Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Pro-lifers! Ban breast-feeding, caffeine, and exercise!

Link to letter by William Saletan (of Slate)

Choice excerpts:

In particular, I commend the language of the draft, which would define abortion as "any of the various procedures—including the prescription, dispensing and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action—that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation."

To classify oral contraception as abortifacient, one would have to posit a scenario in which the drug fails to block ovulation, then fails to block fertilization, and yet somehow, having proved impotent at every other task, manages to prevent implantation.

Breast-feeding, like oral contraception, alters a woman's hormonal balance, thereby suppressing ovulation, fertilization, and, theoretically, implantation.

The evidence suggests that drinking 10 ounces of coffee per day could double the probability of miscarriage. Therefore, to avoid the theoretical abortifacient risk, employees must be guaranteed the right to refuse caffeinated beverages to any woman who appears to be of childbearing age.

Research published last year in a British journal of gynecology demonstrated that, as with caffeine, "exercise early in pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage." Again, to avoid abortifacient risk in women who are not yet pregnant, the draft regulation must guarantee the right to withhold any collaboration in exercise by women of childbearing age.

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