Thursday, March 13, 2014

When your senior legal analyst has no clue what she's talking about, you might want to find a new senior legal analyst

In a recent piece for RH Reality Check, their Senior Legal Analyst Jessica Mason Pieklo argues that prolife business owners are trying to undermine settled science by claiming they have moral qualms with covering emergency contraceptive.  
The question, framed by Reuters as “deceptively simple” of whether certain forms of birth control prevent conception or destroy a fertilized egg, is not actually a controversy or debate within the mainstream scientific and medical community. In fact, the mainstream scientific and medical community all agree that the vast majority of emergency contraceptives don’t prevent fertilization, and that pregnancy begins at implantation.
The last sentence is confusing because I’m wondering if Pieklo thinks fertilization and implantation are synonymous or if she made a typo.  Pieklo links to a Guttmacher paper which undermines her claim since it says, “Rather, both Plan B and ella work primarily by preventing ovulation” which, if true, would mean they do prevent fertilization since there would be no ovulation, ergo no fertilization. 

She also doesn’t seem to understand that defining pregnancy as beginning at implantation doesn’t change whether a human embryo (or “fertilized egg” in RH Reality Check jargon) is destroyed or not.  Nor would it alleviate prolife concerns.  Maybe this is a case of pro-choicers constantly trying to use language to deceive others that they struggle to understand the meaning of the terms they're using. 

The more you read of Pielko, the more you realize she doesn’t appear to have any clue what she is talking about.   
In 2003, Congress passed the “Partial-Birth Abortion Act,” a law that banned a specific type of abortion procedure known as an intact D&E (dilation and evacuation) without any exception for the life of the pregnant person.
Wrong.  Here’s the text of the law in PDF. On the bottom of page 6, the text clearly has a life of the mother exception.
This subsection does not apply to a partial-birth abortion that is necessary to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself.
Pielko continues talking about the law:
The law was eventually challenged, and in 2006 the Roberts Court sided with Congress, holding that so long as a matter of science is up for debate, lawmakers are free to pick a side in that debate in passing legislation if their doing so is reasonable.
Nope.  The case was decided on April 18, 2007.

If Pielko’s the senior legal analyst at RH Reality Check, I can’t imagine how bad the regular legal analyst’s are. 

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