Friday, May 19, 2006

Emergency Contraception vs. Breastfeeding

Feministe has a funny deconstruction of a bizarre editorial ranting against the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists campaign to encourage gynecologists to offer prescriptions for Plan B (emergency contraception) to women during checkups, to hold on to or to fill and keep in their medicine cabinets, just in case it might be needed.

Here's what gets me about this non-reality-based redefining of pregnancy as starting at conception rather than implantation. This is from the Princeton University emergency contraception website; see the the well-documented original paper for academic sources.

"To make an informed choice, women must know that ECPs [emergency contraception pills] -- like all regular hormonal contraceptives such as the birth control pill, the implant Norplant, the vaginal ring NuvaRing, the Evra patch, and the injectables Lunelle and Depo-Provera, and even breastfeeding -- may prevent pregnancy by delaying or inhibiting ovulation, inhibiting fertilization, or inhibiting implantation of a fertilized egg."

You heard that right: breastfeeding, which some might say is God's only recommended form of birth control within marriage, uses the same means of preventing pregnancy as all the hormonal forms of birth control, including, if all else fails, making it difficult for a fertilized egg to implant.

So if it's a sin to prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg (blastocyst), does that mean it's a sin to breastfeed? And if it's not a sin to prevent implantation of a blastocyst by breastfeeding -- after all, it is for the benefit of that beautiful baby -- then would it be a sin to prevent implantation of a blastocyst by similar hormonal means when having another child would compromise your ability to care for the children you already have?

Careful there, it's a slippery slope!

Fundamentalism. (my definition) The response of people who are unable to deal with the cognitive dissonance that results when two fundamental human values or beliefs clash and cannot both be logically maintained. Rather than reason through a solution they toss up their hands and demand to be told the right answer.

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Depo-Provera Prescription Information said...
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