
Unfortunately, many women know nothing about this. Many women take hormonal contraceptives (a.k.a. “the pill”, “the shot”, etc.), thinking the whole time that this is nothing more than a means to prevent/delay pregnancy until they want to attempt to have children. All three mechanisms of action of hormonal contraceptives are rarely discussed. Yes, they are in the fine print of the drug information sheets that may be provided, but the details are hardly ever brought to light. And it is these very important overlooked details that many would agree pose a very important ethical/moral dilemma to those who may consider or do use them.
Do you use hormonal contraceptives? Were you aware of this information? My guess would be no. I know this may come as a shock to many. I took them for years myself thinking there was not a single thing even potentially wrong with doing so because none of this information was made known to me, and I didn’t even think to do any further research on my own. Now that I’ve learned more about the truth of how these drugs work, I feel burdened to share this information until something more can be done to get the word out.
To recap, the definition of pregnancy that you hold to might differ greatly than the definition of pregnancy of the folks marketing the contraceptive drug you may be using. If you are using some form of hormonal contraception, I urge you to request the full prescribing information for it from your pharmacy or physician. You should already be receiving something called the “patient package insert” with each prescription. However, there is a package insert that comes with each drug that enters the pharmacy known as the “prescribing information” or “package insert”. The next time you go to pick up your prescription, ask the pharmacist if you could have it. Then take it home. Read it thoroughly and carefully. Look specifically at the “Clinical Pharmacology” section. Look at the mechanisms of action. Then I would suggest that you discuss this information with your OB/GYN or your family physician so you can privately and thoroughly get your questions answered.
The key questions to ask would be these: When does implantation of the embryo occur in pregnancy? How long does it occur after fertilization of the egg? If an egg was fertilized while I was using my contraceptive, could this drug prevent the implantation of that embryo? Would I know it?
These are the key talking points that SHOULD be discussed, in my opinion, before any of those drugs are prescribed or suggested. I believe that many women take these (and many physicians prescribe them) without discussion regarding this very important issue…..HOW EXACTLY DO THEY WORK?
Katie (Guest Writer and Burdened Pharmacist)