Birth Control And Abortion
Life begins at fertilization (conception), that moment when a sperm joins with an ovum (egg) to form one cell called a zygote. The characteristics of this new person, such as sex, eye and hair color, intelligence, etc. are determined as he or she inherits 23 chromosomes from each parent at fertilization. This tiny child then travels down the Fallopian tube into the uterus. The new human implants herself in the rich lining of the uterus and begins to draw nourishment. This process takes approximately 5 to 10 days to complete. “Reproductive rights” advocates try to confuse the issue by redefining that fact of when life begins. They often propose that a pregnancy does not begin until implantation, not fertilization, and therefore argue that many birth control methods we call abortifacient aren’t since they act before implantation, before life, they say, exists. But according to medical texts and agreed upon by medical and biological professionals, “life begins at fertilization.”
Contraceptives vs. Abortifacients
A distinction exists between contraceptive birth control and abortifacient birth
control. Contraceptives include the so-called barrier methods: the condom, diaphragm, cervical cap, and anti-sperm methods such as the sponge, jellies, foams and creams. These methods prevent sperm from fertilizing an egg. Abortifacients work after fertilization (conception) by killing the newly conceived human at least some of the time. These include oral contraceptives (the Pill), IUD, Norplant, Depo-Provera, Emergency Contraception (the “Morning After Pill”), and anti-fertility vaccines. Although 1.6 million surgical abortions take place each year in the U.S., Dr. Bogomir Kuhar, a pharmacist concerned about chemical abortion, has calculated that in combining all forms of induced abortion: the IUD, Depo-Provera, Norplant, surgical and the Pill (and injectables, implants, and oral products that work in a similar fashion), between 9.6 and 13.5 million young lives are terminated in the U.S. alone each year. Pro-abortion organizations readily admit the early abortion potential of these methods. In February 1992, writing in opposition to a Louisiana law banning abortion, Ruth Colker, a Tulane Law School professor, wrote, “Because nearly all birth control devices, except the diaphragm and condom, operate between the time of conception...and implantation…, the statute would appear to ban most contraceptives.”
The Pill is taken orally, usually every day. There are two kinds of Pills. The “combined Pill” contains both estrogen and progestin. The second type is a progestin-only Pill sometimes called the “mini-pill.” Both kinds have three ways of working: 1—they prevent ovulation by suppressing the part of the brain which signals for ovulation to begin. 2—they change the lining of the cervix to make it more difficult for sperm to pass through, or 3—they prevent implantation of a newly conceived human life on the lining of the womb.3 Two other factors in a woman’s fertility may be affected by the Pill as well by: 4—lowering the efficiency with which the Fallopian tubes propel eggs or a newly conceived human (embryo) from the ovaries toward the uterus. This can cause the embryo not to reach the uterus in time to implant successfully.4 5—affecting the corpus luteum (a gland that controls the woman’s cycle and normally functions long enough to give an embryo time to implant and for the placenta to begin to support a pregnancy), causing it to allow the lining of the uterus to be shed before the embryo can successfully implant. The first two actions are contraceptive in nature; the last three cause abortions. Dr. J. Richard Crout, director of the Bureau of Drugs of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), concerning the “combination pills” has explained that, “fundamentally, these pills take over the menstrual cycle from the normal endocrine mechanisms. And in doing so they inhibit ovulation and change the characteristics of the uterus so that it is not receptive to a fertilized egg [embryo].” The action of the progestin-only Pill (“mini-pill”) appears to be even more consistently abortifacient. When Syntex Laboratories, Inc. released the progestin-only Pill which it had developed, spokesman Russ Wilks announced that it did not “interfere with ovulation...It seems to affect the endometrium [the lining of the uterus] so that a fertilized egg [embryo] cannot be implanted.” The FDA’s detailed patient labeling for oral contraceptives (sic) says, “progestin-only contraceptives (sic) are known to alter the cervical mucus, exert a progestinal effect on the endrometrium, interfering with implantation, and, in some patients, suppress ovulation.” It is estimated that some forms of the Pill of today cause abortions up to 50% of the time. Emory University’s Contraceptive Technology published that the “mini-pills” allow ovulation to take place 40 to 60% of the time.
