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Labels inside every box of morning-after pills, drugs widely used to prevent pregnancy after sex, say they may work by blocking fertilized eggs from implanting in a woman's uterus. Respected medical authorities, including the National Institutes of Health and the Mayo Clinic, have said the same thing on their websites.
Such descriptions have become kindling in the fiery debate over abortion and contraception. Based on the belief that a fertilized egg is a person, some religious groups and conservative politicians say disrupting a fertilized egg's ability to attach to the uterus is abortion, "the moral equivalent of homicide," as Dr. Donna Harrison, who directs research for the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, put it. Mitt Romney recently called emergency contraceptives "abortive pills." And two former Republican presidential candidates, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, have made similar statements.
But an examination by The New York Times has found tha
I had a favorite line, in high school, when debating people on the subject of abortion. It was "Hey, that thing in your stomach's not gonna come out a toaster, right? It's a baby!"
Oh, I thought I was really, super clever with that one. Because I loved talking about the babies. I talked about the babies at the high school Young Republicans Club--not only was I the president, but also the founder. I talked about the babies at Club 412, the evangelical punk teen hang-out in Fort Worth I frequented with my friends. I talked about the babies in class. I cried about the babies while I strummed my guitar. I wrote songs about the babies, imagining myself as a broken, murderous whore who regretted her abortions.
I didn't have an opinion one way or the other on abortion until I started hanging out with right-wing punk rock kids in high school. Then, somebody -- probably one of the older teenage punk rock boys I would later fend off in the back of a car or behind the chapel at church camp -- haRead more...
In an advice answer on Crisis Pregnancy Centers here at Scarleteen, and also reprinted for my column at RH Reality Check, I originally included a link to a hotline -- the American Pregnancy Helpline -- as one option for women looking for support with a pregnancy they wanted to sustain rather going than to a CPC.
I unfortunately, and very unintentionally, proved my own point in the piece too well.
The point is how easy it can be to be fooled by CPCs, even when you're pretty savvy, aware of practices CPCs typically employ and even when you're writing an article in protest of them. I -- and others -- appear to have been duped into thinking a site and organization was respectful of women's right to choose, when, in fact, it was itself a CPC and a funnel to other CPCs.
I gave the link because when women choosing to continue a pregnancy are seeking help, they deserve to find it, and I thought some might be found there. I -- as I made clear in that article -- would never want to send a woRead more...