***My latest for RH Reality Check was published yesterday. Read the full post here.
An amicus brief recently filed by Bart Stupak and Democrats for Life of America in the Newland v. Sebelius birth control benefit lawsuit contends that the Newlands, their for-profit corporation Hercules Industries, and “millions of other Americans” oppose “being forced to cover medicines that are, or that may colorably be thought to be, abortifacients.” The arguments made in the brief are based on false claims that go against an overwhelming consensus about how emergency contraceptives work, based on “scientific research” pursued by agenda-driven religious extremists, who continue to assert that Plan B and Ella are abortion-inducing drugs when they are not. (Unsurprisingly, members of the medical community promoting these claims hail from organizations like the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Christian Medical Association.)
Plan B and Ella are not abortifacients. Plan B (the morning-after pill) and Ella prevent ovulation and prevent a woman from getting pregnant after sex. Nonetheless, those claiming that the birth control benefit infringes their religious liberty remain happily unconvinced. They believe a “colorable argument” exists that emergency contraceptives may prevent an already fertilized egg from implanting. (“Colorable” is legalese for “barely passes the smell test, but enough to get by in court.”) Additionally, because birth control benefit detractors usually champion personhood— the notion that a fertilized egg is a person—they believe that interfering with the implantation of a fertilized egg is abortion and tantamount to murder.
[read the rest at RH Reality Check]