Business, Health, Media Criticism, Political Commentary, Science And Society The Hobby Lobby Decision July 7, 2014 Rand Simberg 31 Comments No, it’s not based on a “scientific mistake.” And yes, the morning-after pill is an abortafacient.
31 thoughts on “The Hobby Lobby Decision”
Even if it were a mistake, people have the right to make mistakes. Just look at dn-guy’s comments.
You say ” the morning-after pill is an abortafacient” but the article you link to says things such as “Scientists can demonstrate that the challenged forms of birth control almost never prevent implantation of a fertilized egg”, so why are you saying otherwise? Are you focusing on the phrase “almost never” as opposed to “never”, or are you basing your claim on a different source of information?
Anyone would wonder: “then how is pregnancy prevented?!” Following the links in the article Rand posted above leads to this claim ” The pills can thicken the mucus in the cervix to make it difficult for sperm to reach the egg, and they prevent ovulation from occurring in the first place.”
If you follow the chain of links from the article Rand linked to, you get to this statement from the International Federation of Gynecology & Obstetrics, which, in turn, cites various journal articles:
(I actually don’t care about the politics of this, but the politicization of science seems interesting.)
The two paragraphs I posted above are not redundant. For completeness: the link I posted goes into more detail about the different ways the morning-after pill prevents pregnancy, such as preventing ovulation. The statement also makes the point that once an egg is fertilized, the drug has no effect on the pregnancy.
Rand, do these comments (and, of course, the supporting links) change your mind?
“(I actually don’t care about the politics of this, but the politicization of science seems interesting.)”
That is soooooo funny. I don’t buy for one second that you are not concerned about the politics of this or that you are bothered by the politicization of science. Democrats have been politicizing science for a long time now in the most disgusting ways imaginable.
No, no, I mean, I saw Rand’s link “Most of Left Freaks Out About Hobby Lobby”, and for whatever reason, I just said “eh” and didn’t click on the link. Maybe I should care, maybe I would care if I knew more, but right now I don’t care. A person can’t care about everything.
But I did get curious about whether the morning after pill causes an abortion. I thought it did. Then I followed Rand’s links this morning and learned that experts think it doesn’t.
Jiminator: thank you for the links.
I just said “eh” and didn’t click on the link.
You didn’t click the link. Wow, that makes your ignorant comments that much more fun to laugh at. Adler nailed your arguments perfectly.
That was a non-sequitor — I care about the science, not the politics. Until today, I thought the morning after pill caused an abortion, but now I have very good reasons to think that it doesn’t. What are you laughing at?
I’ve read Jiminator’s link below. It still appears to me that the experts think that the morning after pill works by preventing a pregnancy, not by ending one.
Yes bob, all your comments have been non-sequitur. I’m glad you are admitting what we all suspected and then knew for certain when you admitted you didn’t read Rand’s link. Your comments are irrelevant as the link explains quite clearly.
You say ” the morning-after pill is an abortafacient” but the article you link to says things such as “Scientists can demonstrate that the challenged forms of birth control almost never prevent implantation of a fertilized egg”, so why are you saying otherwise?
I don’t see that Rand is saying otherwise at all. I may be misreading your response, but it seems to me that if a fertilized egg is implanted, then an abortafacient would be required to terminate the pregnancy, while such a drug would not be necessary if the egg is not fertilized.
An abortafacient causes an abortion.
Rand said “And yes, the morning-after pill is an abortafacient”.
The International Federation of Gynecology & Obstetrics says “LNG ECPs are effective only in the first few days following intercourse before the ovum is released from the ovary and before the sperm fertilizes the ovum”
and it also says ” LNG ECPs cannot interrupt an established pregnancy or harm a developing embryo”
and it also says “LNG ECPs do not interrupt a pregnancy (by any definition of the beginning of pregnancy). However,LNG ECPs can prevent abortions by reducing unwanted pregnancies.”
(That was for Jiminator.)
That science is not settled. I am seeing some reports that echo what you are saying, but the reports usually come with a disclaimer that says, technically, making it more difficult for a fertilized egg to implant in a woman’s uterus is not an abortion.
Blast, I forgot to include a link: http://www.morningafterpill.org/how-does-it-work.html
The Hobby Lobby line is that if a fertilized egg fails to implant, a life has been lost. As it happens, about 80% of fertilized eggs fail to implant, so women who aren’t using contraceptives create many of these doomed “lives”.
