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Dispelling the Myths about Emergency Contraceptives and IUDs

I recall five years ago when I was working at a Catholic hospital as an RN, contraception was not covered by our insurance. Yet, none of the female employees realized there was a silent ‘war on women’ taking place. The women who wanted birth control were still able to get prescriptions from physicians not affiliated with the hospital and they bought what they wanted. We accepted that a CATHOLIC business had the right to operate according to CATHOLIC beliefs. Thanks to Obamacare, suddenly birth control was supposed to be 100% free and it was an attack on women’s rights to claim the right to religious freedom that had henceforth been taken for granted.

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As a nurse, that ‘free’ part really gets me. If you want to give a medication away, how about one that has the potential to save millions of lives?

Antibiotics,

blood pressure medications,

diabetes medications…but, BIRTH CONTROL?

I never once cared for a woman who died as a result of having to pay for her birth control, but I did care for many who died because they couldn’t afford the above mentioned items.

Following the Hobby Lobby case when SCOTUS determined that the owners of businesses still do have religious rights, there was much anger regarding the forms of birth control that Hobby Lobby was morally opposed to. Contrary to the hysteria and misinformation, Hobby Lobby was not arguing that they did not want to cover ALL birth control. In fact, they did and still do cover 16 different forms, but they opposed covering four types of ‘birth control’ that they believe can or does end a newly conceived human life.

I would like to describe each method Hobby Lobby opposed as well as the information supporting the belief that these methods do, indeed, as stated by the manufacturers, end a human life – which would be the life created at conception – the moment the sperm fertilizes the egg.

Some might be muttering that conception does not occur until the fertilized egg implants in the uterus.  A little known fact might surprise you – guess who it was that decided to try and change the definition of conception from occurring at the time of fertilization to occurring at implantation in the womb?

This redefinition of conception started in 1959 when Dr. Bent Boving revealed at a Planned Parenthood symposium* that there was “the social advantage of (implantation preventatives) being considered to prevent conception rather than destroy an established pregnancy.” Six years later, ACOG (American Academy of Gynecologists) happily redefined conception, much to the delight of Planned Parenthood. Their argument is that since conception can’t be detected until implantation, it doesn’t exist. With that reasoning, cancer doesn’t exist until it’s detected either…right?

Dispelling the Myths about Emergency Contraceptives and IUDs

I will list the four types of contraception and provide manufacturer’s information to support that these methods include mechanisms which halt the natural progression of that fertilized egg. I also included information on some of the incredibly terrifying side effects of these methods. The source of information I used is basically ‘the horse’s mouth’, the FDA which gave the stamp of approval to each one of these methods. The website I used for the two drugs is from Access Data. All of the sources I used include manufacturer’s information on each drug which is similar, if not exactly, to what you would see on a package insert included with certain medications.

Plan B- Contraindications (to the use of this drug)-“Pregnancy or suspected pregnancy”

Plan BNow, I found this information interesting- the manufacturer states that ectopic pregnancies occur in 2% of pregnancies but in women who use this drug, ectopic pregnancies occur in TEN PERCENT of women. A five-fold increase. Now, that sure sounds safe!

Mechanism of action: [what the drug does] It states the primary mechanism is preventing ovulation or fertilization [Much like the majority of birth control pills] “In addition, it may inhibit implantation (by altering the endometrium). It is not as effective once the process of implantation has begun.

So, if the drug doesn’t work by preventing ovulation it makes the womb inhospitable to the fertilized egg, the new life will DIE. Questions? Sounds pretty straightforward to me. A little FYI- the active ingredient in Plan B is a high dose of Levonorgestrel. This same ingredient is solely present in lower doses, with the same mechanism in Mirena, Norplant, Opcicon one-step, Skyla, Fallback solo, and Jadelle. It is also present with other another ingredient in 39 other forms of birth control.

Ella: Contraindications-Known or suspected pregnancy

Warnings and precautions: Ella is not indicated for termination of an existing pregnancy. Exclude pregnancy before administering. (VERY interesting statement for a drug meant to ‘prevent’ pregnancy) Ella is also considered an emergency contraceptive, just like Plan B.

Mechanism of action: “When taken immediately before ovulation is to occur, Ella postpones follicular rupture. The likely primary mechanism of action of ulipristal acetate for emergency contraception is therefore inhibitions or delay of ovulation; HOWEVER, alterations to the endometrium that may affect implantation may also contribute to efficacy. (what else would implant in the womb other than a fertilized egg?)

COPPER IUD aka Paragard:

IUDI had to go to drugs.com for this one.
Clinical pharmacology: (The way it works) “The contraceptive effectiveness of Paragard is enhanced by copper continuously released into the uterine cavity. Mechanism(s) by which copper enhances contraceptive efficacy include interference with sperm transport and fertilization of an egg, and possibly prevention of implantation.”

Has anyone else noticed that each one of the items make the
abortifacient effect of the drug/device appear to be a ‘oh, by the way…’

Contraindications: Pregnancy or suspicion of pregnancy.

