Apparently that was the advice given by some folks yesterday at the CPAC conference.
Stop talking about birth control. That was the key message from some of the most prominent leaders of America’s anti-abortion movement, speaking Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference. During a talk on how to advance the movement through messaging, an all-female panel discussed the Obama administration’s birth-control-coverage mandate and suggested that the best way to defeat it is by calling it an “abortion mandate.”
And this morning the breaking news is that the American Bishops have rejected President Obama's proposed compromise yesterday. In addition to continuing their call for a complete rescission of the directive requiring contraceptive coverage, they said this:
First, we objected to the rule forcing private health plans — nationwide, by the stroke of a bureaucrat's pen—to cover sterilization and contraception, including drugs that may cause abortion...Moreover, forcing plans to cover abortifacients violates existing federal conscience laws. Therefore, we called for the rescission of the mandate altogether.
You see what they did there? They first suggest some contraceptives "may cause abortion" and then say that this directive forces plans to cover abortifacients.
I've used several contraceptives over my lifetime - both for medical reasons and to prevent pregnancy. But for the last few years I've been at that stage in life where they're no longer necessary. So please excuse me if I haven't kept as current as I should have on how some of these alternatives work. The most recent addition to the list of options is what we call Plan B or "the morning after pill" and some people have suggested that it causes an abortion. What I had not taken the time to learn is how Plan B works. So here's a little refresher course.
All brands of the morning-after pill work by keeping a woman's ovaries from releasing eggs — ovulation. Pregnancy cannot happen if there is no egg to join with sperm. The hormone in the morning-after pill also prevents pregnancy by thickening a woman's cervical mucus. The mucus blocks sperm and keeps it from joining with an egg.
The morning-after pill can also thin the lining of the uterus. In theory, this could prevent pregnancy by keeping a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus.
For comparison purposes, lets take a look at how the birth control pill works.
The hormones in the pill work by keeping a woman’s ovaries from releasing eggs — ovulation. Pregnancy cannot happen if there is no egg to join with sperm. The hormones in the pill also prevent pregnancy by thickening a woman’s cervical mucus. The mucus blocks sperm and keeps it from joining with an egg.
The hormones also thin the lining of the uterus. In theory, this could prevent pregnancy by keeping a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus.
When it comes to how these two alternatives actually work, the ONLY difference is the timing of when they're taken - one before sexual intercourse and one after.
Now I understand that the Catholic Bishops are not likely to make a distinction in how these contraceptives are different from abortion given that they have always maintained their objection to both. But really...the truth is that if Plan B is an abortifacient, so is the pill. And that will come as a BIG surprise to the millions of women who've used it over the years.
I myself an committed to the pro-choice position when it comes to abortion. I understand and support women's right to make that decision EITHER WAY. So I try to be understanding of women who would never make the choice to have an abortion themselves. That's why we fight for choice in that matter.
But seriously folks, this conversation has gone off the rails when people try to make the case that a drug that keeps sperm and egg from ever meeting is the same thing as an abortion.
I can't believe that I feel the need to write this kind of diary at all. But the fact that some people with influence in this country are so hell-bent on taking us back to the dark ages when it comes to women's health is a reality today. So write it I will!