Views on Emergency Contraceptives
The primary purpose of emergency contraceptives is to prevent pregnancies, although other forms of birth control are sometimes used for different purposes. If there is a fertilized egg in the uterus, emergency contraceptives will not lead to an abortion nor will they in any other way terminate the pregnancy. It should be noted that the process of getting pregnant from the moment of an encounter between an egg and sperm takes time. The woman is not pregnant until the fertilized egg makes its way into the uterus and is safely placed in the lining. The process can take up to a couple of days and during that time the emergency contraceptives can eliminate the zygote. Supporters of such forms of birth control insist on raising awareness and informing prospective users of the fact that emergency contraception is not as effective as abortion. Abortion is administered once the woman becomes pregnant and can be postponed until 6 to 8 weeks of pregnancy. Emergency contraceptives have to be taken 24 hours after the intercourse at the latest to be effective. They can only terminate the pregnancy before it actually occurs from the medical standpoint. For that reason, some activists believe it is more precise to say that emergency contraceptives prevent rather than eliminate pregnancies. In addition, there are activist groups that believe taking such forms of birth control does not constitute abortion nor does it go against beliefs that abortions are murders as the pregnancy did not yet occur and the zygote did not come to life before it was removed. On the other hand, some organizations argue that life begins at fertilization, not once the egg is nested in the uterus. Emergency contraceptives therefore create inhospitable environment in which the zygote cannot survive. Hence, such form of contraception is not prevention but termination. Medical professionals view emergency contraceptives as prevention measures as they disable the egg from attaching to the uterus and prevent the woman from becoming pregnant. To further convolute the matter, abortion is not only performed surgically but it also can be administered through pills that induce the separation of the egg from the lining of the uterus and its expulsion from the body.
Scientific and Legal FactsThe medical community still insists on the fact that emergency contraceptives are not equal to any kind of abortion. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology postulates that conception is a synonym for implementation, not joining of the two sex cells. Be the case as it may all the involved sides agree that the users need to be fully informed about effects and implications of pills they are taking. From the scientific point of view agents that cause abortion lead to premature termination of pregnancy, but a fertilized egg does not constitute a pregnancy. Federal policy is supported by the viewpoint of the medical community and states that medications that prevent the implementation of the zygote into the uterus do not terminate pregnancies. Further, eliminating the pregnancy that does not actually exist could not be an abortion.
Safety of Emergency ContraceptivesVarious forms of emergency contraceptives, such as Plan B, are safe methods to protect the woman from becoming pregnant after having engaged in unprotected sex. Clinical data show that emergency contraceptives help in substantially decreasing the number of unwanted and unplanned pregnancies. The number of surgical abortions is also being reduced if the women take emergency contraceptives on time and as recommended. Such form of birth control prevents the fertilized egg from being implanted in the endometrium, although sometimes they can inhibit ovulation altogether depending on the type of emergency contraceptive. As far as the taking of the pills goes, it is advised that women who had just had unprotected sex see medical professionals to make sure they are not already pregnant before taking emergency contraceptives. The pills would have no effects on the implanted egg while making the woman believe she is not pregnant. Women who either had intercourse that was unprotected or used protection that failed can resort to emergency contraception.
Effects on Fertilized EggIn order for the pills to work it is absolutely imperative that they are taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex. There are some tablets that would work within the first 5 days from the intercourse, but it is best that any kind of emergency contraceptive is taken as soon as possible to make sure there is no unwanted pregnancy. If there was only one instance of unprotected sex since the last menstrual period, the pills can be taken at any time during the cycle. Aside from taking pills, medical care professionals can also insert a copper IUD into the womb to inhibit fertilization. Both the pills and the IUD have the same effects on the female body. That is, they either prevent implementation or arrest ovulation altogether.