By Richard K. Munro
It’s a brave new world where children can access abortion pills (abortifacients) without a doctor’s prescription and without parental notification or consent. It seems reasonable to me that at the very least parents should be notified if their child has a major medical treatment or is prescribed powerful drugs. It seems to me drugs like this should not be administered without a doctor.
An abortifacient is defined as “an agent (such as a drug) that induces abortion.” However, manufacturers often market these drugs as “contraception” so as to obfuscate what these drugs actually do. Many Americans use abortion and abortion pills as a preferred form of birth control.
65 % of American women use or have used artificial birth control.
91 percent of Americans believe birth control should be made free and widely available if abortion is restricted or banned. Among those who are anti-abortion rights, 61 percent agree. There is no question the majority of Americans want access to artificial birth control. There is little argument there. The argument is over two questions:
- is abortion a form of birth control that should be freely available to all without restriction or limits for all ages (including minors without parental consent)? Condoms, IUDs, and the abortifacient morning-after pill are given to students in high schools – including those under age 16 – free of charge and without parents’ knowledge or consent in many places. Is this right? Some do not think so.
- Can or should states restrict or limit access to abortions for minors without parental consent or notification? Some think there can be reasonable restrictions on abortion. Abortion is legal most places in the United States during the first and second trimesters of pregnancy. Most abortions are done during the first trimester of pregnancy. The first trimester refers to the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Some states allow abortions until the 24th week, which is at the very end of the second trimester. Some people think there is an unlimited right to abortion even in the third trimester. But that is a minority. In the third trimester, just 19 percent of Americans believe most or all abortions should legal. according to a poll. But a recent poll indicates 80% of American believe abortion should be illegal in the third trimester.
If a person is considering abortion, there are two ways of ending a pregnancy: in-clinic abortion and medication abortion (also known as the “abortion pill”). The percentage of abortions done with U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved mifepristone pills rose from about 44% in 2019 to 54% in 2020. This number will continue to grow as in clinic abortions become less common. On Jan. 3, the Food and Drug Administration expanded the distribution of abortion pills to retail pharmacies.
Under the new regulation, certified pharmacies can distribute mifepristone — which is used in conjunction with misoprostol, a more easily accessible drug, to end a pregnancy — in person or through the mail to patients who have a prescription from a certified provider. President Biden’s Department of Justice, meanwhile, has assured the US Postal Service (USPS) that it can continue to deliver packages of abortion pills nationwide, even in states that restrict or limit abortion.
In Texas, for example abortion is restricted except for life-threatening medical emergency, and anyone under 18 requires parental permission or a judicial bypass. I have personally met with young people who were pro-life speakers from Texas. In both cases the mother came very close to terminating the pregnancy (in one case the young person showed a Costco card and in another a fake ID). In both cases parents and or uncles and aunts intervened to demonstrated the young women was not of age of consent. They promised to welcome the children into their family. In both cases the young women decided to carry the babies to term. I met these beautiful and strong young people. I was, personally, haunted by the fact that if they had been Californians their lives would have been snuffed out and thus these two citizens would not exist.
Since the Dobbs ruling, pro-choice advocates say there has been a growth in self-managed abortions — via abortion pills that are obtained through avenues that skirt the law — in restrictive states. Once again I think young women should have reasonable access to birth control but young people should also be aware of the risks of some medical treatments. I think it reasonable that some drugs should be available at pharmacies only with a doctor’s prescription.
Incredible as it seems In 1963, the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare shared the widely held definition of abortion as “all the measures which impair the viability of the zygote at any time between the instant of fertilization and the completion of labor.” (emphasis mine; a direct quote).
Indeed, until the mid-1960s, most doctors and scientists acknowledged that human life began at the moment of fertilization of the ovum by the sperm somewhere in the Fallopian tube.
How times have changed!
In 1965, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists published its first Terminology Bulletin, stating: “Conception is the implantation of a fertilized ovum.” (Emphasis mine).
This change of medical terminology as far as I can determine was not based on new scientific findings.
The modern definition of conception was a political decision to appease Planned Parenthood and birth control activists.
Reverence for Life affords us a fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, assisting and enhancing life, and to destroy, to harm, or to hinder life is evil. So I would say LIFE is a better choice than DEATH.
I have no opposition to those who want to remain celibate their entire lives.
I have no opposition to those who want to use birth control to remain childless or limit the children they have.
If people choose to use abortion or abortifacient drugs for birth control that is their choice.
Abortion will always exist because it exists in nature and some people want to use it as a form of birth control. But in the final analysis, LIFE is a better CHOICE than death.
I would respect Planned Parenthood more if they boasted how many lives they saved and gave up for adoption (they actively discourage giving children up for abortion -they wouldn’t make any money that way).
Abortion should be legal but I think it should also be rare.
Yes, it is a person’s right to choose (within reason) to have a child or children.
But next year and next century and for 1000 years more it will be a heartbreaking tragedy that so many innocent lives are snuffed out like so many wet matches. Morally to abort without a very strong reason (to save the life of the mother etc.) will always remain an immoral act and a human tragedy.
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