Emergency Contraception is one brand of the Pill. Preven is the only type approved by the FDA as of spring 1999. It is manufactured in higher dosages (up to 8 times the normal dose), and packaged and marketed specifically for after intercourse use. Preven is designed to be taken up to 72 hours after sexual intercourse and still be effective. Like all oral products, Preven can and does prevent implantation of an embryo and is therefore abortifacient. Alternatives For the married couple, Natural Family Planning (NFP) provides a medically safe, healthy, highly effective and very low-cost method of planning your family. For more information on NFP, contact the Couple to Couple League at (513) 471-2000. For the unmarried couple, abstinence is recommended. Lawrence Roberge, The Cost of Abortion, La Grange, GA: Four Winds, 1995, pg. 7 Colker R. (Feb. 6, 1992). Louisiana abortion is a very real threat to women The Dallas Morning News, 23A. The Pill: How does it work? Is it safe?, Couple to Couple League Int’l Inc., (513) 471-2000, (1993), pp. 2-3 and Ehmann, Dr. Rudolf. Abortifacient Contraception: the Pharmaceutical Holocaust, Human Life Int’l., (540) 635-7884, (1993), p. 1. Bronson RA (Sept. 1981). Oral contraception: mechanism of action. Clin Ob Gyn 24 (3) 873-874. Hatcher RA (1988) 192. J. Richard Crout quoted in the FDA Consumer, HEW pub. no. 76-3024, reprinted from May, 1976 Russ Wilks quoted in a United Press International release carried in the Cincinnati Post, Jan. 11, 1973 Federal Register, loc., cit. The Birth Control Game: Gambling with Life, American Life League/Pharmacists for Life, (866) 538-5483, (1990), p. 2 American Medical Association Committee on Human Reproduction, “Evaluation of intrauterine contraceptive devices,” Journal of the American Medical Association, 199:9, Feb. 27, 1967, 155 Thomas W. Hilgers, “The intrauterine device: contraceptive or abortifacient?” Minnesota Medicine, June 1974, 493-501 Bogomir Kuhar, Infant Homicides Through Contraceptives, Eternal Life Publishing, 1995 Ibid., p. 28 Ibid., pp. 28-29
The IUD, (intra-uterine device), is an object that is placed inside the uterus (womb) by a physician. When in place, it and the chemical it contains alters the fluids in the womb and the lining of the womb. The presence of the IUD irritates the lings, causing any newly conceived child to be unable to implant. The baby dies and passes out of the mother’s body unnoticed. According to the American Medical Association (AMA) Committee on Human Reproduction, “the action of the IUDs would seem to be a simple local phenomenon. That these devices prevent nidation [implantation] of an already fertilized ovum [embryo] has been accepted as the most likely mechanism of the action.”In an exhaustive survey of over 400 articles on the subject, Dr. Thomas W. Hilgers concluded, “...the conclusion is that the primary action of the IUD must be classed as abortifacient.”
Depo-Provera is a long-acting, man-made hormone in an injection received every three months. It has been available in some parts of the world for 20 years or more and has been used by doctors specifically to abort children. That is why Depo-Provera was not approved in the U.S. until recently. It has the usual progestin mechanisms of action as the Pill: suppressing ovulation in some cases; altering the mucus in the cervix; or altering the endometrium, the lining of the uterus.”Depo-Provera may cause abortions 40 to 60% of the time.
Norplant is also a progesterone drug which is becoming increasingly popular despite its significant risks and difficulty of removal. (As of August 1996, in Texas alone, over 68 federal lawsuits against its manufacturer, Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, have been consolidated.) The drug is encased in 5 or 6 flexible capsules or rods, which are surgically implanted beneath the skin on the inside of the upper arm, and is designed to be effective for up to five years. Pregnancy is avoided through suppressed ovulation or aborted due to failed implantation of the baby. Studies show that it may cause abortions 50 to 65% of the time.
Emergency Contraception (Morning-After Pill)