Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Misinformation on Emergency Birth Control

Dawn Eden is critical of Jane Brody's column on “Plan B”. It is an illustration of how misinformation is spread. The information on emergency birth control went through three stages:

  1. First, it was described correctly but with an excuse (that pregnancy has been redefined) embedded:

    The morning-after pill acts to change the lining of the womb so that if the woman's egg does become fertilized by the man's sperm, it is unable to implant or attach to the womb to start a pregnancy. Unable to "stick", the fertilized egg is then expelled from the womb.

    Because it acts once the egg has been fertilized, many pro-life groups see this type of contraception as a form of abortion (although others argue that the pregnancy does not begin with fertilisation, but with implantation). These arguments often reflect very strongly held and personal views.

    Read some of them at:

    The Morning After Pill
    The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

    (By the way, the original web page this came from has disappeared and I got the quote from The Internet Archive. Make of that what you will.)

  2. Second, it was described incorrectly (in Jane Brody's column) but with the excuse retained so it might still be possible to find one's way to the truth.

  3. Third, the misinformation is treated as an Unqualified Fact and anybody who disagrees is regarded as ignorant. For example, Fafblog:

    So the FDA has decided that the mornin after pill is not gonna be sold over the counter. This is yknow a huge step backwards for women's health and for contraception and the prevention of abortions. But it is a huge step forward for what we at Fafblog like to call the "rights of the unconceived," which is just a few short steps from what we are really lookin forward to which is the rights of the inanimate.
    The condescension here is breath-taking.

Update: It looks like I just got a Dawnlanche.


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