Missouri pharmacists don't need to "believe" that "emergency contraception" can cause abortions; It's an objective scientific fact.

Dianne N. Irving
May 13, 2005
Reproduced with Permission

In the article below ("Pharmacists cite morals for pill bans", Missourian, May 12, 2005, at: http://www.columbiamissourian.com/news/story.php?ID=13856), NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri's "survey" is referenced, indicating that pharmacists "cite morals" for bans on "emergency contraceptives" ("morning-after" pills), and that "pharmacists' right to dispense prescriptions" is "based on personal beliefs."

Wouldn't that be convenient - if it were true?

The article continues with its deceptions: "EC is not the same as the RU-486 pill; it does not cause abortion and will not work if a woman is already pregnant."

Emergency contraception does not cause abortion, and won't work if a woman is already pregnant?

Wouldn't that be convenient - if it were true?

The truth is that pharmacists know empirically that "emergency contraceptives" can cause abortions, and that normally a woman is pregnant at fertilization (when the oocyte is fertilized by a sperm in her fallopian tube), not when the embryo implants in her uterus! The truth is that if break-through ovulation has taken place, and if fertilization has taken place, then "emergency contraceptives" such as the "morning-after" pills could be abortifacient, as they prevent the already existing human embryo who is traveling down the fallopian tube from implanting in his/her mother's womb. That is an abortion. And that is why pharmacists don't have to "believe" anything about "emergency contraceptives", or base their refusal to sell them on their "morals" or "personal beliefs". They know it empirically.

NARAL concludes it's deceptions with the following oxymoron: "If we are serious about decreasing the number of unintended pregnancies in Missouri, we must be serious about increasing access to emergency contraception." If NARAL is serious about decreasing the number of unintended pregnancies in Missouri, they must be serious about educating the public with the correct and accurate scientific facts about "emergency contraceptives" (see below for examples). It wouldn't hurt if they were also serious about educating women about how not to find themselves in situations which could result in "unwanted pregnancies" to begin with - like practicing abstinence. It's worked for thousands of years - without the need for any highly potent hormone drugs which have been proven very harmful to both mothers and their surviving children.

Objective Scientific Facts About "Pregnancy" and "Emergency Contraceptives":

The following objective scientific facts - all in concert with the international nomenclature committee - refute the above claims by NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri. They are taken directly from the following human embryology textbooks, all authored by the experts on these questions, who have Ph.D.'s in graduate level human embryology - not watered-down M.D.'s from medical schools (most of whom have never taken even a single full semester graduate level course in human embryology). None of these authors are "religious" or "prolife":

Ronan O'Rahilly and Fabiola Muller, Human Embryology & Teratology (New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001); [Note: O'Rahilly is one of the originators of The Carnegie Stages of Early Human Embryological Development, and has sat on the international Nomina Embryologica Committee for decades -- DNI]. Bruce M. Carlson, Human Embryology and Developmental Biology (St. Louis, MO: Mosby, (2nd ed., 1999). William Larsen, Human Embryology (2nd ed.) (New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1997). Keith Moore and T. V. N. Persaud, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology (6th or 7th ed.t only) (Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1998, 2003).

In concert with the international nomenclature on human embryology (Terminologia Embryologica), it is an objective scientific fact known for over a hundred years (Wilhem His, 1883) that normal pregnancy begins at fertilization in the woman's fallopian tube (not in the uterus):

(Moore and Persaud) The usual site of fertilization is the ampulla of the uterine tube [fallopian tube], its longest and widest part. If the oocyte is not fertilized here, it slowly passes along the tube to the uterus, where it degenerates and is resorbed. Although fertilization may occur in other parts of the tube, it does not occur in the uterus. (p. 34) ... (Carlson) Next, the gametes must be released from the gonads and make their way to the upper part of the uterine tube, where fertilization normally takes place. ... Finally, the fertilized egg, now properly called an embryo, must make its way into the uterus ....". (p. 2) ... In the female, sperm transport begins in the upper vagina and ends in the ampulla of the uterine tube [fallopian tube] where the spermatozoa make contact with the ovulated egg. (p. 27). ... (Larsen) Fertilization takes place in the oviduct [fallopian tube, not the uterus]... resulting in the formation of a zygote containing a single diploid nucleus. (p. 1) ... (O'Rahilly and Muller) Fertilization takes place normally in the ampulla (lateral end) of the uterine tube. (p. 31). [See full bibliographical references above.]

Of course, if one is referring to abnormal pregnancy such as that induced during in vitro fertilization (IVF), it is true that the woman doesn't become "pregnant" until the embryo is physically transferred by the technician from the IVF petri dish to the womb. But this does not negate the scientific fact that women not undergoing IVF are pregnant long before implantation. And it is these women who will be buying these morning-after pills -- hardly those who are infertile who are dying to become pregnant through IVF!

