Every Monday EFC busts myths and take names, cutting through the misinformation, disinformation, and straight up nonsense to bring you the facts.
In yesterday's Daily Mail, Peter Hitchens frothed;
'There is no better symbol of the squalid New Britain than the choice of Christmas to make the ‘morning-after pill’ easier to get. Now this do-it-yourself abortion for people who are not just feckless but incompetent too is to be given out by post, in advance (surely it should be renamed the ‘night-before’ pill, in that case?). Under-age girls will easily be able to get it. Like all such measures, it will be followed by more under-age sex and more abortions. And nobody will make the connection.'
We are getting sick and tired of national newspapers (and in this case, well known journalists!) touting the myth that taking emergency hormonal contraception (aka the morning after pill) is an abortion. We’ve posted about this myth in the past but it just doesn’t seem to go away. In fact, the Telegraph are guilty of posting similar just last week.
For some, there is a belief that pregnancy begins at fertilisation, when the sperm meets the egg. So yes, those people may well consider the taking of contraception which can act to prevent implantation of the fertilised egg as ending a pregnancy, akin to an abortion. However, what is rarely made clear in such missives against accessible contraception is that this is a belief. Legally and medically, pregnancy begins following implantation of the fertilised egg meaning that abortion and contraception are different things.
From the British Medical Association’s ‘Abortion Time Limits’ paper:
‘What is abortion?
The term 'abortion' is used throughout this paper to refer to the induced termination of an established pregnancy (i.e. after implantation). It does not include the use of emergency hormonal contraception which the High Court has confirmed is not an abortifacient. All current methods of emergency contraception work prior to implantation and therefore are not abortifacients.’