Saturday, December 20, 2003

Speaking of Muddled Positions

How can the media let anyone get away with being both against the morning after pill and not against people using various in-vitro fertilization methods.

...just to clarify, the "morning after pill" is basically a quadruple dose of birth control which can prevent fertilization if it hasn't taken place or can prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg in the wall of the uterus. This is separate from RU-486 which is indeed an "abortion pill," as it induces miscarriage. The former has some unpleasant side effects but is far less of a dangerous cocktail than many over the counter drugs.

The reason it's ridiculous to oppose the morning after pill and not IVF treatments is that IVF treatments inevitably create many more embryos than come to term. Multiple embryos are implanted at a time, and extras are frozen for later use or destroyed. If the concern over the morning after pill is that the just-fertilized eggs are "human," then the same would apply to the many embryos which are destroyed during IVF treatments.

There is no way to square the two positions. In fact, any consistent ethical system would lead to much more vocal opposition to IVF treatments. But, of course, babies are a good thing and wanting to create more of them is a good thing and members of the religious right sometimes have fertility problems too. So, it's worth "killing" a couple dozen embryos in order to carry on the line. Or something.

Anyway, I really don't understand why a morning after pill prescription isn't handed out to every woman at her OB-GYN appointment.