Further, it is an objective scientific fact that the morning-after pill can be abortifacient. Women have a right to know that if breakthrough ovulation has occurred and if fertilization has taken place these morning-after pills can indeed be abortifacient:

(Moore and Persaud, 6th ed.) The administration of relatively large doses of estrogens ("morning-after pills") for several days, beginning shortly after unprotected sexual intercourse, usually does not prevent fertilization but often prevents implantation of the blastocyst. ... Normally, the endometrium progresses to the secretory phase of the menstrual cycle as the zygote forms, undergoes cleavage, and enters the uterus. The large amount of estrogen disturbs the normal balance between estrogen and progesterone that is necessary for preparation of the endometrium for implantation of the blastocyst. ... [T]his treatment is contraindicated for routine contraceptive use. ... "morning after pills" ... prevent implantation, not fertilization. Consequently, they should not be called contraceptive pills. Conception occurs but the blastocyst does not implant. It would be more appropriate to call them "contraimplantation pills". Because the term "abortion" refers to a premature stoppage of a pregnancy, the term "abortion" could be applied to such an early termination of pregnancy." (p. 532)

Many statements such as those publicized by NARAL and other "pro-choice" organizations try to fool the public by claiming that before implantation there is just a "pre-embryo" traveling down the fallopian tube - not a real live human being. What they don't tell the public is that scientifically there is no such thing as a "pre-embryo". This fake "scientific" term propagated for decades by Jesuit Richard McCormick, frog embryologist Clifford Grobstein, and the British Warnock Committee (and now those pushing EC pills) has been formally rejected by the international nomenclature committee for years:

(O'Rahilly and Muller) The term 'pre-embryo' is not used here for the following reasons: (1) it is ill-defined because it is said to end with the appearance of the primitive streak or to include neurulation; (2) it is inaccurate because purely embryonic cells can already be distinguished after a few days, as can also the embryonic (not pre-embryonic!) disc; (3) it is unjustified because the accepted meaning of the word embryo includes all of the first 8 weeks; (4) it is equivocal because it may convey the erroneous idea that a new human organism is formed at only some considerable time after fertilization; and (5) it was introduced in 1986 'largely for public policy reasons' (Biggers). ... Just as postnatal age begins at birth, prenatal age begins at fertilization. (p. 88)

Therefore NARAL deceives perspective female pill takers by fooling them with the claim that there is just a "pre-embryo" there - no human being -- and so the "morning-after" pills could not possibly be abortifacient.

Nor is the immediate product of fertilization just a "ball of cells" (as claimed by many pro-cloners involved in the Missouri cloning debates). As has been known for over a hundred years, in normal sexual reproduction fertilization in the fallopian tube results in the immediate production of a new living genetically unique human being, a single-cell embryo at Stage One of the Carnegie Stages of Early Human Development, an individual human organism:

(Moore and Persaud) Human development is a continuous process that begins when an oocyte (ovum) from a female is fertilized by a sperm (or spermatozoon) from a male. (p. 2); ... but the embryo begins to develop as soon as the oocyte is fertilized. (p. 2); ... Zygote: this cell results from the union of an oocyte and a sperm. A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo). (p. 2); ... Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm ... unites with a female gamete or oocyte ... to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual. (p. 18)

(Carlson) "Human pregnancy begins with the fusion of an egg and a sperm ... [T]he gametes must be released from the gonads and make their way to the upper part of the uterine tube, where fertilization normally takes place. ... Fertilization age: dates the age of the embryo from the time of fertilization. (p. 23) ... The sex of the future embryo is determined by the chromosomal complement of the spermatozoon. ... Through the mingling of maternal and paternal chromosomes, the zygote is a genetically unique product of chromosomal reassortment, which is important for the viability of any species. (p. 32)

(Larsen) In this text, we begin our description of the developing human with the formation and differentiation of the male and female sex cells or gametes, which will unite at fertilization to initiate the embryonic development of a new individual. ... Fertilization takes place... resulting in the formation of a zygote containing a single diploid nucleus. Embryonic development is considered to begin at this point. (p. 1); ... "These pronuclei fuse with each other to produce the single, diploid, 2N nucleus of the fertilized zygote. This moment of zygote formation may be taken as the beginning or zero time point of embryonic development. (p. 17).

