OMG The Pill Will KILL YOU!

No, we weren’t joking about them being anti-contraception, to the point where they’ll spread all-out lies in order to scare women away from birth control.

Imagine going to your doctor and being offered a pill—not because you were sick, or in any danger of becoming sick. No—your friendly physician is simply giving you drugs because you’re a woman.

If that sounds like a Hitchcock horror story to you—be prepared. Gynecologists around the country are embarking on a weird medical experiment that could have serious repercussions for women’s health.


Hello there, Mrs. Frankenstein!

Our dear friend Nathan has obviously never been pregnant. Because, although pregnancy isn’t a sickness, it will almost definitely make you sick. It has very serious physical repurcussions on your body. And it can be a wonderful, wanted, planned state of being, but it’s not something that most women want to go through involuntarily. Talk about a weird medical experiment.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has decided it won’t wait for the Food and Drug Administration to approve over-the-counter sales of the so-called morning after pill—a pill which is supposed to help women who are harboring regret over a sexual encounter the night before. Of course, it doesn’t matter that the FDA is hesitant to give the pills out like candy because it doesn’t want to promote promiscuity among young people. Also, some leading medical experts say that the morning after pill doesn’t just prevent pregnancy—it can also kill a child who has already been conceived in her mother’s womb.

Emergency contraception doesn’t do jack to “help women who are harboring regret.” No, it doesn’t get rid of regret, or exhaustion, or frustration because you didn’t orgasm. But it can do a pretty dandy job of keeping you un-pregnant. Which is, you know, what it’s made for.

As for “killing a child,” no, dear, no real medical experts say that. None. Zero. There are some medical experts who point out that emergency contraception may prevent a fertilized egg implanting in the uterine wall, and apparently there are “medical experts” who claim that the embryo is killed in utero. That’s just not the case, since emergency contraception does nothing to terminate a pregnancy or harm an embryo. I’ll bet if I looked hard enough, I could find someone who would claim to be a medical expert and tell me in all sincerity that babies are delivered via stork. I just wouldn’t trust him enough to quote him in my column. The idea that EC kills a child in the womb is just about as reliable as the stork theory.

No, ACOG won’t let the facts stand in the way of its misguided idea of scientific progress. In fact, the gynecologists’ group employs this fuzzy reasoning for promoting morning after pill prescriptions: women tend to have sex on weekends. Maybe women also tend to have beer on Saturday nights. Does that mean their family doctors should load them up with six packs every time they come in for flu shots?

Nathan, meet nonsequitor. Nonsequitor, meet Nathan.

The fact is, the pro-abortion contingent of ACOG is running scared. Pharmacists throughout the country have said they don’t want to dispense the morning after pill, also known as emergency “contraception,” because they have religious and moral objections to it. The abortionists know that if they can get women hooked on the morning after pill that they’ll have more support for their agenda—which includes abortion any time for any reason, anywhere.

That’s right, we’re gotta get ’em hooked, and then we’re gonna abort all the pregnancies that they prevented! Muah hah … wait.

Every time a woman comes into a gynecologist’s office, ACOG wants the doctor to offer her advance prescriptions of the morning after pill. But it is apparently not enough to simply make the offer; indeed, some women are reporting that their gynecologists are insisting that they take the prescription—even if they say repeatedly that they don’t want it. The doctors urge them, “it’s good for a year!” This kind of scenario makes a mockery out of the phrase “pro-choice.” In a situation like this, how can anyone not conclude that “pro-choice” is really “pro-abortion?”

It’s so true. How can anyone not conclude that people who want to prevent pregnancy through dissemenation of contraception aren’t actually abortion-loving wenches? Seems clear enough to me.

Apparently, ACOG sees no reason for gynecologists to inform their patients that the morning after pill can cause abortions—even if some women have strong moral objections to abortion.

