Abortifacients and agendas

How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg. — Abraham Lincoln

Faced with harsh reality or pleasant illusion, many if not most of us, opt for the latter. Part of the illusion, however, has to be that what is proposed is good, ethical, and that it’s possible to attain – so what if truthfully, it’s an impossibility. You know, like calling a dog’s tail a leg.

Dr. Jim Asher is a graduate of Marquette University and Des Moines University. He earned a master’s degree in bioethics from Midwestern University. He and his wife of 50 years, Rose Neidhoefer of Milwaukee, have seven children and 14 grandchildren. He is a retired family physician. He is a parishioner at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral, an officer in the Catholic Physician’s Guild, and a member of the Knights of Columbus. Opinions expressed are the writers' and not necessarily the views of The Catholic Sun or the Diocese of Phoenix.
Dr. Jim Asher is a graduate of Marquette University and Des Moines University. He earned a master’s degree in bioethics from Midwestern University. He and his wife of 50 years, Rose Neidhoefer of Milwaukee, have seven children and 14 grandchildren. He is a retired family physician. He is a parishioner at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral, an officer in the Catholic Physician’s Guild, and a member of the Knights of Columbus.
Opinions expressed are the writers’ and not necessarily the views of The Catholic Sun or the Diocese of Phoenix.

So consider abortion. Even little kids by now, know full well it’s wrong and is the taking of a human life. But what are your options if you really, in the worst way, don’t want a pregnancy and you also don’t want an abortion? In many instances, an illusion will do nicely.

Some definitions

The onset of pregnancy is a process that can begin after sexual intercourse, within a woman’s body. Left undisturbed and assuming normal development, it starts with a single cell and will result in a fully developed baby in about nine months.

The discoveries in embryology, that pregnancy came about from the combination of sperm and egg, began in the 1660’s, with actual observation of the phenomena in frog eggs and sperm in 1853.

This combining of the human egg from the mother’s ovary, and a single sperm from the father, occurs in the fallopian tube. The one-celled baby, called a zygote, just now formed, has all the incipient physical characteristics it will ever have — sex, coloration, stature, intellectual capacity, weaknesses, and appearance. All are determined in this single, teensy, momentous, event. By the end of the second day this zygote-baby has grown into two cells. By about the eighth day it has grown into a 200 — 300 celled blastocyst or embryo, and has reached the uterus where implantation occurs.

And all of this information is totally ho-hum to any embryologist or other person with a modicum of biological training.

Hope and change

Yet, remarkably, in 1965, five years after the introduction of the birth control pill and six after the re-introduction of the intrauterine device or IUD, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists cast aside some 300 years of scientific work in embryology. They did this to proffer the illusion that pregnancy does not occur when the sperm and egg combine. No, they redefined conception and therefore pregnancy, to be… implantation.

Why? Well, if we indulge in the reality that presence of a zygote, or a blastocyst – embryo defines pregnancy, then we’re saying conception has occurred. Ooh. Bad. What to call anything that stops the pregnancy? To call it by its true name – abortifacient – would to some, sound unethical and disturb too many consciences. So an illusion was desperately needed.

Abortifacients

Abortifacient means something that interrupts a pregnancy, for example by preventing implantation, which is how the birth control pill or similar hormonal delivery methods, the IUD, the “morning after pill” and low dose RU-486 work at least some of the time. Asserting that pregnancy doesn’t start until implantation means these agents can be called “contraceptives” and ignores their true abortifacient potential.

The federal government, reacting to conscience objections of some practitioners also adopted this illusion in 2008, but at least at that time they allowed individual consciences to dictate what was an abortifacient.

So who’s been fooled, and who else is doing the fooling? Well, for one, Planned Parenthood. In their Guttmacher Institute literature, they would have you believe that not only the utterly unassailable Federal Government, but the vast majority of obstetrician-gynecologists believe the illusion.

The implication being, I suppose, if you don’t believe, well you’re really out of step with people who are way smarter and probably better looking than you.

So who claims to believe it?

A poll was taken in November 2011 by Reuters US of more than 1,000 obstetrician gynecologists to see what they believed. Pregnancy begins when the egg and sperm combine, said some 57 percent. Only 28 percent claimed pregnancy began with implantation. Peculiarly and oh please, 15 percent of these highly trained clinicians said they were unsure.

Pregnancy onset would seem intuitively obvious to a freshman high school biology student. Truth is often like that. It takes really intelligent, agenda driven people to come up with these and other such completely irrational illusions and euphemisms. See John 8:32 about truth making you free.

Benedicamus Domino.