Plan B Does Not Interfere With the Implantation of a Fertilized Egg

Well, there goes every anti-choice argument against it.

via Geekpol


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About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
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15 Responses to Plan B Does Not Interfere With the Implantation of a Fertilized Egg

  1. Mary Jones says:

    Except, of course, that they will make the same argument they made against the HPV vaccine: it just encourages “girls” to have sex, which is the real “issue” in their minds.

    But you knew that already. :-(

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  3. emily1 says:

    it doesn’t matter. the anti-choice zealotry will just shift the goalposts for defining ‘life.’

  4. Frumious B. says:

    This is really distressing, and I hope there is follow up research. An egg remains viable for a few days after ovulation. If Plan B works only by preventing ovulation, it will not prevent pregnancy if ovulation has already occured.

  5. Jill says:

    If Plan B works only by preventing ovulation, it will not prevent pregnancy if ovulation has already occured.

    Not necessarily. If we assume that Plan B works like birth control pills in most ways — and that’s a fairly safe assumption — we know that BC pills also thicken the cervical mucus so that sperm can’t pass through as easily. So, ovulation could occur, but the sperm could just be stopped in their tracks.

    Either way, we know the success rate of Plan B, and it’s fairly high if taken soon after intercourse. That success rate was learned through clinical trials, not guessed at based on assumptions about how it worked. So this information doesn’t influence Plan B’s effectiveness, it just takes out the anti-choice argument against it. Which, I think, is a very good thing.

  6. If Plan B works only by preventing ovulation, it will not prevent pregnancy if ovulation has already occured.

    Well, that’s just why it’s not as effective as regular hormonal birth control.

  7. Mikhaela says:

    The problem is that was never their real argument to begin with, it was just a tactic. How dare you prevent those poor innocent ova from their ovulation, you murderers!

  8. PLN says:

    What’s sad is that this is “news,” given that the study in question is almost 2 years old. Pro-choice folks need to keep repeating this over and over and not let those who say otherwise get away with it.

    I really think one problem is the way people just lump all oral contraceptives together into “the Pill”; it seems symptomatic of a desire to generally not think too hard about reproduction. So long as most people don’t intuitively get that there are many kinds of hormonal contraceptives, and some work differently than others, and while some might prevent implantation, others don’t, and some might when taken regularly but not when taken as EC (as seems to be the case here)… so long as this is the case, it will be easy for people to be misled into thinking that there needs to be a tragic choice between pharmacists’ conscience and female autonomy, etc.

  9. KnifeGhost says:

    I don’t think the point at which “life” begins really matters all that much to anti-choicers. I think the concept they’re operating from is that once sperm enters the vagina (or the uterus, depending if they’re ok with diapraghms and the female condom), it’s up to God. They’d probably not argue against the ethics of shifting your body in such a way that sperm dribbles out, but you get the idea.

    The ones that are ok with birth control seem to believe that it’s ok to take steps to physically prevent sperm from entering the uterus (it _does_ enter the uterus, right? I’m not totally flaky on internal lady parts?) and maybe even ok with women taking steps to prevent their eggs from being any good to that sperm, but should some sperm get to an egg and that egg be fertilized, any interference between fertilization and birth is MURDER. CHILD-KILLING. It doesn’t matter to them if the egg’s implanted, just that’s it’s fertilized.

    Of course, to maintain consistency, they’d have to be against IUDs, but whoever expected consistency?

    Frankly, I think entering into any discussion of when life begins is pointless and leads to endless hair-splitting and goalpost-dragging. Let’s assume a baby is a fully-formed human being at the point of conception, however you wish to define that. Let’s assume that for the sake of arguement. Do women still have sovereignty over their body, including the right to exict a squatter?

    I can give no answer but absolutely fucking yes.

  10. Caja says:

    Oh, some of them are against IUDs, because they believe, though it isn’t true, that IUDs prevent implantation, not just fertilization. When I was doing some initial research into IUDs a couple years ago, the third hit on Google was to some lunatic site claiming that the IUD prevents the “tiny girl or boy” from implanting. *shudder*

    And there are women who come to the IUD forum I read, asking whether or not it’s true that IUDs prevent implantation, because they believe life begins with fertilization, and while they’d really like a highly effective, long-term form of contraception, they’d feel terrible about using a contraceptive that prevented implantation.

  11. Chet says:

    And there are women who come to the IUD forum I read, asking whether or not it’s true that IUDs prevent implantation, because they believe life begins with fertilization, and while they’d really like a highly effective, long-term form of contraception, they’d feel terrible about using a contraceptive that prevented implantation.

    Gawd I can’t believe the inroads the godbags have made with this. Doesn’t it occur to any of these women that a moral objection to preventing implantation is akin to a moral objection to locking your front door to prevent people from just moving in and sleeping on your couch? There’s absolutely no individual sovereignty that these people are willing to extend to women, is there?

  12. kate says:

    I don’t think the point at which “life” begins really matters all that much to anti-choicers. I think the concept they’re operating from is that once sperm enters the vagina (or the uterus, depending if they’re ok with diapraghms and the female condom), it’s up to God

    No, its not about God, its about men. Its about men’s sperm. Its about women rejecting a man’s sperm. Its about women saying, “I don’t think I’ll breed this one.” Its about women asserting that their lives mean more than being sperm hosts.

    The women who work with them have spent their entire lives, probably generations unbroken, rallying around men’s causes, because that’s what good women do, they are vessels for men’s satisfaction, approval and DNA.

    Just as someone said that this information is two years old, the fact that it has not been disseminated properly by regular media channels is telling.

    But then, no its not surprising or telling of anything more than another day of the lazy mainstream press that likes its news, easy to understand, cheerful, sensational and quick, even if it means ignoring the dispensing of accurate and timely information.

  13. imbrium says:

    …but we all know that scientific facts will never win this argument, right? This is about a movement which is trying to turn women everywhere into a slave class. Information like this might cause some fancesitters to reconsider, but it must always be followed up with a moral argument against the oppressive roots of the movement. Sure, Feminste and other blogs are good at that, but how can that point be introduced into mass media?

  14. KnifeGhost says:

    No, its not about God, its about men. Its about men’s sperm. Its about women rejecting a man’s sperm. Its about women saying, “I don’t think I’ll breed this one.” Its about women asserting that their lives mean more than being sperm hosts.

    Well, of course. But they dress that up with the idea that God decides when, once sperm enters lady parts, that turns into a pregnancy. You don’t see anti-choicer’s sputtering about how their women-folk don’t want their seed, you see them going on about God’s will and blah blah. That’s not to say that it match their real motivation, or the practical consequences of it.

  15. Chicklet says:

    Of course, facts won’t stop anti-choicers from enforcing their agendas, even if they’re rape victim advocates.

    http://www.rep-am.com/story.php?id=3927

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