Wednesday, May 17, 2006

When Plan B Becomes Plan A

Opposing abortion as I do on the premise that a human being is a human being regardless of whether it resides in or ex utero and that if one class of human is disposable then none of us is safe, I follow the "Morning After Pill" saga with not a little concern. This is primarily because, despite what we are all led to believe, one action of this pill is to prompt an abortion--a microabortion perhaps, but an abortion nonetheless--in cases in which fertilization but not implantation has already occurred. I'm not talking about a random failure to implant here--I'm talking about one directly attributable to the chemical action of the drug itself.

In addition to the issue of the life of the unborn, however, I am concerned about the implications for women's health of the intended dispensation of the drug. I've now been around long enough to have very clear memories of a number of biochemical and biotechnical "miracles" that went wrong with tragic results (i. e. thalidomide, Bendectin, DES, CVS) and I'm very conscious of the fact that even medications useful in some limited cases can wreak havoc when used indiscriminately.

The "Plan B" pill's promoters are currently waging a campaign to make it universally available to the end that many pharmacies and pharmacists face legal action if they choose not to carry it. (Most make this decision either for personal moral reasons or to avoid alienating clientele with moral objections to the drug, but it's a safe bet that the potential for future lawsuits should something go wrong is also on their minds.) The eventual outcome of this campaign--if Plan B's apologists have their way-- will probably be over-the-counter availability of the drug in any pharmacy. You, I, your daughter, and mine, anytime, no prescription needed, no doctor needed, no questions asked. As often as we feel we need it. Oh, the presumption is that the "average" woman will use Plan B fewer than a half dozen times during her reproductive life, and on that premise is based the current medical viewpoint. But medications are widely misapplied in the real world, a fact that every doctor knows very well. With Plan B on the shelf among the OTCs, available for cash and with complete anonymity, what is to stop any teenage girl (or even some older ones) from making Plan B their Plan A contraceptive? Cost? If it's too expensive, what is to stop them from theft?

Because of their usefulness in concoting meth, several medications useful in treating cold and allergies have in the past year been pulled from open shelves either temporarily or permanently and had limits placed on the one-time purchase amount. Moreover, I have to pull out my driver's license to prove I'm an adult every time I buy a package. If I'm miserably sick at home and the only help available is seventeen, I'm outta luck. All this for a drug that (unless deliberately chemically altered) is generally pretty innocuous, and has few serious side effects. Yet the "Reproductive Rights" lobby wills a powerful hormone with no purpose other than to destroy a human embryo to go out on drugstore shelves to be available to all.

This is by no means the first time in medical history that women's health has been put at the service of social engineering concerns. The history of the contraceptive/abortion movement is rife with cases of women--or, more specifically, poor women, uneducated women, and minority women, exploited as guinea pigs in the latest attempt to limit their fertility (this, please note, is often a separate concern from improving their health.) In this case, however, social engineering is combining forces with marketing in an effort both to create a clientele and to blur the line between real contraception (that which fits the dictionary definition of the word) and "contraception" that is actually a chemical abortifacient. While we all know what the result will be for the unexpectedly concieved human, what we do not know is what the long-term effects will be on a generation of women who have been popping three, or six, or twelve or more Plan B pills a year for five or ten years of their lives.

The following article makes some excellent points on the campaign to force a clientele for the Plan B pill:


Blogger Bent El Neel said...

Hey CMinor
Great post. As a scientist I couldn't agree more on chemicals in general, and drugs in particular that we find out too late what they really do to our bodies, and environment. 20 years ago, benzene for example used to be handled in laboratories outside fume cupboards and without adequate protection....we found out later it is indeed a carcinogen.

Anyway, back to the point of the a Christian I also consider the embryo a living soul no matter how small. I appreciate there may be special circumstances where this pill could be an option, like rape and sexual abuse.

Lets not lose sight of the fact that if we simply made this pill available OTC, we are also looking at young people who may see this as an easy way out....risking contracting a multitude of STD's. This is something nobody wants...thats why I am surprised at the demands to make it available without consultation.

Keep up the good work CMinor, love your style :)

4:59 PM  
Blogger CMinor said...

Thanks for the shout-out...I would say that despite media tendencies to make us pro-lifers look like extremists of the worst kind, there are few who would argue that a woman who has been raped does not have some right to protect herself from impregnation by her attacker. Indeed, the morning-after pill has some contraceptive action as well.

You are spot on about the STD aspect as well, as the pill does nothing against those and the risk of disease is as much (perhaps more) of a concern. There have been some cases of mass outbreaks within high schools here in which the path of infection was easily traceable from student to student to student.

Re the benzene: I have to giggle! My grandfather, who died over twenty years ago, painted in oils as a hobby. About six years ago, I was cleaning out a closet for my grandmother, and found, among other solvents, an ancient flask of the stuff (tightly shut, thank goodness)
complete with Jolly Roger logo on the label. Thank goodness it was hazardous waste day at the landfill!
I bet they hadn't gotten one of those in some time.

6:35 AM  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

wow!! your grandfather had a flask of benzene??? heheheheh! It just goes to prove the point,doesn't it!

8:15 AM  
Blogger CMinor said...

The amazing thing is, he lived to 79 and was pretty much healthy except for the cerebral hemmorhage that took him out.

2:06 PM  

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