Friday, 7 September 2018

Science Does Not Support Claims That

medicine
Science doesn't Support Claims That Contraceptives Are ‘Abortion-Inducing’

During his Supreme Court hearing on Thursday, Judge Brett Kavanaugh referred to some sorts of contraception as “abortion-inducing drugs.”

The phrase may be a characterization that some anti-abortion religious groups use, but it's not supported by scientific evidence.

Judge Kavanaugh used the phrase while answering questions by Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, a few 2015 dissents he wrote during a case brought by a Catholic organization over a requirement within the federal health care law that employers include contraception coverage in employee health plans.

The group, Priests for all times argued that the provision violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, despite an exception allowing employers with religious objections to rearrange for a separate insurance companies to supply contraceptive coverage.

“They said filling out the shape would make them complicit within the provision of the abortion-inducing drugs that they were, as a spiritual matter, objecting to,” Judge Kavanaugh testified, describing the group’s position.

It was not clear exactly which methods Judge Kavanaugh was pertaining to when he used the phrase “abortion-inducing drugs.”

Most common sorts of contraception — contraception pills, condoms, hormonal intrauterine devices and implants — prevent conception by keeping eggs from becoming fertilized.

The description “abortion-inducing” is most frequently employed by anti-abortion religious groups to characterize methods they believe can prevent an embryo from implanting within the uterus.

These groups typically say that such methods are morning-after pills and copper intrauterine devices.

There are two main reasons this belief doesn't comport with scientific evidence.

First, the medical definition of pregnancy is that it begins after the embryo is implanted in the uterus, not before.

That's because many, probably most, fertilized eggs naturally fail to implant within the uterus on their own.

Second, a growing body of research strongly indicates that morning-after pills, such as Plan B and Ella, don't prevent implantation.

Instead, the pills, if haunted to 5 days after unprotected sex, work to prevent fertilization from occurring.

they are doing this by delaying ovulation, the discharge of eggs from the ovaries that happens before eggs are fertilized, or by thickening cervical mucus in order that sperm have trouble swimming and reaching the egg to fertilize it.

A New York Times investigation of the science behind morning-after pills in 2012 prompted the National Institutes of Health website to delete passages suggesting emergency contraceptive pills could disrupt implantation.

A spokeswoman for the Food and Drug Administration said at the time that “emerging data” suggested that morning-after pills don't inhibit implantation.

The other method of emergency contraception, the copper IUD, does appear to be able to block implantation of an embryo, scientists say.

(It is different from the more popular hormonal IUDs, like the common brand Mirena, which are extremely effective at preventing fertilization within the first place and haven't any effect on implantation.)

The copper IUD is additionally highly effective at preventing fertilization and, unlike hormonal IUDs can do so albeit inserted within five days after unprotected sex.

Within the small number of cases where the copper IUD doesn't prevent fertilization, scientists say it might be ready to disrupt the method by which the embryo would implant within the uterus.

Because it's to be inserted by a health provider within a couple of days after unprotected sex, however, the copper IUD may be a much less common method of emergency contraception than morning-after pills.

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