Well, darling, the ACOG also doesn’t warn women that magical purple unicorns cause abortions — because they don’t. See, here’s the thing: “Abortion” means “terminating a pregnancy.” In order to have an abortion, you have to be pregnant. Emergency contraception prevents you from ever getting pregnant. If you’re pregnant, it won’t work, and you will stay pregnant. So there’s no way that it can cause abortions. You follow?

Doctors routinely tell pregnant women not to take any medication during their pregnancies for fear that it will harm their unborn children. If a pregnant woman can’t take an aspirin, how can doctors assume that it’s safe for her to take the morning after pill? What if the pill “fails” and the woman remains pregnant? Or what if the woman takes the pill when she’s already six weeks along? And what’s to prevent the pill from getting into the hands of the woman’s impressionable 13-year-old daughter, who sees the pill as a good excuse to “hook up” with a boy she barely knows? Will ACOG pay for the girl’s counseling when she discovers that the boy who took away her virginity is a stalker or 40 years old?

Um… what?

Nathan, will you pay for my therapy should I ever discover that the boy who took away what would have been anotherwise pleasurable five minutes was, in fact, a woman-hating dimwitted wingnut who wants to force me into pregnancy?

Really, what kind of argument is this? “We shouldn’t make EC over the counter because a 13-year-old girl might get ahold of it, and then she might have sex, and the person she has sex with might be a stalker, or 40!” How is it that he’s getting paid to write like this?

That, and how to doctors know that it’s safe if a pregnant woman takes it? Well, it might not be ideal, but I’d imagine that they probably did a test or two on its effects on pregnant women, given that it’s a drug that’s being taken when women want to prevent pregnancy. Jesus.

Any doctor who thinks nothing of dispensing a pill that can kill has no place in the healing arts. Whether an abortion is surgical or chemical, it is still a tragedy for both mother and child.

Except when it’s not abortion. I think that Nathan needs to go back to 10th grade biology class and learn a little more about the human reproductive system. And he needs to do it at a school which labels uteruses something other than “baby chambers.”


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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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37 Responses to OMG The Pill Will KILL YOU!

  1. pansauce says:

    And what’s to prevent the pill from getting into the hands of the woman’s impressionable 13-year-old daughter, who sees the pill as a good excuse to “hook up” with a boy she barely knows? Will ACOG pay for the girl’s counseling when she discovers that the boy who took away her virginity is a stalker or 40 years old?

    If a thirteen year old girl can’t tell the difference between a classmate and a 40 year old pervert, I think her mother is facing bigger problems than Nathan realizes. And does he really think that most mothers would want their thirteen year old to carry the baby of a 40 year old rapist to term?

  2. shaun says:

    Thank you for this rebuttal. I guess you must get sick of it though – every week another story with no basis in fact to refute.

  3. Ledasmom says:

    And of course, pressing a prescription on a woman is exactly the same thing as forcing her to have an abortion, because these are the magic kind of prescriptions that run down to the pharmacy, fill themselves, run back and stuff pills down your throat.

  4. Christopher says:

    Here’s something interesting:

    Of course, it doesn’t matter that the FDA is hesitant to give the pills out like candy because it doesn’t want to promote promiscuity among young people.

    Why should it matter? A Doctor’s job is to tend to his patient, not every person in the country.

    Besides that this is particularly ironic in light of Tabor’s continual assertion that the pill represents a “social experiment”.

    I mean, call me crazy, but isn’t witholding medicine(The morning after pill) from a specific person in order to attempt to change broad social trends (How much people in America fuck) the very definition of a social experiment?

    I guess he only objects to some twisted social experiments.

  5. That Girl says:

    The scary part is that it SOUNDS so reasonable – that fear rhetoric (your daughter with a pedophile!) is just icing on the be-scared-of-sex cake.
    It gets disseminated down into “reasonable” snippets – “Causes abortion” “Experiment” and becomes the next email to make its way around the net, hitting my in-box 17 times. I often wonder if when I send a refuting email if THAT gets passed on. I somehow doubt it.

