One of my favorite things in the world is seeing the religious right make their feeble attempts to either sound scientific or present what they consider “facts”. It’s these rare occasions when they don’t seem to have any problem whatsoever with the scientific method or the peer review process … yet they still screw it up by either cherry picking their data, misrepresenting their findings, or just lying when reality doesn’t suit them.
It’s no wonder why no creationist has made it into an actual scientific journal … unless it’s to talk about something completely unrelated to creation.
Their latest whack at sounding scientific comes to us from ThinkProgress:
Americans For Prosperity (AFP), a conservative Koch-funded organization, held its Defending The American Dream Summit in Milwaukee on Saturday with a few major headline speakers: Rick Santorum, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). […]
The next room from where they spoke, however, featured a bevy of literature warning women about the supposed dangers of birth control and telling them that “Chastity is the best choice for single people.”
As for the rest … well … the pictures are worth a thousand words:
Now if I did it right, clicking on the picture should bring you to a larger version in which you can read all of the gibberish. I will write up the important parts. First, they go over how the Morning After pill is supposed to work:
- Ovulation is inhibited, meaning an egg will not be released.
- The normal menstrual cycle is altered, delaying ovulation, or [DUN DUN DUN …]
- The lining of the uterus is irritated, so that if the first and second actions fail, and a child is conceived, this tiny baby boy or girl will die before he or she can actually attach to the lining of the uterus. In this third action, her body rejects the tiny baby and the child will die. This is called a chemical abortion.
Okay. First, the mechanism of action for the morning after pill is the prevention of ovulation. That much is known. While it is theoretically possible that it could interfere with implantation, there has been no evidence to date to support that claim. For the record:
- Leung, Vivian W. Y.; Marc Levine, Judith A. Soon (February 2010). “Mechanisms of Action of Hormonal Emergency Contraceptives”. Pharmacotherapy 30 (2): 158–168.
“The evidence strongly supports disruption of ovulation as a mechanism of action. The data suggest that emergency contraceptives are unlikely to act by interfering with implantation, although the possibility has not been completely excluded.”
- Gemzell-Danielsson, Kristina (November 2010). “Mechanism of action of emergency contraception”. Contraception 82 (5): 404–9.
“LNG-EC [a very common form of EC] has no effect on endometrial development or function. In an in vitro model, it was demonstrated that LNG did not interfere with blastocyst function or implantation.”
- Article “Emergency Contraception’s Mode of Action Clarified”. Population Briefs (Population Council) 11 (2). May 2005.
“The researchers found that levonorgestrel inhibited ovulation totally or partially, depending on the timing of treatment and the dose administered. However, the drug had no effect on fertilization or implantation when it was administered shortly before or after mating or before implantation.”
There’s more, but you get the point. They’re taking their facts from research that was done back in the 70s and 80s and ignoring everything done since then because it no longer supports their thesis. But they’re lying for the LORD so it’s all good.
Oh, here’s a picture of the precious snowflake being murdered by Mommy’s uncaring uterus:
This, of course, ignores the glaring facts that:
- … there is no evidence to support the idea that EC prevents implantation,
- … implantation only has about a 50% success rate anyway, so young George here only has a 1 in 2 chance of seeing the light of day … when he eventually develops eyes, a brain, and all that other stuff that fundies say develop in the first 48 hours or something, and finally …
- … you can’t abort a pregnancy if you aren’t pregnant yet. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, “a pregnancy is considered to be established only after implantation is complete.”
But wait. There’s more. The next block of text reads:
Is it safe?? NO. Here are some of the side effects:
- breast tenderness
- ectopic pregnancy (can be life threatening)
- blood clot formation
OK seriously, the first three hardly make this stuff unsafe. I can also list the same things – and a dozen more – as the side effects of pregnancy itself: anemia, depression, ectopic pregnancy (can be life threatening!!), fetal problems, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, Hyperemesis gravidarum, miscarriage, placenta previa, placental abruption, preeclampsia, and preterm labor.
Fun times. I suppose the reason why so many women want to start families regardless of these complications is that they’re relatively infrequent and, in many cases, are treatable with modern medicine. While we’re on the topic of dissuading people from using medication on the basis that it has side effect, you had better stop using …
- aspirin (easy bruising/bleeding, difficulty hearing, ringing in the ears, change in the amount of urine, persistent or severe nausea/vomiting, unexplained tiredness, dizziness, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin, serious bleeding from the stomach/intestine, black/tarry stools, persistent or severe stomach/abdominal pain, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, slurred speech, weakness on one side of the body, sudden vision changes or severe headache.)
- Pepto-Bismol (weakness, fatigue, depression, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, unsteady gait, motor incoordination, loss of memory, jerky movements, mental confusion, disorientation, difficulty in walking and speaking, tremor, myoclonic jerks, and incontinence.)
- Advil (upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, headache, diarrhea, constipation, dizziness, or drowsiness, bruising/bleeding, hearing changes such as ringing in the ears, mental/mood changes, swelling of the ankles/feet/hands, sudden/unexplained weight gain, unexplained stiff neck, change in amount of urine, vision changes, serious liver disease, indicated by dark urine, persistent nausea/vomiting/loss of appetite, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin.)
- … and Prilosec (unusually fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, persistent muscle spasms, seizures, allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.)
Again, I could go on, but the point is that just because something has side effects doesn’t make it inherently dangerous to the point where you shouldn’t consider taking it altogether. Additionally, if the same logic were to be applied to all of the other things we ingest on a daily basis, we’d be stuck with the laying of hands and prayer for treating just about everything. Next up …
Emergency contraception also leaves a woman vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases including AIDS.
Wow. Again, the first part is technically true but they neglect to say why. It’s not a problem inherent with EC itself, but a potential change in behavior of the person using it. If someone is convinced that all they have to do in order to avoid pregnancy is take the morning after pill, the chances of them using preventive measures like condoms will go down. Since hormonal contraception of any kind provides absolutely no protection against disease, then unprotected sex will very likely lead to the spread of sexually transmitted disease.
There are also no longer term studies to show if women could be permanently injured, or risk such diseases as cancer from these chemicals being given in such high doses.
… aaaaaand let’s just speculate on what the morning after pill could do based on what we don’t know. Just for good measure. This sounds like it came right out of Fox and Friends. The funny part is that if the opponents of such evil inventions like EC would allow for the implementation of comprehensive sex education, low-cost hormonal birth control (which has been around for decades thus providing significant clinical data supporting its safety), and regular condom use, people wouldn’t have to use it that often. Win-win!
I’ll let you read the rest of it, but it’s about what you’d expect. A strawman about how EC advocates claim it’s “without risk”, a bit about abstinence being the only foolproof way to prevent pregnancy (this is actually true … who would have thought?), and then some patronizing line about using “family planning” (i.e. the archaic and ineffective rhythm method) if you “really have sufficient reason to avoid having a baby now”.
But you really better have a good reason … since you’re married and there’s no reason to not have kids. I don’t want to hear anything about going to school, or getting a job, or bettering yourself. Your biological and cultural imperative as a woman in a God fearing family is to start making babies! Get cracking!!