There is a lot of controversy today inside the Pro-Life movement about the pill and what it does and does not do. You see, foundational to the Pro-Life movement is the concept that life begins at conception. This has been, and continues to be, at the forefront of the argument of why abortion is murder.
The problem is that we have also been dealt a bit of sleight of hand from doctors and nurses as to what birth control pills do, and what they do not do. You see, the documentation likes to use the term “pregnancy” in its exact definition, but I find that it’s often not the definition that the woman thinks it is.
Birth Control pills (like Plan B, the emergency contraception pill) work in one of two ways. They either prevent the woman from releasing the egg, or they prevent the fertilized egg from attaching to the wall of the uterus and continuing its growth. The first is not a problem for Pro-Lifers, the second one should be. You see, the second means that life was conceived that the woman (using the pill) caused not to be able to survive. She caused her baby to die.
But that’s not what is understood by the women taking the shots, the IUDs and the pill. What is explained to them is that a) the main way these things work is that they prevent the egg from being released and b) that it won’t effect an existing pregnancy. To the women I know, this means that if fertilization happens, the pill won’t effect it, but that understanding is wrong.
A pregnancy is defined by the fertilized egg being attached to the uterine wall– these are not supposed to be effected. There’s no guarantee that you aren’t fertilizing eggs and then preventing them from growing or in other words, killing them. To tell the truth, this isn’t a easy thing– since it means that the person who truly wants to protect life will have to use some other method to control whether they have a child– that is, if they want to remain consistent and what they say is actually what they believe.
(See the process illustrated at Jill Stanek’s Blog)