  6. PHLAF says:

    By this logic, we should ban alcohol and tobacco because, you know, mom might bring some home and the kiddies will get into it…and guns, too. And sharp pointy things. And food packaged in glass because it might break and the kids might cut themselves…

    What the hell is next? The Association of Christian Hardware Store and Home Improvement Center Workers is going to call for a ban on rope and tree pruners because, omigod, the kids might get their hands on them and hurt themselves or do something stupid with them?

    You could go on forever – don’t sell cars! They encourage promiscuity because your teenagers might have sex in it.

    Do you know what’s the really hysterical thing about people like this? They are so busy being all about other people’s business and assuming they are right and that they’re the perfect parents, that you know it’s their kids who will engage in the stupidest, most irresponsible behavior ever. It never fails.

  7. Gordon K says:

    Pregnant women can’t take aspirin? Or any medicine for that matter? Holy fucking shit. This doesn’t invalidate his other arguments (they do a pretty damn good job of invalidating themselves), but HOW do you get to be that stupid?

  8. randomliberal/Robert, Medical Expert says:

    The babies-from-stork thing is just a myth. Babies actually come from pelicans.

  9. zuzu says:

    I mean, call me crazy, but isn’t witholding medicine(The morning after pill) from a specific person in order to attempt to change broad social trends (How much people in America fuck) the very definition of a social experiment?

    Ask the Tuskegee Airmen about that one.

  10. Gordon, you have to choose to be that stupid, then work on it really hard from then on out. As for solving this little problem… can we form a kind of Gideon’s Bible organization that distributes copies of Our Bodies, Ourselves on Christian campuses across America?

  11. PHLAF says:

    Well, they shouldn’t take aspirin. That’s true. Pregnant women are usually advised to take acetaminophin (Tylenol) instead because of the blood-thinning properties of aspirin and risks that might be involved with that. But,in general, he’s wrong. Pregnant women can and often must take all kinds of different medications, and there’s a good body of data out there about how and if different types of drugs affect the fetus. Some cross the placenta, others don’t, etc. This is all only ever between the woman and her chosen doctors, not some dweeb on the internet who doesn’t know what he’s talking about, anyway.

  12. Magis says:

    …but HOW do you get to be that stupid?

    Well, Gordon, here’s a story, it’s sad but it’s true.
    Once upon a time Nathan’s mommy and daddy had a bottle of stupid pills. They tried ever so hard to keep them away from their curious little Nathan. But alas and a lack the parents were too busy to watch Nathan ’cause they were having wild monkey sex all the time.

    Little Nathan, normally a bright boy, took some of the stupid pills and they made him start talking to fundies in the bush. Before you could blink an eye a 40-year old bible-zombie ripped Nathan’s reasoning powers right out of his cute little skull. And now *sobs* we have the intellectual derelict you see before you today. It was all the pill’s fault you see.

  13. Kate says:

    Let’s just say it again – PLAN B DOES NOT CAUSE ABORTIONS NOR IS IT BELIEVED TO PREVENT IMPLANTATION, PLAN B JUST SAVES THE EGG FOR LATER – Go and put in the comments threads of every anti-contraceptions wingnut you can find!

    Gordon K
    I was told not to take any medication except a single tylonol without consulting my doctor when I was pregnant. The fact is, they don’t test drugs on pregnant women (they use pregnant animals) so no one’s really sure what they’ll do. With upwards of one-third of pregnancys ending in miscarriage, and very few studies on what causes them in actual humans (although a lot are probably just genetic combinations that don’t work) pregnant women are told to avoid all sorts of things “to be safe” – soft cheese, pate, rare meat – it’s been almost five years for me, I can’t remember the list, but it was long.

  14. Kat says:

    Pregnant women can’t take aspirin? Or any medicine for that matter?

