Plan B and the 'contraception will reduce abortions' myth

Matt C. Abbott
copyright April 23, 2009
Reproduced with Permission

With the news that the FDA will now allow the "morning-after" pill, known as Plan B, to be sold over-the-counter to 17-year-old girls, I'm sure the abortion lobby - which includes most of the mainstream media - will continue to spread disinformation that a) Plan B is a contraceptive that will reduce the need for abortions, and b) the increased availability of contraceptives such as Plan B will reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thus abortions.

First, Plan B is an abortifacient, that is, it can cause an early abortion by preventing implantation. As Judie Brown, president of American Life League (and fellow columnist), has written:

'While it is true that Plan B is not RU-486, it is also true that Plan B is an abortion pill as well. It does work if you are already pregnant; it does so by killing your preborn baby during his first week of life. Lie all they want, but they cannot change biology, though they certainly have changed the way far too many people define abortion.'

As to the tired and ridiculous argument that more contraception will reduce the number of abortions, Mark Crutcher (who, incidentally, is Protestant), president of Life Dynamics, wrote in Pro-Life Answers:

'While this may seem logical, in practice it is now clear that pushing contraception increases sexual activity at a greater rate than it increases the use of contraception. This became apparent starting in the 1960s when America's dramatic increase in contraception use was accompanied by an equally dramatic rise in sexual activity, unplanned pregnancies, abortion, and sexually transmitted diseases.

'Despite this, the abortion lobby and the pill pushers continue to market contraception as the holy grail of pregnancy prevention. In private, however, they sing a different song. Dr. Robert Hatcher is a widely recognized expert in the field of contraception, a professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and author of the book, Contraception Technology. At a 1995 National Abortion Federation meeting held in New Orleans, Hatcher cited a study conducted at Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania, saying, '...half of the women put on Norplant, and half put on oral contraceptives - now listen to these numbers -at the end of 15 months, all these women not wanting to become pregnant, 38 percent of the pill patients were pregnant! Thirty-eight percent! What are we doing? We're giving them a fertility pill!'

'Hatcher's observation on the relationship between birth control and pregnancy rates are not new. After a 1958 Planned Parenthood conference, a report was published on its findings which included the following statement: 'It was recognized by the conference participants that no scientific evidence has been developed to support the claim that increased availability of contraceptive services will clearly result in a decreased illegal abortion rate.' (The fact that this quote relates to illegal abortion is irrelevant. The question of how contraception use affects pregnancy rates is not influenced by the legal status of abortion.)

'This report was edited by Dr. Mary Calderone, Medical Director of Planned Parenthood, and the Chairman of the Statement Committee was Alan Guttmacher for whom Planned Parenthood's research branch is named. One of the participants in this conference was Dr. Alfred Kinsey. When another of the attendees continued to push contraception as the way to eradicate abortion, Kinsey responded, 'At the risk of being repetitious, I would remind the group that we have found the highest frequency of induced abortion in the group which, in general, most frequently uses contraceptives.'

'Another problem with this 'contraception as a cure for abortion' argument is that many common methods of contraception are, in reality, abortions.

'When a woman's egg is fertilized, a new human life is created. Within 24 hours, cell division begins and a few days later this tiny human being will have traveled to its mother's womb and attached itself there. This new life is first called a zygote, then a blastocyst, an embryo, a fetus, an infant, a child, an adolescent, an adult, etc. These labels identify the stages of human development, but no stage is any more or less human than the others.

'Anything which prevents this process from beginning could be accurately described as contraception. However, once fertilization has occurred, the only thing that can stop the process is death. The manufacturers of birth control pills, patches, injections, morning after pills, etc., say their products are intended to prevent conception, but admit that when this fails the drugs can also prevent implantation.

'In those instances, that means they did not prevent the pregnancy from occurring, they prevented it from continuing. That is abortion, not contraception. Also, even though intra-uterine devices (IUDs) are marketed as contraception, they are designed only to prevent implantation. Again, that is abortion, not contraception.

'In an effort to hide all this from American women, the abortion lobby uses the concocted term 'pre-embryo' to describe the stage of human life from fertilization to implantation. Then they claim that since the woman is not pregnant until implantation occurs, destroying this 'pre-embryo' or preventing it from implanting is not an abortion. That is pure jibberish. There is no such thing as a 'pre-embryo' and even if there were it would be irrelevant. You could invent the term 'pre-adult' to describe teenagers, but that wouldn't mean that they are not human beings.'

Last, but certainly not least, all contraception is intrinsically immoral (click here to see why). Period.