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Sunday, August 15, 2010

What Controversy?

  Anti-abortion groups have taken up arms against a new French morning-after pill called Ella, that promises to prevent pregnancy 5 days after an unintended exposure versus Plan B's less than 3 day window.

  Both pills work by inhibiting progesterone, which prevents ovulation. Because of the similarity to the chemicals found in RU-486, critics claim that Ella is really an abortion pill in disguise. It also should be noted that those who are outspoken against FDA approval are the same groups opposed to all forms of contraception and abortion.

 The FDA approval of Ella is the first serious test of the Obama administration's promise to keep religious ideology from affecting scientific discoveries.

  While HRA Pharma of Paris has tested the drug and proven that it is as safe or safer than Plan B, they will need to climb mountains in order to get approval and distribution in the United States. To begin with, critics will push the idea that Ella is really an analogue of RU-486 because, well they're both French and those immoral frogs are always up to no good. Another point that will be made will be claims that women will be using the drug repeatedly in lieu of more accepted forms of birth control- the old 'serial abortion' scare tactic. Now I will tell you from experience that this will not be the case. I have taken Plan B once after a seriously traumatic event that I'd rather not get into. The stuff makes you feel terrible. It's not something one uses for the fun of it. And a remedy for rape victims and those that have had their birth control methods fail that will be more effective and less hellish is a needed option.

  Naturally, there will be doctors and pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions because of some theological argument. These people should absolutely be required to comply without excuse. If your ability to do your job is impaired by a book of fairy tales, maybe you should have pursued a career as a preacher instead of a scientist.

  Here's a shocker kids. Ella was approved by the FDA on Friday. The Family Research Council (the same yo-yos who claim that forced marriages cure homosexuals) plans to divert their attention from demonizing gays and Muslims to trying to scare people by publishing side effects that even they know are not true. The difference is that now versus during the previous debates, all of America KNOWS that the FRC are a band of self-loathing hypocrites and that what they say is a stream of hyperbole motivated by bigotry and misogyny.

  There was no years-long drawn out soap opera this time because the FDA saw the proof and went with the right decision. Interesting things happen when you just stick to science instead of pandering to fear-mongerers. It shouldn't be shocking when a nation deems that women have control over their own existences, but with the money behind keeping females subjugated, it absolutely is.

  This may be a small pill, but it is no small victory. Every step made to prevent the West from becoming a series of theocratic regimes is monumental. For this one time, the separation of Church and State was enforced, and quickly. Whether you would ever use a product like Ella is irrelevant, the statement is clear : freedom is more important than fear.

  I do have one parting thought for the Pope and Pat Robertson and their various cohorts:

  If God wanted you to have dominion over a uterus, why didn't he give you one?

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