    There are restrictions on taking medicine during pregnancy. If memory serves me right, you are told you can take Tylenol but not aspirin for pain. I think it has something to do with bleeding (aspirin is a blood thinner). I think it reversed once you delivered and started nursing–now you could take aspirin but not motrin. Or something like that. Its been a few years for me.

    I found that while I was pregnant and nursing that doctors were a bit heavy-handed with the no drugs things. I’m not someone to take a lot of OTC drugs, but they were almost trying to make a martyr out of me. I took to saying… “Why can’t I take that? Explain please.”

    My experience was that there was a strange guilt applied to taking any medications when pregnant, its sort of implied that you should bear any pain or discomfort for the sake of the unborn child even when easing that pain or discomfort has no adverse affects on the unborn child.

  15. Heliologue says:

    HOW do you get to be that stupid?

    Voting Republican.

  16. Arianna says:

    women are reporting that their gynecologists are insisting that they take the prescription—even if they say repeatedly that they don’t want it. The doctors urge them, “it’s good for a year!” This kind of scenario makes a mockery out of the phrase “pro-choice.”

    Because talking someone into taking a peice of freaking paper home is the same as forcing a pill down her throat, and totally percludes her chosing what to do with said peice of paper.

    What paternalistic bullshit.

  17. PHLAF says:

    And what does “women are reporting that their gynecologists are insisting that they take the prescription” even mean coming from a columnist who’s already blatantly misrepresented the truth anyway?

    How can anyone force you to even take a piece of paper? If the doctor writes it and hands it to you, you can just say “no, thanks” and keep moving. How hard is this?

    I highly doubt that any doctor anywhere has forced a woman to take a script for pills she doesn’t want. Offered, maybe, with a follow up of “are you sure?”, perhaps. But that’s not force or even insisting. It’s an offer. You say yes or you say no and that’s the end of it.

  18. Red Queen says:

    Imagine going to your doctor and being offered a pill—not because you were sick, or in any danger of becoming sick. No—your friendly physician is simply giving you drugs because you’re a woman

    .

    Gotta love the way they cloake it in a quasi-feminist argument. Ohmygodtheyaredruggingwomen!

  19. Frumious B. says:

    I’d imagine that they probably did a test or two on its effects on pregnant women,

    I wouldn’t assume that. Maybe they did, but more likely they didn’t. Drugs are rarely tested on pregnant women, and the effects of many common drugs on a pregnant woman or on a fetus are unknown. If you know of a specific study regarding the effects of Plan B on pregnant women, then by all means post the reference.

  20. Jodie says:

    You should try to avoid aspirin in the last trimester. Otherwise, it’s probably OK unless you are high risk. Most docs will tell you not to take anything at all due to the very real fear of lawsuits. Obstetricians really get slammed in that area and it’s not because they are all negligent; it’s also because juries are very sympathetic to the parent/child’s plight.

    Drug testing is not done on pregnant women; however, if a woman becomes pregnant during the course of a research study (and it happens) then the drug is stopped and she is followed throughout the pregnancy and/or termination and data is collected. That’s how they know that some SSRIs cause bone density problems in newborns.

    Other data comes from women who can’t or won’t stop a drug while they are pregnant. This kind of data is usually pulled from patient charts by an individual doctor for an article or published as a case study. It’s rarely collected by pharmaceutical companies because there really isn’t any way for them to get that kind of data unless it is offered.

    Tylenol is excreted through the liver and does appear in breastmilk. A newborn’s liver is immature, therefore don’t load the baby’s liver up with what amounts to poison. Aspirin is excreted through the kidneys; most newborns have kidneys that work just fine. Prior to birth, the mom’s liver/kidneys handle excretion.

    I take 3-9 aspirin each day for arthritis and did so throughout both my pregnancies (with the exception of the last two weeks) with no problem.

  21. randomliberal/Robert says:

    Zuzu, it wasn’t the Tuskegee Airmen. The Tuskegee Airmen were bomber escorts during WWII, and their claim to fame was twofold: They were the first blacks allowed to fly combat missions for the United States, and they did not lose a single bomber to enemy fighters in any of their sorties.