The “Plan B” morning-after pill does not affect implantation, but it does prevent fertilization 90-95% of the time. So it not only prevents pregnancy, it also prevents the loss of many fertilized eggs — the loss of what Hobby Lobby considers to be human lives.
If Hobby Lobby really were concerned about the number of fertilized eggs that perish before implantation, it would be thrilled to cover Plan B.
A simple way to say this: Plan B is the moral equivalent of a condom. It really is a contraceptive, not an abortifacient.
Or, at least, that’s what the non-biased experts think.
Who cares? It’s their company. Get your nose out of their business.
A few years ago, “morning-after pills” worked by preventing implantation. Apparently, the nature of wombs has changed in the past decade.
Rather, our understanding of how morning after pills work has improved.
Joseph’s comment reminds me of science fiction books which suggest that the solar system changed due to the theories of Copernicus and/or the observations of Galileo. They are mostly just very shallow riffs on Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, Schrödinger’s cat, and so forth. But Greg Egan’s Permutation City (and his “Dust Theory”) is a rather sophisticated and clever treatment of the idea. Some people call Egan “a man of the Left”, but I think he is better described as “a man of the mathematics classroom”, and I think many readers here might want to try his science fiction if they haven’t already .
Is it a matter of the scientists’ understanding? Or is it a change in the journalist’s spin?
To take a field I know about, there was a change in the journalist’s spin on nuclear energy in the 1970s but any change in the scientists’ understanding was in the other direction.
The links I provided the real explanation: scientists wanted to understand what was really happening, so they devised experiments, conducted observations, and revised their explanation of what the pills were doing. That’s how science works. Perhaps in the future, there will be further revisions to the explanation of how the pills work. That’s also how science works.
While there is obviously disagreement about the explanation, it is notable that the disagreement is coming from organizations which have a religious or political bias in their charter, while impartial organizations such as the International Federation of Gynecology & Obstetrics agree with what is now the standard explanation. That doesn’t mean it is the correct view, but what’s a layman to think?
In other words, I’ll have to look through journal articles in an unfamiliar field, check for possible refutations (the anti-nuclear and anti-vaccine people also cite sources on occasion), and also make sure that the conclusions are actually those that the journalists claim.
I will do this keeping in mind that the “impartial sources” are allied with people who spout nonsense in fields I know about.
You’ll note bob wants you to read his link and discuss it, while admitting he never clicked Rand’s link to read and discuss it. Further, if he clicked Rands link, he would know the science is irrelevant.
You have reading comprehension problems. I was talking about a different link: Rand posted one saying, approximately, “Left freaks out over Hobby Lobby”, and that was enough of a turn-off for me. I assume the link was about “the Left”. For this particular issue, I’m interested in the science, not “the Left”.
As I made clear above, I certainly did read the link for this comment thread — that was what alerted me to even the *possibility* that the morning after pill didn’t cause abortions .
Do you have anything sensible to contribute?
Joseph, to answer you, I thought it might be worthwhile to do more reading. Please don’t be offended that I answered Leland and not you.
Rand had only one link, so now you are either mistaken or lying.
From my point of view, I’m still laughing at how silly you are looking. You are like the fish that took Rand’s bait and still swimming like you got the meal of a lifetime. I wouldn’t pray for you. You deserve the humiliation.
And Joseph gave you two responses below. If you are trying to be honest and offer goodwill, then comment to him. Try to do so without the condescension you’ve shown to him to date.
“Further, if he clicked Rands link, he would know the science is irrelevant.”
The reason why it is relevant is because Rand made this science claim: “And yes, the morning-after pill is an abortafacient.” When I read that, I thought “I didn’t realize that was even in dispute”, and then clicked and started reading.
If I was the sort who prayed, I would pray for you.
Rand has posted at least five times on Hobby Lobby, and it wouldn’t surprise me if there were more. I was referring to this one:
the other four include p=55751, p=55757, p=55660, and this very one, p=55767.
Imagining divine intervention to fix you might be like wondering what happens what omnipotence meets immovability.
In view of the fact that the cited source appears to be about just one pill, there is a strong possibility that Hobby Lobby should (but should not be forced to) cover 17 pills instead of 16.
The copper IUD looks very suspicious indeed.
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