WTF: Michele Bachmann Invents The “Morning-After Abortion Pill”

I purposefully did not watch CNN’s Tea Party/Republican debate on Tuesday night because I knew I’d spend the whole time screaming at the TV. It was the right choice. (Like moi, you can read the transcript here.) Texas Governor Rick Perry wasted no time saying he made a “mistake” by requiring adolescent girls in Texas to be vaccinated against strains of HPV that cause cervical cancer. And then Rep. Michele Bachmann chimed in to … well, lie on national television by smearing Plan B, which is the morning-after pill, as the “morning-after abortion pill.” You know, implying that it is the abortion pill, i.e. kills babies:

“President Obama in a stunning, shocking level of power now just recently told all private insurance companies, you must offer the morning-after abortion pill [emphasis mine], because I said so. And it must be free of charge. That same level coming through executive orders and through government dictates is wrong. And that’s why again we have to have someone who is absolutely committed to the repeal of Obamacare and I am. I won’t rest until it’s appealed.”

Let’s not not even talk about her arguments about Obama and health care, which are another issue entirely. My question is: Do I really have to break down the difference between “the morning after pill” and “the abortion pill” for you, Bachmann? It seems that I do. Here we go:

  • The Morning-After Pill: The morning after pill is also commonly referred to as “emergency contraception” or “EC.” It can be taken up to five days after unprotected sex, but is believed to work best the sooner it is taken. I shall quote directly from Planned Parenthood:

    “The hormone in the morning-after pill works by keeping a woman’s ovaries from releasing eggs — ovulation. Pregnancy cannot happen if there is no egg to join with sperm. The hormone in the morning-after pill also prevents pregnancy by thickening a woman’s cervical mucus. The mucus blocks sperm and keeps it from joining with an egg.The hormone also thins the lining of the uterus. In theory, this could prevent pregnancy by keeping a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus.”

    Simply put, the morning after pill prevents a woman from getting pregnant at all. You can read more about EC, like how much it costs and where you can get it, on Planned Parenthood’s information page.

  • The Abortion Pill/RU-486: The abortion pill, called RU-486, is something else entirely. There are several different types of abortion that a woman can have to end a pregnancy. A surgical abortion refers to an abortion that takes place inside a clinic; there are several different types of surgical abortions to be had, based on the trimesters of pregnancy. A medical abortion refers to taking RU-486/the abortion pill. (Some women prefer to take the abortion pill in the privacy of their own home amongst loved ones, rather than terminate their pregnancy inside a clinic. Supposedly the physical effects are similar to having a very bad period.) Simply put, if you take RU-486/the abortion pill, it will end an existing pregnancy. You can read more about the abortion pill, like how much it costs and where to get it, on Planned Parenthood’s information page.

Does that explain the difference between the two well-enough for you, Michele Bachmann? Does it even matter? I suspect your error was intentional and you are not the slightest bit committed to having American citizens understand the actual medical differences between the morning-after pill and RU-486/the abortion pill because in your mind they are one and the same. Both allow a woman to control how many children she has, therefore are threatening to your worldview that all sex should be procreative sex and women should be punished with a child if they break the rules. I can’t even get into that misogyny because my head will explode. But this kind of misinformation-spreading about the abortion pill and the morning-after pill is sleazy to Americans — not to mention disheartening. I can’t believe this person is running for president.

[Planned Parenthood: Morning-After Pill]
[Planned Parenthood: The Abortion Pill]

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