Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Christians: Things You Need to Know about the RH Bill #1 : it does not uphold life as starting at conception

The RH bill does not uphold life as starting from conception, which is the moment of fertilization, or when the egg and the sperm unite to form a diploid zygote. Embryologists, without a doubt,say that life starts at the point of conception, when the zygote is formed:

“Each human being starts his life, his very being, as an ordinary cell called the zygote, measuring less than 0.2 mm in diameter.”
Essentials of Human Embryology, S.M. Bhatnagar et. al., 1983, Orient Longman, India

“The male and female sex cells or gametes…unite at fertilization to initiate the embryonic development of a new individual.”
“Fertilization takes place in the oviduct (fallopian tubes)... resulting in the formation of a zygote containing a single diploid nucleus.”
“Embryonic development is considered to begin at this point.”
“This moment of zygote formation may be taken as the beginning or zero time point of embryonic development."  
Essentials of Human Embryology (pp. 1-17),Larsen, W.J. 1998. Churchill Livingstone, New York.

"Zygote: this cell results from the union of an oocyte(egg) and a sperm. A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo).
Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm ... unites with a female gamete or oocyte(egg) ... to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent(multi-potential) cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.

The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology by Moore, K. and T.V.N. Persaud. 1998. (6th ed.), W.B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia. (pp 2-18)

If life begins at conception, therefore any contraceptive that kills a conceived life or prevents a human life from implanting in his mother's womb(thereby killing him) after the point of conception, is what is called an abortifacient, or a drug causing abortion or death of a human life.

Which contraceptives included in the RH bill are abortifacient?

1. The IUD or intrauterine device

According to medical researchers in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, IUDs have both a prefertilization and postfertilization effect:

"There are many potential mechanisms of action for the intrauterine device (IUD), which vary by type of IUD (inert, copper, or hormonal). On the basis of available data for fertilization rates and clinical pregnancy rates, the relative contribution of mechanisms acting before or after fertilization were quantitatively estimated. These estimates indicate that, although prefertilization effects are more prominent for the copper IUD, both prefertilization and postfertilization mechanisms of action contribute significantly to the effectiveness of all types of intrauterine devices."
Mechanisms of action of intrauterine devices: update and estimation of postfertilization effects.
Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2002; 187(6):1699-708
Stanford JB; Mikolajczyk RT

And yet some RH bill advocates deny that IUDs have a post-fertilization effect. They say pro-lifers are "misinforming".But Drs.Stanford and Mikolajczyk in the article above are not "misinforming".The fact is that IUDs can prevent a living human life from implanting in his mother's womb.And the public should know about that so they can have a true "informed choice"- they can stay away from this contraceptive which kills conceived life.

2. Hormonal contraceptives: in all its forms, whether as oral contraceptive pills,injections, implants, patches and hormone-releasing IUDs, etc., have both prefertilization and post-fertilization mechanisms of action.

These are the three ways that hormonal contraceptives act:

First effect: stops ovulation (not all of the time)-(pre-fertilization)
Second effect : prevents sperm from migrating to the fallopian tube -(pre-fertilization)
Third effect: prevents implantation of a fertilized egg or zygote or blastocyst(when breakthrough ovulation occurs, as prevention of ovulation is not 100% foolproof)- (post-fertilization)

Remember, not all women taking these hormonal contraceptives are at the exact same stage of their menstrual cycle, so that means that the mechanism of action cannot be confined to pre-fertilization only, as RH bill advocates claim. Saying that hormonal contraceptives do not act on a conceived life is misinformation, and in fact, two editors of the peer-reviewed reproductive health journal “Contraception” said:

“To make an informed choice, women must know that emergency contraceptive pills — like all regular hormonal contraceptives such as the birth control pill, the progestin-containing implant and the injectable depot medroxyprogesterone acetate — may prevent pregnancy by delaying or inhibiting ovulation, inhibiting fertilization, or inhibiting implantation of a fertilized egg in the endometrium.”
Editorial / Contraception 74 (2006) 87 – 89
James Trussell and Beth Jordan

Two researchers, Walter L. Larimore, MD and Joseph B. Stanford, MD, MSPH, in the Archives of Family Medicine, also said:

We found the evidence supporting postfertilization effects for OCs in the prevention of clinically recognized pregnancy(implantation) to range from poor (level III) to very good (level II.2). Specifically, evidence based on alterations in endometrial biochemistry and histology (level III), evidence based on endometrial thickness and endometrial receptivity from research studying in vitro fertilization (level II.2), and evidence based on endometrial integrins (level II.3) all support the possibility of peri-implantation or postimplantation effects. Furthermore, evidence based on ectopic-to-intrauterine risk ratios from multiple case-control studies (level II.2) supports the possibility of postfertilization preimplantation, peri-implantation, or postimplantation effects...The available evidence supports the hypothesis that when ovulation and fertilization occur in women taking OCs, postfertilization effects are operative on occasion to prevent clinically recognized pregnancy(implantation).

Walter L. Larimore, MD; Joseph B. Stanford, MD, MSPH
Arch Fam Med. 2000;9:126-133.

Certain RH bill advocates have gone so far as to redefine the meaning of conception- by saying that "conception begins at the moment of implantation"-which is totally false. They even say that the Latin word for conceive means pregnancy. But no Latin word can change the fact that human life begins at fertilization, which is also called conception. We have shown evidence from three Embryology books, no less, that life begins at fertilization, when the zygote is formed. This absurd redefinition is merely a "conscience-numbing" redefinition so that they can sell IUDs and hormonal contraceptives so that the users will not have "guilt" at having killed an embryo. This is an example of altering the definitions because the real definition makes them purveyors of human-life-killing contraceptives. This redefinition also allows them to convince people that contraceptives are “okay” because it “does not kill” conceived life – because they changed the meaning of “conception”. People who have been convinced by such a redefinition then make decisions based on this redefinition. But no matter how they redefine ‘conception’, the fact still remains that the diploid zygote is the start of human life. Think of it—if you, as an embryo, failed to implant in your mother’s womb, you would not be here.