Letter: Morning-after pill presents health risks

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letters_flatTo the editor, 

The morning-after pill is now saleable to any girl, not just any woman, “of reproductive potential.” At pharmacies, workers are not allowed to ask for proof of age of any girl — or any boy or man — who asks to buy it now. I’ve worked in a pharmacy. I’ve sold it to middle-aged men.  Now, your 12-year-old daughter or son, heck, a 10-year-old, can buy it without question or proof of age, and my former coworkers will see this happen.

It isn’t all that “safe” or “effective” either, as Kate Sheely wrote in a July 19 letter. It contains levonorgestrel, a progestin-only contraceptive. That’s the man-made version of progesterone. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), at least as of 14 years ago, concluded that “Progestogen-only contraceptives are possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B)” only because there was inadequate research done then. They also classified post-menopausal estrogen therapies in that same category though, and we now know how unsafe that turned out.

And the National Cancer Institute (NCI) found that “current use of oral contraceptives appears to slightly increase the risk of breast cancer, especially among younger women.”

Cancer not enough of a worry? The NCI also says that “In … the Steroid Hormones and Reproductions (SHARE) Study, researchers investigated new, lower-dose progestins that have varying androgenic (testosterone-like) effects.” So if you use this pill often enough (and in my former job I saw at least two multiple-repeat customers of it), girls can start developing male characteristics such as facial/chest hairiness and weight gain.

Effective? It only ends or prevents about 50 percent of pregnancies if used correctly. Dr. Eve Espey, chair of the committee for underserved women for the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a University of New Mexico School of Medicine professor, stated, “Several studies have shown that even when emergency contraceptives are made more available and financial barriers are removed, there’s no impact on unintended pregnancy.”

Another harm is that girls are already mistakenly using it as though it “protects” them for days or weeks, and as though it can be taken repeatedly without harm.

And you can’t rewrite science, though the world is trying. Dr. Landrum Shettles, known as the “father of in vitro fertilization,” has written that, “Conception confers life and makes that life one of a kind.”

Dr. Jerome Lejeune (who discovered Down Syndrome’s genetic cause) has stated, “To accept the fact that after fertilization has taken place a new human has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion … it is plain experimental evidence.”

Dr. Hymie Gordon, chairman of the Department of Genetics at the Mayo Clinic, concurs, “By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception.”

There are a dozen long-used medical textbooks and most international embryologists who agree.

So when the IARC writes, “The progestogen component also renders the cervical mucus relatively impenetrable to sperm and reduces the receptivity of the endometrium to implantation,” that means that if conception has taken place, the fertilized egg, the new life, can’t implant in the uterine lining and continue to grow. What’s medically called a “spontaneous abortion” occurs, but an abortion all the same. A pregnancy, a life, ends.

I find it sad that Ms. Sheely parrots back the horrid thing Obama said, that he wouldn’t want his own girls being “punished with a baby” if they “make a mistake.”

Girls knowingly having sex know the result could be a baby. It isn’t “forcing her to become a mother.” If conception has occurred, she already is — honest medical science knows this and her body knows it. Unless it’s rape, no one’s forcing the girl to have sex. She made the choice to have sex. It’s sad that some are pro-“choice” but don’t own up to the responsibility of “choice” there. Emergency contraception, like “regular” abortion, is an escape-from-responsibility button. Legal abortion has already harmed millions of girls and women, and EC can harm them too. And if conception has occurred, it ends a new human life.

Our nation is already 40 plus years along on the downhill slide, and now it allows girls of any age to get and use this product, which costs less than their monthly iPhone bill. Our nation’s original values, our senses of responsibility and right and wrong — those still held by at least 50 percent of us — are no longer being represented by our laws or lawmakers. What letter writer Virginia Donnelly was trying to say is basically right: At this rate, this nation won’t last another 237 years.

Ann Banno

Naugatuck