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April 30, 2005


Sidereal: Phil - on not needing it. My understanding is that EC is contraceptive if there has been no fertilization yet. The rapist's sperm will still be active and can fertilize for up to something like 3(?) days. If fertilization has already occured, it acts as an abortive. This is, I assume, the basis behind the distinction.

You are correct that this is the distinction offered by those who claim EC is an abortifacient, but the distinction itself is wrong. Pregnancy begins with the implantation of the fertilized egg in the lining of the uterus, not with fertilization itself. If the zygote never takes hold, the woman never becomes pregnant. And abortion is the ending of a pregnancy, not the avoidance thereof.

This doesn't diminish the metaphysical claim that the creation of a new soul occurs at fertilization, of course, so they can make faith-based arguments that EC is immoral 'til the cows come home. But calling it an abortifacient goes beyond simple faith and into intellectually dishonest.

In 1995 informed consent was legally based in the'Dutch Medical Treatment Agreement Act' (WGBO). It basically states that any medical treatment or examination can only be done with 'informed consent'. The 'informed' bit means that the patient has to be informed in advance of what will happen, why it happends, what the consequences are and what alternatives there are.
In this case the people in the ER would not be allowed to do any examination or test without fully informing the rape victim. They *are* allowed to say that according to their believes a fetilized egg would allready be a person, they cannot be forced to prescribe EC but they HAVE to inform.

coming late to this thread, I note a certain unwillingness on the part of the pro-lifers to accept "unrealistic" analogies. So, let's try more realistic ones.

Rhanibapul Brinderjee is rushed to the ER of Krishna Hospital. There, Dr. Sanji Gupta happens to recognize her, and, because she is an untouchable, refuses to administer treatment. She dies on the table before another surgeon can be found.

Her sister, in the same auto accident, happens to be picked up by a different EMT, who takes her to the Church of The Creator Hospital. There, Dr. Albus Whiteman deliberately prescribes an overdose because he sincerely believes that it is G-d's will that the mud people be diminished -- and she is pregnant.

A few months later, Dr. Whiteman has a revelation. The true path is not to kill, which always made him uncomfortable. Better by far to dilute the mud people's blood with pure white blood. In good time, the curse of Canaan will be cleansed. So, he takes a job at a fertility clinic and adds his own sperm to all colored women's IVF tubes. He tells them it's their husband's, of course. Before he gets this job, however, he simply drugs and impregnates all of his colored female patients.

Meanwhile, over in Ali Mehmet Hospital, a Miss Rosenberg comes in for cancer treatment. Because oncologist Dr. Ibn Fatwa (a good familiy man who loves his children) believes devoutly and sincerely that all Jews are the children of Satan, he deliberately advises her to follow an ineffective and painful course of treatment. (As it turns out, Miss Rosenberg is not Jewish but rather the granddaughter of SS General Rosenberg, but it was an honest mistake on Dr. Fatwa's part.)

Drs. Gupta, Whiteman, and Fatwa are caught and arraigned. They plead not guilty, explaining that they were simply following their deeply-held religious beliefs, and that the patient was perfectly free to go to a different hospital. When Whiteman and Fatwa are asked whether they told their patients that they were withholding certain critical information, they say that informing the patient would miss the entire point. And Dr. Whiteman adds proudly that every one of his patients bore a child, so he surely did good.

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