Does NFP (sort of) cause more embryo deaths than the morning-after pill?

Does NFP (sort of) cause more embryo deaths than the morning-after pill?

Logic is apparently not a prerequisite for philosophy professors at the London School of Economics. A number of bloggers have noted a recent story in the Journal of Medical Ethics, in which Luc Bovens claims that more babies die from the rhythm method than other forms of “contraception” (sic). (Link goes to the American Papists blog entry.) The article is full of half-truths and misrepresentations and errors of logic. For one thing, he claims that the “rhythm method” is the only method of “birth control” condoned by the Church. Not so. The Church promotes Natural Family Planning, not the rhythm method. Likewise Natural Family Planning relies on abstinence during all of a woman’s fertile period, unlike the old rhythm method.

But the most outrageous claim is that “the “rhythm method” may kill off more embryos than other contraceptive methods, such as coils, morning after pills, and oral contraceptives.” How, you may ask?

“[The rhythm method] may owe much of its success to the fact that embryos conceived on the fringes of the fertile period are less viable than those conceived towards the middle. We don’t know how much lower embryo viability is outside this fertile period, contends Professor Bovens, but we can calculate that two to three embryos will have died every time the rhythm method results in a pregnancy. Is it not just as callous to organise your sex life to make it harder for a fertilised egg to survive, using this method, as it is to use the coil or the morning after pill, he asks?”

Active hostility v. natural causes

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli