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Illinois Ruling on Emergency Contraception Is A Modern-Day Monkey Scopes

by Erin Matson, NOW Action Vice President

Yesterday, an Illinois Judge turned over a state rule requiring pharmacists to sell emergency contraception, asserting that it violates a state "right-of-conscience" law and the First Amendment.

How "free speech" has come to be interpreted as a right to deny a safe and legal prescription and directly control the inner workings of another person's body is an inexplicable overreach, and judicial activism of the worst kind. It is also sexism, as it is directed only toward women.

This ruling represents a triumph of superstition over science. Like the "Monkey Scopes" trial less than 100 years ago, in which religious fundamentalism scored a temporary triumph over a large body of scientific evidence supporting the theory of evolution, the entire premise of this "conscience" has no basis in science.

Some people who don't support abortion rights also don't support the right to emergency contraception, and to justify their second belief they claim that emergency contraception is abortion. However, the facts don't back that up.

Implantation is the first step of a pregnancy, as recognized by the National Institutes of Health, the American Medical Association and other respected medical institutions. Emergency contraception prevents implantation before it occurs -- that is why it's called emergency contraception. It's a contraceptive. It's not an abortifacient. The American Medical Association debated the issue, and after a period of review, rejected the idea that emergency contraceptives are abortifacients.

It's really bizarre for "pro-life" pharmacists to try to stop women from accessing emergency contraception, because emergency contraception makes it less likely that women who are currently not pregnant and do not want to be pregnant will seek abortions in the near future.

Yesterday's ruling is a horrific moment for reason, and more important, the health, lives and well-being of women and their families in the state of Illinois. The Attorney General has announced an appeal is planned, and that's a good thing.

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Comment from: carolynbrady70 [Member] Email
Someone from your organization needs to address this:

http://militarytimes.com/news/2011/04/military-clearances-sexual-assault-040111w/

Military sexual assault victims applying for or renewing security clearances must report any counseling received for sexual trauma, revealing intimate details to background investigators — and risking their clearance status as a result of their answers.
04/06/11 @ 21:42
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Comment from: troutpout [Member]
Conception occurs at the moment of fertilization. The "Morning-After Pill" may or may not act as an abortifacient depending on whether or not fertilization has occured. After three days from the sex act, fertilization cannot be readily confirmed by either the woman or the pharmacist. The "Morning-After Pill" is used to prevent a fertilized egg from implantation in the uterus, or from remaining implanted in the uterus hence, aborting a conceived child. The use of the term, emergency contraception, is a misnomer considering a woman will take this pill after she believes she has become pregnant, not prior to having sex to avoid becoming pregnant. Doctors and pharmacists are in the business of supporting life. Neither of these professionals can be forced to perform or assist at a traditional abortion against their will. Therefore, they cannot be forced to assist in an abortion by taking money for and dispensing the means to perform one chemically.
04/07/11 @ 01:08
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Comment from: miss k [Member] Email
STOP THE MADNESS Millions of potential human lives are being needlessly killed without remorse and yet there is no legislation being enacted to stop this horror. In beds and bathrooms, using napkins and towels homunculus of every race are being unnecessarily jerked by force to be spewed from their willing hosts and cast out into a hostile environment where they can never survive. Under the guise of ejaculation, this intentional murder is taking place every day, sometimes multiple times a day in America and all over the world. Ejaculation is a scourge on our society as it not only destroys the life from within it is the root cause of the dreaded abortion. There are methods to contain ejaculation such as abstinence and there is even talk of a male “Pill” but the risks and the side effects it may have on the host’s body have reduced this option to mainly lip service. Condoms have been offered as an option but without a solution to return the helpless homunculus to their hosts, they will desperately swim to save their own lives and in the end will cease to live after about 20 minutes to an hour, and die a horrific death. Congressional representatives, Senators, and yes, even the President of the United States of America must insist on the immediate end to this practice of intentional murder. These elected officials must call for an immediate moratorium on the practice of ejaculation so that a Congressional committee can be appointed to touch on all the ramifications of this practice. With the development of strict guidelines and the enactment of stringent laws including the creation of a special division of law enforcement, boys, teens, and men can be stopped from this continuing practice of mass murder and millions of fragile unborn potential lives can be saved. Stop the madness, save lives, end ejaculation now!
04/07/11 @ 18:40
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Comment from: troutpout [Member]
Miss k, Sounds like your own verbal ejaculations give you all the pleasure and purpose you need. You should be so pleased.
04/08/11 @ 11:34
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Comment from: Lisa Bennett, NOW Communications Director [Member] Email
@troutpout: the statements you make are in opposition to medical experts.
04/14/11 @ 14:21
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Comment from: glad_to_be_here [Member]
@carolynbrady70:

Thanks for bringing up your point because I have noticed a parallel problem regarding sexual assault victims applying for national security clearance.

Applicants are exempt from reporting counseling received regarding trauma related to combat. No such protection is extended to victims of violent crime who have sought counseling.

The newly revised "leniency" toward combat veterans is an appropriately lauded development intended to encourage military PTSD sufferers to seek the help they need. Taking into account that only men are acknowledged as taking part in military combat and that non-combat PTSD incidence is higher in women than in men, this partial leniency clearly favors men for the prestigious, well-paying jobs requiring a national security clearance.

I do see large steps being taken within the DoD for military sexual assault victims. Any thoughts on the shortcomings of the newly-minted "Sexual Assault Prevention And Response Office" (http://www.sapr.mil/) ?
06/14/11 @ 03:58
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Comment from: carolynbrady70 [Member] Email
I do believe the DoD is trying. However, their policy on this particular issue shows a fundamental lack of understanding of how to best care for the victim. Having worked within the system , I've heard commanders complain over and over again about restricted reporting. Why, they reason, should they not be allowed to know the identities of victim and assailant immediately? How else are they going to help the victim? The good intentions are there for the most part. However, if I were a fry cook at McDonalds, in what universe would it be okay for my manager, my assistant manager, etc, etc all the way up to Ray Kroc to know that I'd been raped? I agree that our efforts should be focused on the prevention. However, if we really want to help and deal with the population of women who have been assaulted, we need to reach out and give them the space and time they need to heal, in whatever fashion that looks like. And part of that is allowing them to seek confidential counseling that does not have to be shared with your male squad leader, or your male platoon sergeant, 1SG, commander, battalion commander, etc.
06/20/11 @ 20:29
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Comment from: glad_to_be_here [Member]
I quite agree about the importance of confidentiality from superiors, thanks for the analysis.
06/22/11 @ 21:26
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