Pennsylvanians for Human Life

What is an Abortifacient?

American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology Changes Definition
By J. C. Willke MD

Contraception, abortifacient--what's the difference? Well, on the face of it, it's rather simple. A contraceptive, properly so-called, prevents human life from beginning. The laws of our land permit contraceptive use in all 50 states. Certain types are sold only on prescription, others without prescriptions over the counter. Substantial portions of our federal tax monies in the last two decades have been spent for the promotion of contraceptive education and contraceptive use-- particularly among teenage and poverty groups.

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Life Issues
An abortifacient can also be simply defined. It is a drug or device which causes an abortion within the first one or two weeks of a human's life. An abortifacient acts after human life has begun and produces a micro-abortion. The Roe vs. Wade and more recent Casey Supreme Court decisions, which legalized abortion in all of our states, for social reasons, for the full nine months of pregnancy, obviously also legalized it in the very first weeks. Abortifacients, which had been outlawed in every state since the Civil War, are now legal in every state. So far, so simple.

But now we get into a cloudy area. The intrauterine device is advertised in our medical journals as a "contraceptive." The morning-after pill, or shot, is advertised as a "contraceptive." The contraceptive pill, which also at times produces micro-abortions, is also advertised as a "contraceptive." So is the new Norplant. To say the least, this blurs the distinction between contraceptives and abortifacients, and confuses people.

In the early 1960's, officials from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology teamed up with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and they simply redefined the word "conception." They said it would no longer be the time of union of sperm and ovum, but rather would be the time, one week later, when this new human plants inside the lining of the mother's womb. "Fertilization" would still be the word used for the time of union of sperm and ovum. The interesting thing was though that no one knew of this change except an inner circle of medical and drug people. And so what has happened? Well, just what they planned.

Today a physician can truthfully call the IUD a "contraceptive," and mean that it prevents implantation in the wall of the uterus, while his patient, hearing him use the word, "contraception," will understand it to mean "the prevention of the union of sperm and ovum." And so, presto! An abortifacient is called a "contraceptive," and everybody is fooled. A classic example of double speak, or the perversion of language.

That slight of hand definition change happened 30 years ago. Today only a few physicians know that many so-called contraceptives really act as abortifacients.

For more information on abortifacients go to Life Issues There are links to information like abortifacients like Emergency Contraception, Norplant, the IUD and the Pill.

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