Sunday, January 21, 2007

A Little Light Reading

I will be taking about two weeks off from blogging and general internet activity for a training course that will be taking up quite a bit of my free time, and hopefully to catch up on some reading during what remains of that. D will continue to post as his time allows; perhaps he'll be inspired to turn us out a ditty or two in my absence.

As I will not be on, I thought I should leave some useful and edifying links for the benefit of any stoppers-by, so that reading material will not be lacking. As the 23rd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision is approaching, I submit the following from two organizations dedicated to promoting respect for life from a feminist perspective, Feminists for Life, and the Susan B. Anthony list.

FFL's topics page.
FFL's news page.
FFL's History of our Feminist Foremothers index page. Read biographies of feminist movers and shakers past and present, all resolutely pro-life. This list includes the founding mothers of the American female suffrage movement.
FFL's page dedicated to the memory of women lost to legal abortions.
FFL's page of personal accounts by aborted women
Backissues of FFL's quarterly The American Feminist.

The Susan B. Anthony List fundraises for pro-life political candidates, women in particular. The organization also provides news and legislative alerts, and posts some interesting aritcles on its website.

It is my hope that these links will introduce others to two excellent organizations doing noble work, offer some insights on the abortion issue that are often overlooked, and possibly even help someone to rethink this issue.

Zenit has an article up today on the Morning-After Pill's implementation in several different countries. The following observations are included in the article:

Another report, published Jan. 8, confirmed the failure of the morning-after pill to reduce abortion. A Spanish Web site, Forum Libertas, analyzed what had happened in the country since the pill's introduction. In 2000, the year before the pill was introduced, there were 60,000 abortions, a rate of 7.5 abortions for every 1,000 women under 20.

By 2005, fewer than 506,000 morning-after pills were distributed. At the same time, however, the number of abortions that year had risen to 91,000, and the rate of abortion for women under 20 rose to 11.5 abortions for every 1,000 women.

Similar findings were reported in Britain last year. The Sept. 15 issue of the British Medical Journal published an editorial authored by Anna Glasier, director of a National Health Service unit in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Glasier wrote: "Emergency contraception has been heralded as the solution to rising abortion rates." "Some authors have suggested that almost a million abortions could be prevented in the United States annually if every woman used emergency contraception every time she needed it."

"Yet, despite the clear increase in the use of emergency contraception, abortion rates have not fallen in the United Kingdom," the article continued. In fact, wrote Glasier, they have risen from 11 per 1,000 women aged 15-44 in 1984 (136,388 abortions) to 17.8 per 1,000 in 2004 (185,400 abortions). She added that increased use of emergency contraception in Sweden has not been associated with a reduction in abortion rates.

So, rather than leading to a "reduction" in other kinds of abortions, morning-after
pills either made no difference or have actually been associated with a rise in the abortion rate. Potential health effects of the drug are also discussed:

The report also observed the lack of adequate and in-depth research on the short- and long-term safety implications of the morning-after pill. This is particularly of concern when it comes to women who repeatedly use the pill.

...Tracking health problems due to frequent use of the morning-after pill will also be problematic due to the nature of programs implemented by some governments, which include free distribution without a need for medical prescriptions.

Williams also argued that diminishing the fear of pregnancy through recourse to the morning-after pill may bring about a casual approach to entering a sexual relationship, with little excuse for a young woman to refuse. Greater sexual activity could well contribute to higher levels of sexually transmitted diseases.

Concern over the health effects of the pills were also raised by Susan Wills, associate director for education at the pro-life office of the U.S. bishops' conference. Plan B, one brand of the morning-after pill, and other methods of "emergency contraception" are the equivalent of taking from four to 40 times the daily dose of various oral contraceptive pills in a 12-hour period, she noted in an article published Aug. 15 on the Web site National Review Online.

Negative effects of the morning-after pill include severe disruption to the menstrual cycle, convulsions, and an increased risk of ectopic pregnancies. In spite of these dangers, last year the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, eased rules on Plan B, allowing women to buy it without a prescription.

Well worth the reading, I thought.



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