Warnings: Intrauterine pregnancy: “the risk of spontaneous abortion (their word), premature delivery, sepsis, septic shock, and rarely, death. Removal may be followed by pregnancy loss.” It also goes on to say that an ectopic pregnancy is more likely when using this device. There is an increased ‘relative risk’ of pelvic inflammatory disease compared to other forms of contraception or no contraception. The IUD can become embedded in the uterus requiring surgical removal or it can perforate the uterine wall or cervix. “The copper of a perforated Paragard IUD can lead to intraperitoneal adhesions, intestinal penetration, intestinal obstruction, and/or damage to adjacent organs may result if an IUD is left in the peritoneal cavity.”

For more reading on intrauterine devices, please read here.

IUD with progestin aka Mirena: The mechanism of action as described here is interesting.

They basically say they aren’t sure how it works but – ‘the local mechanism by which continuously released levonorgestrel enhances contraceptive effectiveness of Mirena has not been conclusively demonstrated. Studies of Mirena prototypes have suggested several mechanisms that prevent pregnancy: thickening of cervical mucus preventing passage of sperm into the uterus, inhibition of sperm capacitation or survival, and alteration of the endomentrium. (Note that the drug in Mirena is the SAME ONE used in Plan B, the ‘emergency contraceptive’.) I found a much more honest explanation of how Mirena and Paragard work on WebMD. “The hormone also changes the lining of the uterus, so implantation of a fertilized egg cannot occur.”

Warnings for Mirena are virtually identical to those of Paragard which you can view in the PDF above.

As an RN and a woman, the risks of using chemical and mechanical forms of birth control like the IUD are absolutely unacceptable. Possible infertility, sepsis, fatal blood clots and death are just not acceptable risks to take in order to avoid pregnancy and be able to ‘do the deed’ whenever one wants. This is why Natural family planning is so fantastic. The effectiveness of NFP, when performed properly (no cheating, follow the rules) is 99%.  Every time this is brought up in the mainstream media certain ‘doctors’ and the general public cry out that it’s too complicated to do. I find that interesting since uneducated women in third world countries are able to effectively use NFP, but here in the U.S. women just aren’t smart enough?!? Yeah…right. I call that a war on women’s intelligence!

There is something I don’t understand about this whole Hobby Lobby thing- why they are not opposed to hormonal birth control when it contains the same mechanism of making the endometrial lining inhospitable to a fertilized egg? “The lining of the uterus thins, making it less likely that a fertilized egg can attach to it.”

That just doesn’t make sense. What does make sense is why Planned Parenthood wanted to change the definition of conception. When you look at the original and only true definition it becomes crystal clear that, with very few exceptions, the majority of contraception methods include the mechanism of being an abortifacient therefore, can and do end a human life.

 

*Bent Boving, “Implantation Mechanisms,” in Mechanisms Concerned with Conception, ed. C. G. Hartman (New York: Pergamon Press, 1963), 386. Boving acknowledged (p. 321): “… the greatest pregnancy wastage, in fact, by far the highest death rate of the entire human life span, is during the week before and including the beginning of implantation, and the next greatest is in the week immediately following.”

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About Patty Stulc

Patty is a cradle Catholic RN partial to the Traditional Latin mass, wife to an amazing farmer/rancher, the mother of 7 children ranging in age from 15 months to 26. I went from being a 'city girl' to country wife in a very short period of time in 2010. Instead of enjoying coffee shops, sushi and local shopping I now delight in managing my dairy herd including both goats and cows. Then there are the 50 or so beef cows, the chickens, cats, dogs, pigs and a blooming population of adorable but annoying field mice.

  • Bill S - People are not so much upset that Hobby Lobby could deprive its employees of use of four contraceptives at no cost to them. There were much broader issues, not the least of which was the idea that, for the first time, a corporation could use religion to counteract a compelling government interest i.e., to provide free contraception coverage as part of a national healthcare program.

    Given the ideologies of the five men constituting the majority, the result was not that surprising. Future cases will show what the long term effects of this case will be.October 9, 2014 – 6:34 amReplyCancel

  • Ken - Bill S: You’ve hit it on the head: freedom of religion means that the freedom is more important that the “government interest” (which, frankly, all of us know is not “compelling” in this case). A very vocal minority in this country thinks that freedom of religion should lose out to whatever the “government” decides to do (sadly, government coercion prohibiting or penalizing religious practice is the case in most parts of the world and throughout much of history), but the US Constitution was written to specifically protect individual rights to practice religion without the government determining what can and cannot be practiced. No one is denied contraception, they are just denied the government forcing others to give up their freedom to practice their religion by paying for things they consider to be against their religion.October 9, 2014 – 10:00 amReplyCancel

  • Patty Stulc - Agreed Bill, that is exactly the issue. The government decided to try to twist religious liberty into something that is selective and excludes those who own businesses. We can see the ramifications of that right now as people who refuse to participate in ‘same sex’ activities are sued in court for discrimination. They have, for all intents and purposes had their religious rights stripped away. That is so, so wrong. This country was started by people searching for one thing, the freedom to practice their religion. So, what is going on now is horrifying beyond words and will assuredly end up in a slippery slope that will be further elimination of our religious freedoms.October 9, 2014 – 3:01 pmReplyCancel

  • Patty Stulc - A ‘compelling government interest’ isn’t a constitutional right, religious freedom is. The government could come up with compelling reasons to do anything they want, that is why we have the constitution to protect OUR rights. I didn’t hear complaints about there being 5 men on the supreme court when they said Obamacare was ‘legal’. That’s a rather sexist comment IMHO regarding their gender.October 16, 2014 – 12:05 amReplyCancel

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