Plan B

By: BettyJean

Finally, we are getting somewhere with the military! Remember when the Army general commanding U.S. forces in northern Iraq implemented a policy that provided for court-martial and potentially even jail time if service members got pregnant – even if they were married? Not only was there public outrage over such a policy of  denying military service personnel  alternatives (aka: “Prosecution of Unplanned Pregnancy vs Choice in Reproductive Rights”) but, how foolish to implement a policy that would terminate 2 fully trained, committed soldiers with every pregnancy that occurred?

“Plan B One-Step” should have been “Plan A”… General, Sir

According to CNN, it has just been announced by the Department of Defense that all US military health facilities will now carry the emergency contraceptive pill know as “Plan B One-Step”.  Cynthia Smith, spokeswoman from the Defense Dept. told The Associated Press the decision came after a recommendation of an independent panel of doctors and pharmacists in November. Meeting minutes show the Department of Defense’s Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee voted for the allowance 13-2. The Pentagon’s decision comes less than two months after an Army general in Iraq made headlines when he included pregnancy as a punishable offense for both the women in his command and the men who got them pregnant.

Whether motivated by public, political or professional pressure or the embarrassment of implementing a disciplinary policy that makes about as much economic sense as a Health Care Reform plan with fewer services and no reform, it’s apparent that they did this to save face – particular that masculine face that just refuses to get it that every woman’s reproductive rights are a significant part of the world’s population equation. In any event, making Plan B One-Step finally readily available at least allows military women the same choice as non-military women – at least for now.

Why is there always a fight against a basic right called “Choice”?

Although the drug was ready in 1999, it has not been that long (2006) since women over 17 have been able to purchase it from a pharmacist without a prescription.  And there is still the outrageous issue of “conscientious objectors” who refuse to administer or sell the drug – which President Obama appears to fully support. Do these “conscientious objectors” refuse to work in hospitals that perform vasectomies or  for manufacturers of medical supplies used in the procedure, such as sutures, needles, gauze or anesthesia?

Question: How much landscape does the moral compass of any one group get to direct (control and dominate) before the obsession with another human being’s life choices is satisfied?

Answer: Apparently they want to control every square inch of the landscape of “choice” in women’s reproductive health involving preventing, averting or terminating pregnancy – even if it means that other women’ health issues, such as cervical cancer screenings, mammograms, and overall funding for women’ health services are used as the rope in this tug of war over “A Woman’s Right of Choice”.

Getting the Facts Right is also a “Moral Responsibility”

Anti-abortion activists have denounced the use of Plan B One-Step, claiming that the pill’s heavy doses of hormones amount to an abortion. These same detractors are also against any form of birth control whatsoever, deferring to “abstinence only” and having no more compassion for a teen pressured into sex, resulting in pregnancy after unwanted pregnancy, anymore than a  child raped, thus forced into pregnancy  – even if it means death of one or both the mother and child. (While the later may be argued as “rare” in the United States, our voices, as women, carry around the world.  Beyond the borders of our “moral arguments” are cultures where young girls and women look to the United States as the beacon of Human Rights – Women’s Rights – that will someday sweep across their landscapes and set them free from the horrors of oppression, brutality and sexual exploitation  that they face moment to moment in their lives – just because they are women with NO rights!)

And, why are gender-biased, Patriarchal religions still dominating this platform when the consequences are significantly different for women when it comes to reproduction? This is especially true for how gender-biased Catholicism when weighing in on the subject – placing for greater responsibility on women than men. The Catholics  have gone to great lengths to define reproductive development as beginning with the egg and the sperm and that to interfere with conception, in any form, is a form of abortion. From my years of study – I can attest that Catholic reproduction/conception dogma believes that ‘wasting the sperm in masturbation is a sin’.  Yet, where is that public literature? Where are the Pope and the Priests when it comes to publicly speaking out against circle jerks as an abomination to God, at best, and murder at worst?  Did anyone hear about Bishops going to Washington  to lobby for minimizing health care services to every man that jacks offs? No!

