-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger
Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby’s founder and CEO David Green has filed a lawsuit challenging the health care mandate to provide what Green “believe[s] are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance.” Green goes on to say: “Being Christians, we don’t pay for drugs that might cause abortions, which means that we don’t cover emergency contraception, the morning-after pill or the week-after pill.”
The District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma denied Green’s motion for a preliminary injunction The Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit denied the applicants’ motion for an injunction and Justice Sotomayor also denied the application for an injunction pending appellate review.
Are Green’s beliefs regarding the morning-after pill (Plan B) or the week-after pill (Ella) reasonable?
Green never defined what he means by “abortion,” but let’s assume he uses the Christian definition that seeks to equate pregnancy with fertilization. The scientific and medical definition of pregnancy comes from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and states:
implantation of the blastocyst into the lining of the uterus at the conclusion of which pregnancy is established.
Plan B works by impeding the sperm from entering the uterus by thickening cervical mucus. Plan B can also stop the release of an egg from the ovaries or slow down the movement of the egg. These methods could prevent fertilization. Some have argued that Plan B creates a “hostile endometrium” that disrupts implantation. However, Dr. Sandra Reznik writes in Health Progress, a publication of The Catholic Health Association of the United States, that if Plan B:
involved a change in the endometrium, then one would expect a higher rate of success [in preventing pregnancy]. … Taken together, there are biological, clinical and epidemiological data clearly indicating that Plan B’s mechanism of action involves only pre-fertilization events.
Ella is a newer drug with a chemical composition similar to RU-486. However, in studies, two percent of women who took Ella became pregnant. This failure rate indicates that Ella does not have RU-486’s effect on the endometrium.
Regarding normal birth control pills, that is, non-emergency contraceptives, even Prolife Ob/Gyn’s can find no evidence of the pill’s effect on implantation. The Prolife Ob/Gyn’s note that if the pill is an abortifacient, “we would expect to see a huge increase in ectopics in women on hormonal birth control. We don’t.” They go on to say that we “know of no existing scientific studies that validate the “hostile endometrium is abortifacient” theory.”
Even by his definition of what constitutes a pregnancy, Green’s beliefs that contraceptives are “abortion causing” are nonsense.