(O'Rahilly and Muller) Although life is a continuous process, fertilization ... is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the oocyte. This remains true even though the embryonic genome is not actually activated until 2-8 cells are present at about 2-3 days. ... Fertilization is the procession of events that begins when a spermatozoon makes contact with a secondary oocyte ... The zygote is ... a unicellular embryo and is a highly specialized cell. ... [I]t is now accepted that the word embryo, as currently used in human embryology, means 'an unborn human in the first 8 weeks' from fertilization. (p. 87)

Even according to the literature inserts of these "morning-after" pills, sometimes they can fail to prevent pregnancy:

[e.g., Levonorgestrel] is believed to act to prevent ovulation, fertilization and implantation." ... After a single act of unprotected intercourse the treatment fails in about 2% of women who use it within 72 hours after intercourse. [This failure rate is] based on one-time use. If [Levonorgestrel] ... is used on more than one occasion the cumulative failure rate will be higher.

Thus drug manufacturers of morning-after pills admit that pregnancies can still occur even with one-time use, and with more frequency when used more that once.

Put 2 + 2 together: It has been demonstrated above that fertilization is the beginning of the existence of a new whole living human being. The fact that these pregnancies have taken place indicates that "break-through" ovulation and fertilization have occurred -- and can occur -- and that these "morning-after" pills have failed contraceptively.

And the manufacturers of these morning-after pills also admit that these pills can also prevent this newly formed living human embryo/being from implanting in the woman's uterus (which normally takes place about 5-7 days post-fertilization). Quite obviously, as explicitly documented in the scientific references quoted above, if "break-through" ovulation and fertilization have taken place, then to prevent this new living human being from implanting would be abortifacient. Indeed, quoting Moore and Persaud, "It would be more appropriate to call them 'contraimplantation pills'. Because the term 'abortion' refers to a premature stoppage of a pregnancy, the term 'abortion' could be applied to such an early termination of pregnancy."

Is NARAL listening?


May 12, 2005
by Ben Miller

Pharmacists cite morals for pill bans

A survey found most of rural Missouri's pharmacies don't stock the morning-after pill

As arguments intensify nationwide over pharmacists' right to dispense prescriptions based on personal beliefs, an unprecedented survey found limited access to emergency contraception, or EC, in Missouri's pharmacies, particularly in rural areas.

In March and April, the NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri Foundation conducted its Pharmacy Access Survey of 920 pharmacies in Missouri.

The group found that 71 percent of the pharmacies do not stock EC, also known as the morning-after pill. Of those pharmacies, only 39 percent will order the drug. Three-quarters of the pharmacies stocking EC are in metropolitan areas.

The group said 44 percent of Missouri pharmacies that do not stock or order EC cited a specific moral objection when asked about their refusal to dispense it.

In Boone County, 11 of the 21 pharmacies stock EC; five others will order it if asked.

"If we are serious about decreasing the number of unintended pregnancies in Missouri, we must be serious about increasing access to emergency contraception," NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri Executive Director Carolyn Sullivan said. In the report, the group says widespread access to EC could prevent half of Missouri's nearly 40,000 annual unwanted pregnancies.

"Emergency contraception is an important part of treatment for sexual assault victims," said Palle Rillinger, executive director of the Kansas City-based Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault. "When you've been raped, you have lost control over your body. It's essential for the victim to have a way to regain control and be assured that the violation won't continue in the form of an unwanted pregnancy."

Ron Fitzwater, chief executive officer of the Missouri Pharmacy Association, said that in rural areas, the decision of whether to stock EC is business related.

"In some rural areas, they just don't see a demand," he said. "It becomes a business decision when you have a product with a limited shelf life."

Fitzwater argued that just as patients have a right to choose certain pharmacies, pharmacists have a right to choose whether to dispense certain products. In the case where pharmacists are under contract to dispense their pharmacies' products, however, the organization believes the pharmacist is obliged to fill prescriptions, he added.

The American Pharmacists' Association argues that pharmacists should be allowed to refuse prescriptions as long as they ensure customers can get the pills some other way.

EC must be used within 120 hours of sexual intercourse to be effective and is most effective within 24 hours. EC is not the same as the RU-486 pill; it does not cause abortion and will not work if a woman is already pregnant.

The 920 pharmacies contacted were considered non-specialized in service and open to the public. The survey accounted for all such pharmacies. Volunteers posing as customers contacted the pharmacies by phone. Non-pharmacy options for obtaining EC include the nine Planned Parenthood locations in the state or mail-order options such as 888-NOT-TOO-LATE.

In Columbia, D&H Drug Store, Kilgore's, Gerbes, Walgreens and Hy-Vee are among the pharmacies that stock EC. Although Wal-Mart sells birth-control pills, it has refused to stock EC since 1999.

NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri's next steps include organizing a statewide project to increase access to EC, compiling a referral guide based on the survey's findings and supporting legislation to increase access to the contraceptive.

Related links

NARAL Pro-choice Missouri Foundation Report

Copyright © 2005 Columbia Missourian

[emphases added - DNI]

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