web grab.jpgby JivinJ, host of the blog, JivinJehoshaphat

  • Emergency contraceptive ella is now available in the United States. Various pro-life groups and individuals believe that ella, which has a similar chemical make-up to the RU-486 abortion pill, could work to prevent the implantation of a human embryos or cause abortions. Ella is currently only available with a prescription, unlike Plan B which women can get without a prescription.
  • Creative Minority Report shares that scientists in Spain have developed microscopic bar codes which they’ve implanted into mouse embryos and been given approval to use in human embryos created via IVF.


  • Frances Kissling (pictured left), former president of Catholics for Free Choice, replies to Amanda Marcotte’s charge that pro-lifers are liars and dialoguing with them is a waste of time:

    When dialogue participants, including those at Princeton, hold back it’s not because they are “liars” as Amanda scoldingly calls them, but because dialogue requires restraint. Setting up through words old reactive patterns is not helpful. In this regard, I am glad Amanda was not there. I wouldn’t put my worst enemy in the room with someone who talked the way Amanda writes when she gets wound up about the “evil” antis.

    Amanda also says you can’t “have a dialogue without agreeing on the facts.” In fact, you probably wouldn’t need a dialogue if you agreed on the facts. Fact fights dominate the life choice debate.

    Kissling also tore to shreds another RH Reality Check poster’s assertions about the circumstances leading to late-term abortions:

    Factually, we have no data to support these assertions. After a web search did not reveal confirmation, I emailed Guttmacher. Here is the response: “[we do not] know of any data to support these assertions about reasons for abortions post 20 weeks. Reasons for 2nd-trimester abortions may be very different than reasons for post-20-week abortions, but again there’s no info. We do know that young women (minors in particular) take longer to realize they are pregnant.”

    Because I am pro-choice I give Catherine Epstein some latitude. Some of what she speculates is reasonable. Some of it is the desire of an advocate to put the best foot forward but in my opinion strays from a rigorous approach to the “facts.” We do not know if there are more late abortions due to severe fetal abnormality or to denial and fear. We have no idea if denial by young women is the result of sexual abuse, none whatsoever. Claiming that lack of funding for a 1st trimester abortion is resolved with finding 6 times more money later in the pregnancy is highly speculative.

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