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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Prophylactic pitfalls
In her letter "Cost a barrier to contraceptives' effectiveness" (Monday), Cory L. Richards, executive vice president of the Guttmacher Institute, asserted that President Obama's mandate that women be given free contraception, including emergency contraception, "has nothing to do with funding abortion." This is incorrect because oral and implanted contraceptives may function to prevent the implementation of a new human being in the uterus, thereby killing him.
In her 2001 testimony to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee against the confirmation of Attorney Gen. John Ashcroft, Gloria Feldt, then-president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said that "the birth control pill ... frequently acts to prevent implantation of the fertilized ovum," thus confirming that oral contraceptives frequently abort an embryo without the woman even knowing it. According to the Food and Drug Administration, "EC pills act by delaying or inhibiting ovulation, and/or altering tubal transport of sperm and/or ova (thereby inhibiting fertilization), and/or altering the endometrium (thereby inhibiting implantation)."
Ms. Richards' letter claims that contraceptive use reduces abortions, but there are a number of testimonials by contraceptive promoters that they increase the incidence of abortion. Even the Supreme Court, in the 1992 Casey decision, recognized that surgical abortion is a necessary backup for contraception because Americans "for two decades organized intimate relationships ... on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail."
The Guttmacher Institute reported in "Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States" in August 2011 that 54 percent of women who had abortions had used a contraceptive (usually a condom or the pill) during the month they became pregnant. Among those women, 76 percent of pill users and 49 percent of condom users reported having used their method inconsistently, while 13 percent of pill users and 14 percent of condom users reported correct use. The Guttmacher report contradicts Ms. Richards' claim that contraceptives (used either consistently or inconsistently) are effective and prevent surgical abortions.
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