    You’re thinking of the Tuskegee experiments, the horrific study done on syphilis from the 1930s to the early ’70s.

  22. Soren says:

    There is some litterature on exposure to sex hormones in the first trimester

    eg this one:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=7800312&dopt=Abstract

    It’s not plan b, but its a sex homrone in plan b, so it should apply somewhat

  23. Sierra says:

    Go and put in the comments threads of every anti-contraceptions wingnut you can find!

    If you want to use the actual studies, the one from the Karolinska Institute can be found here, and the one that found no difference in pregnancy rates in Cebus monkeys if E.C. was given after ovulation can be found here.

    This study showed no change in the endometrium, and this is a review of many different studies regarding E.C.

  24. zuzu says:

    rl, you’re right.

  25. Erika says:

    Maybe women also tend to have beer on Saturday nights. Does that mean their family doctors should load them up with six packs every time they come in for flu shots?

    That’s like saying that, since many women have sex on weekends, family doctors should set them up on dates when they come in for a cholesterol check.

    The abortionists know that if they can get women hooked on the morning after pill…

    EC is addictive!?

  26. Cindy Powell says:

    I work at U.S. News & World Report, and wanted to alert you to this week’s “On Health” column by Bernadine Healy, M.D., former head of the National Institutes of Health, http://www.usnews.com/usnews/health/articles/060522/22healy.htm.

    She highlights the new “Ask me” campaign launched by a medical trade group, which would allow a woman to get a prescription for “the morning-after pill” by just asking her doctor. [Taken within the first 72 hours after intercourse, the drug has been deemed safe and effective as an emergency contraceptive.] She can either keep the prescription, or fill it and have it ready in her medicine cabinet.

    The problem is, Healy points out, phamacies may refuse to carry the drug for moral or religious reasons, and a pharmacist may decide not to dispense it. A woman can be not only turned away, but also “humiliated as her privacy is breached and her personal life judged,” Healy says.

  27. Casey says:

    Imagine going to your doctor and being offered a pill—not because you were sick, or in any danger of becoming sick. No—your friendly physician is simply giving you drugs because you’re a woman

    Imagine going to your doctor and having him grab your testicles and make you cough – not because you HAVE to cough, or were thinking about coughing. No – your friendly physician is simply touching you there because you’re a man.

  28. pansauce says:

    The Association of Christian Hardware Store and Home Improvement Center Workers is going to call for a ban on rope and tree pruners because, omigod, the kids might get their hands on them and hurt themselves or do something stupid with them?

    No, no, no, the ACHSHICW is against tree pruners because it is contrary to god’s commandment to “be fruitful and multiply.” They believe that an overgrown yard is a godly yard and insist that everyone else act accordingly.

  29. johnieb says:

    Oh My God. Fucking WOW!

    On a different aspect of the (to me very real) problem, as a public policy issue, why should we as a society encourage / allow such behavior as a work/ career option?

    Poor baby Abigail; I suspect her mother is no better.

  30. Kyra says:

    And does he really think that most mothers would want their thirteen year old to carry the baby of a 40 year old rapist to term?

    More to the point, does he really think the thirteen year old wants to carry the baby of a 40 year old rapist to term?

    Imagine going to your doctor and being offered a pill—not because you were sick, or in any danger of becoming sick. No—your friendly physician is simply giving you drugs because you’re a woman.

    They give women the pills because they’re in danger of becoming pregnant. Which may not seem comparable to being sick to a man who’s never bothered to give the slightest damn about pregnancy’s effects on women, but just because a blind person has never seen the sky doesn’t mean it ain’t blue.

    Also, some leading medical experts say that the morning after pill doesn’t just prevent pregnancy—it can also kill a child who has already been conceived in her mother’s womb.

    Because it’s bad to kill such a child right away—you should wait eight weeks or so and get a standard abortion instead.

