Over the last few days we've been hearing non-stop about how the Obama Administration is conducting a "War On Religious Freedom" by requiring employers, including religiously owned hospitals and schools, to produce health care plans that offer contraception without co-pays.
Oh, heaven forfend - how could he?
Yes, that's right - our Religious Leaders Demand the Right not to offer health insurance plans that provide Plan B as easily as they provide Viagra.
Frankly, this is insane - and that is shown very vividly in this exchange between Democrat Karen Finney and Republican Maggie Gallager (she who was previously famous for taking
brides bribes from the Bush Administration to write glowing reviews of "No Child Left Behind").
I wonder whose paying Maggie's Bills so she'll Shill for Them now?
There's one point where Karen truly nails it.
Finney (3:20) : I'd like to see the church go out this hard on poverty issues, or the tenor of our immigration debate, or on social justice and our social teachings debate.That's exactly the point. What about the Religious and Personal Freedom of the Employee?
Finney (4:45): If I'm a jewish woman and I work at a catholic institution, is it right for my employer - and I don't think of it as a business, but as an entity that gets a special tax status from the government - does that entity have the right to tell me I can't have access (to contraception).
How did we get to this world where "Freedom" applies to Institutions, but not People?
We got there because this isn't about Religious Freedom, it's about the Myth that the Morning After Pill is some kind of pocket abortion kit. Well, it's not.
This is what it is.
Two brands of the morning-after pill — Plan B One-Step and Next Choice — are made of one of the hormones found in birth control pills called progestin. Hormones are chemicals made in our bodies. They control how different parts of the body work.All brands of emergency contraception are designed to prevent an egg from being fertilized. They also take a secondary step to prevent an egg that might be fertilized from attaching to the uterus wall. It's the secondary effect which has the potential of letting a fertilized egg pass through menstration that has the Religious Right up in arms. They feel that is an abortion.
The other brand of the morning-after pill — ella — is made of a medication called ulipristal acetate.
All brands of the morning-after pill work by keeping a woman's ovaries from releasing eggs — ovulation. Pregnancy cannot happen if there is no egg to join with sperm. The hormone in the morning-after pill also prevents pregnancy by thickening a woman's cervical mucus. The mucus blocks sperm and keeps it from joining with an egg.
The morning-after pill can also thin the lining of the uterus. In theory, this could prevent pregnancy by keeping a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus.
But is it?
As an alternative to these methods the Catholic Church's Official position is use of the "Rhythm Method". Rather than using a condom, which would prevent the sperm from reaching the egg, after the morning after pill which would essentially do the same thing -- they recommend this.
A woman practices the rhythm method of birth control, or natural family planning, by learning to recognize the days she is fertile, and not having sex before and during those days. The rhythm method does not work for all couples. Women who have regular menstrual cycles and who are very careful about when they have sex usually find it to be effective. Women who have irregular cycles and who are not so careful often end up becoming pregnant.Even using this method, it is possible for active sperm to still fertilize an egg after it has moved beyond the optimum position near the uterus wall and ultimately have it passed through menstruation in the exact same way that it would with Morning After Pill.
So is this an "Abortion" too?
That's how the science of this works out, but what about the scripture? Where exactly in the Bible is Abortion mentioned?
Ok, what about the beginning of Life? When does Life begin according to the Holy Bible?
Genesis 9:4So there is a consistent pattern here, from the laws of Moses through to Jesus. From a Religious perspective of what is actually written in scripture "Life - is in the Blood", and as a matter of fact a fertilized egg doesn't have any blood.
But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.
For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.
Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh.
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
Blood cells don't form until several weeks after fertilization.
Now, this is just one interpretation - my own I admit - and there can be many interpretations of scripture. Those varying interpretations are the basis from the splits between the Catholic Church, the Protestant Church, the Episcopalian Church, the Anglican Church (Which was founded Henry VIII wanted to get a divorce and the Pope at the time wouldn't let him) and so on and so forth. What makes any of these interpretations more valid than any other? There was even a point in time during the 14th Century when there were Two Different Popes, one in Rome and one in Avignon, and each Papacy excommunicated the followers of the other Pope.
Which I guess means everyone is going to Hell (Although not all strains of Christianity even believe in Hell, so that opens a whole 'nother can of worms)
What all of this leaves us with is this. Scientifically, this is a bogus surrogate for the never-ending abortion fight. Emergency Contraception is not "abortion" any more than the Rythm method is "abortion". Religiously, it can be argued that it's still bogus to argue that every fertilized egg is a precious form of "Life" or that any woman who dares let one escape her uterus should be held on charges of Murder or Manslaughter.
But then again, there are those states which have push forth "Personhood" bills which would do exactly that. Meanwhile they've been pushing Abstinance Only education programs that requires instructors to LIE and tell children that Condoms Don't Work because they're only 85% effective (although they're actually 98% effective when used properly), and have then take Virginity Pledges to avoid sex which are 80% ineffective after just 2 years. Not only are these kids still having sex, they're having anal and oral sex which allows them to remain "technical virgins" and they're doing it without condoms, which puts them at even greater risk.
And in the end, what about the Right and Freedom of a Woman, an individual, a person to protect her own health and life? Isn't that what this is all really about in end, not which egg might have been fertilized when?
They say that those who support access to contraception and safe abortion are "Pro-Choice". No, I say that should be called "Pro-Freedom", because what good is a choice if you don't have the freedom to exercise it?