Imagine, hearing policy-makers and religious leaders preaching day and night about the immorality if spilling all that precious potential sperm life  in a gym towel, wash cloth or down the toilette! Where are the  Catholic and Protestant churches (that both make up “The Moral Majority”) on expanding the landscape of  the abortion debate to include “Abortion by Ejaculation, Prophylactics and The Last Second Pull Out”?  There isn’t a hell big enough to house such “hopeless, immoral sinners” as those who just can’t seem to leave it alone or get it that it’s abstinence or marital conception only!

Proponents of the “Morning After Pill” such as, Plan B Step-One, argue that such drugs do not cause an abortion, but rather significantly decreases the woman’s chances of becoming pregnant if taken shortly after sex. These drugs are are effective 80% of the time and relatively safe, according to research,. However, lack of information regarding the availability of these drugs has only fueled misinformation about how they work – which  (in Plan B, Plan B One-Step) is by preventing the sperm from reaching the egg and keeping a fertilized egg from attaching to the wall of the uterus (implantation). In others similar drugs, they use a combination of hormones to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg, keep a fertilized egg from attaching to the wall of the uterus,  as well as,  stopping the ovaries from releasing eggs (ovulation) that can be fertilized by sperm.

If preventing sperm and eggs from completing the process of “conception” is to be considered interference with the natural process of reproduction, thus “abortion”, then how can we not view in vitro fertilization just as invasive  and unnatural when it comes to reproduction? How many living eggs die after implantation from failed in vitro fertilization? Is this a form of “abortion”, as well? We need to get our facts straight!

How many traumatized rape victims lives can literally be turned around by this pill if administered as soon after the rape as possible? How many abortions can be eliminated? How can we even argue over a solution that could prevent tossing out a baby by preventing sperm from fertilizing an egg?! Clearly, arguments against this pregnancy-prevention solution is purely grounded in Patriarchal, religious legalism that must be abolished for the sake of women, girls and societies all over the world! This plan is one answer that is a fair solution for both sides of the abortion debate!

Freedom of Choice

I have gathered some information from the Mayo clinic for my readers.  I would suggest that anyone considering Plan B or any other birth Control to do your own research and follow your own church, if applicable (that is also a right of “freedom of choice”)  or do your scientific and medical research instead. In either event – do not let anyone else tell you what to do. Only you have to live with your choice!

Morning-after pill: Emergency birth control

Question

What can you tell me about the morning-after pill? How does it work?

Answer

From Sandhya Pruthi, M.D.

The morning-after pill — a form of emergency birth control — is used to prevent a woman from becoming pregnant after she has had unprotected sex. Morning-after pills are generally considered safe, but many women are unaware that they exist.

Here’s how the morning-after pill works. Human conception rarely occurs immediately after intercourse. Instead, it occurs as long as several days later, after ovulation. During the time between intercourse and conception, sperm continue to travel through the fallopian tube until the egg appears. So taking emergency birth control the “morning after” isn’t too late to prevent pregnancy.

The active ingredients in morning-after pills are similar to those in birth control pills, except in higher doses. Some morning-after pills contain only one hormone, levonorgestrel (Plan B, Plan B One-Step), and others contain two, progestin and estrogen. Progestin prevents the sperm from reaching the egg and keeps a fertilized egg from attaching to the wall of the uterus (implantation). Estrogen stops the ovaries from releasing eggs (ovulation) that can be fertilized by sperm.

The morning-after pill is designed to be taken within 72 hours of intercourse with a second dose taken 12 hours later. Plan B One-Step works with one dose. Side effects may include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fatigue, dizziness, menstrual changes and headache. According to the manufacturer, the morning-after pill is more than 80 percent effective in preventing pregnancy after a single act of unprotected sex.

Morning-after pills aren’t the same as mifepristone (Mifeprex), the so-called abortion pill. Emergency contraceptive pills such as Plan B prevent pregnancy. The abortion pill terminates an established pregnancy — one in which the fertilized egg has attached to the uterine wall and has already begun to develop.

Plan B is available to women and girls age 17 and older without a prescription at most pharmacies. You must show proof of age to purchase Plan B. For girls age 16 and younger, Plan B is available only with a doctor’s prescription.   Read More…”The Morning After Pill” (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/morning-after-pill/an00592)

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3 Responses

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