    If a pregnant woman can’t take an aspirin, how can doctors assume that it’s safe for her to take the morning after pill?

    A pregnant woman has no need whatsoever for the morning after pill. That’s RU-486 you’re thinking of. A woman who’s already pregnant isn’t going to up and conceive a second time.

  31. pregnant women are told to avoid all sorts of things “to be safe” – soft cheese, pate, rare meat

    And infertile women who are trying to get pregnant console themselves, on a failed cycle, by going out and eating the things they wouldn’t be allowed to eat if pregnant (I was on an infertility discussion group once where there was a thread about this).

    If you know of a specific study regarding the effects of Plan B on pregnant women, then by all means post the reference.

    I can’t imagine why it would be, since a pregnant woman has no reason to want to take Plan B. I’m glad to hear about the studies on Cebus monkeys, though; I get so tired of Plan B being described as a kind of abortion.

  32. Lis Riba says:

    Not for very much longer. Washington Post:

    New federal guidelines ask all females capable of conceiving a baby to treat themselves — and to be treated by the health care system — as pre-pregnant, regardless of whether they plan to get pregnant anytime soon.

    We’re all incubators, now. [I just blogged it here]

  33. Julie says:

    My doctor is actually pretty lenient about what she “approves” and it’s still a pretty small list. I am in the “too paranoid to take anything” group though, so this entire pregnancy I have had one course of antibiotics, one dose of sudafed and one of tylenol, all after the first trimester.
    That basic point being out of the way, this guy is an idiot. I am one who has strong, personal objections to myself having an abortion and I have no problem whatsoever with the morning after pill, seeing as it’s taken before you become pregnant. And seriously, if you are so weak in your beliefs that you can’t stand a doctor suggesting you take a prescription that you don’t have to fill, you need to learn the words, “No, thank you anyway, I understand the risks and I choose not to accept the prescription”. I mean, I went to a doctor with my last pregnancy who suggested a d&e at 22 weeks pregnant, which I was beyond uncomfortable with, so I simply said “No, I don’t want to do that”. They asked if I was sure (OMG!!The pressure! They actually made sure I understood what I was declining) and I said I was. End of story. See how easy that was? I am just so sick of this whole “contraception is eeeeevil” campaign that on one hand tells us that we are poisioning ourselves if we wish to avoid being pregnant and on the other hand tells us that we hate our children, our spouses and probably small, cute furry animals while we’re at it. I love my children to death, but I cannot do another pregnancy right now, my body needs a break.

  34. Kristen from MA says:

    PRE-PREGNANT?

    first there was ‘pre-born’ and now ‘pre-pregnant?’ WTF?

  35. Peggy says:

    If EC primarily works by suppressing ovulation, then it will prevent pregnancies of girl babies more than boy babies, yes? –Y sperm swim faster, and will get to the egg first if ovulation has happened; X sperm live longer, and can wait longer for ovulation to happen. Unless it doesn’t.

    Maybe this EC thing is just another ploy by the Patriarchy!

  36. RainbowK says:

    The abortionists know that if they can get women hooked on the morning after pill…

    As someone who has actually utilized the morning after pill it is clear to me that none of these wingnuts actually know what they’re talking about. Not that there was really any doubt before, because they’re so completely confused on almost every level about it, but…

    The five days of nausea, headaches and tiredness and complete lack of anything pleasurable associated with use of the morning after pill really prevent it, for most women, from being anything they do voluntarily as a kick.

    Or so it seems to me…

  37. Frumious B. says:

    (me) If you know of a specific study regarding the effects of Plan B on pregnant women, then by all means post the reference.

    (Lynn) I can’t imagine why it would be, since a pregnant woman has no reason to want to take Plan B.

    Jill speculated that “they had done a test or two on pregnant women.” I wanted to know if she knew of a specific study since drug studies on pregnant women are outside the norm.
    A pregnant woman who doesn’t know she is pregnant might take plan B.

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