The Corner

Abortion Advocates Downplaying the Science of Abortifacients

Being present when the Supreme Court announced the Hobby Lobby decision on Monday was a moment of joy I will never forget. I was standing next to two friends who are mothers and lawyers and who work professionally to build a culture of life. The three of us were surrounded by about a hundred young, smart, enthusiastic pro-life women who were cheering at the news. It was a culminating moment of emotion and a feeling of justice that will not easily be dimmed.

Afterwards, I sensed a spirit of desperation from abortion advocates. I was a bit shocked at their dishonesty about issues related to “access” and their overall mischaracterization of the decision. The poor folks who run SCOTUSBlog were the unfortunate recipients of misdirected anger and vitriol about the decision (SCOTUSBlog is a private blog sponsored by Bloomberg Law and unconnected to the court).  But perhaps most tellingly, abortion proponents are actively trying to downplay the science of the drugs and devices in question in the case.

A few years ago I researched this topic in preparation for testifying before Congress on the HHS mandate. My findings proved that it was scientifically valid to believe that conception and pregnancy begin at fertilization, not implantation; in fact, three out of four American medical dictionaries supported this position until recently, according to one analysis. Furthermore, a number of drugs and devices included in the mandate have mechanisms of action that can prevent implantation; that is, they can cause an early chemical abortion. Examples include the morning-after pill and intrauterine devices (IUDs). In the case of one drug, “Ella,” the mechanisms of action can work post-implantation. For a more in-depth information, please see this study, specifically the section on “abortion inducing drugs.”

There is a world of difference between a drug that prevents life and a drug that can destroy life in its earliest and most vulnerable stages. The HHS mandate and the Supreme Court’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby provide an excellent opportunity to educate the public about such life-destructive drugs and devices. Women deserve the right to know how they work upon their bodies and the nascent life in their wombs. 

— Jeanne Monahan is president of the March for Life.

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