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Hobby Lobby's owner, and a not unsubstantial portion of the American population, believe that life begins at the very point of conception--the very moment sperm penetrates egg. And that conception begins at the point of ejaculation (this is what the lying conservative evangelical tribe actually believes). And that life is a complete human being. And preventing that life using emergency contraception, birth control pills, or IUDs is abortion and therefore murder. Therefore anything that inhibits sperm from meeting egg is abortion.

And the belief, despite being fucking WRONG, seems to be spreading and working. It's not how it works though. It's not how any of it works.

Lets have ACTUAL SCIENCE and ACTUAL FACTS, shall we?

I'm assuming that they, like we, know that men produce sperm and women are born with ovaries and that each month, ovaries expell an egg, so we won't go over that science (although it is interesting that among the mammals, monthly menstruation is rare. Almost no other mammal does it. I really invite you to click the link to Pharyngula.)

UCSF explains How Conception Works (and I really wish Bryan McKnight would write another song, since he explained how the vagina worked so well in his last one).

Because I can't blockquote the entire UCSF page (I checked, their terms of use don't allow it, and three paragraphs for fair use wouldn't do it justice) I'll summarize.

Man and woman meet for consensual sex. No, a condom is not used. Assume no birth control on the part of the woman is being used at all (except perhaps, the rhythm method or "natural family planning." I have a few of those ancestors on both sides of the family tree. They had 25, 15 and 12 children respectively, so....)

7 seconds to 10 minutes or so after penetration, the man ejaculates some 200 million wriggling little worms encased in a gel into the vagina. The gel keeps the worms from dissolving (their new home being highly acidic) and also feeds them. The gel turns into liquid. They swim up past the cervix into the uterus and into the fallopian tubes in hunt of an egg that may or may not be descending down the fallopian tubes into the uterus. This egg-hunt can take up to FIVE DAYS. One worm gets the cheese, if they meet an egg. Then the rest all DIE.

(Those movies with the talking babies from the late 80s and early 90s? They depicted this sequence somewhat well.)

So does the Morning After Pill cause abortion? NOPE, because if taken within a few hours, the egg hunt still may not have completed. The Mayo Clinic:

Morning-after pills can help prevent pregnancy if you've had unprotected sex — whether you didn't use birth control, you missed a birth control pill or your method of birth control failed.

Morning-after pills can prevent pregnancy because conception typically doesn't occur immediately after sex. Instead, it may happen up to several days later. During the time between sex and conception, sperm travel through the fallopian tubes until they potentially reach an egg. As a result, using emergency contraception soon after unprotected sex isn't too late to prevent pregnancy.

Morning-after pills do not end a pregnancy that has implanted. Depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle, morning-after pills may act by one or more of the following actions: delaying or preventing ovulation, blocking fertilization, or keeping a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. However, recent evidence strongly suggests that Plan B One-Step and Next Choice do not inhibit implantation.

(they do note that it is unclear if Ella inhibits implantation)

Now back to our egg. It's good and fertlized now, dividing away, descending down the tube. Fertlization is not a guarantee of implantation and studies contiunally show using birth control does not make the uterus any more hostile to implantation than not using it. Implantation has a 50% failure rate. This is absolute fact.

In nature, 50 percent of all fertilized eggs are lost before a woman's missed menses. In the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process as well, an embryo may begin to develop but not make it to the blastocyst stage — the first stage where those cells destined to become the fetus separate from those that will become the placenta. The blastocyst may implant but not grow, or the blastocyst may grow but stop developing before the two week time at which a pregnancy can be detected. The receptivity of the uterus and the health of the embryo are important for the implantation process
Our hypothetical fertlized egg is not going to implant. It's expelled. Bye bye. The recepticle it's expelled into is disposed of.

Such is life. Happens every day.

Now let's discuss Personhood.

Essentially, the personhood movement is a conservative Christian movement that would love to enshrine in law their belief that a human baby is formed at the precise moment a single sperm penetrates the zona pellucida and activates its shields to lock out all the other sperm. NOTE that the blastocyst has not implanted into the uterine lining. It's still "free floating.  Incidentially, they consider referring to the fertilized egg as such "offensive." That's right. These idiots consider the reality-based scientific term "fertilized egg" offensive.

A question that was not asked in court but is asked continually by people who have a goddamn clue is "what about the 50% implantation failure rate?"

The answers you'll get from Team we're so goddamn fucking stupid Personhood vary from:

1. It doesn't happen and scientists and lying liberal fascist nazi communist atheist scum are lying,
2. It's natural,
3. widespread and long-term use of birth control has poisoned uteruses.

For our "thought exercise" let's go with Option 2.

If Personhood believes that life beings at the EXACT point of conception, which occurs very, very soon (within seconds) after a man ejaculates into a woman (and that is what they actually believe) and not where anyone with sense or knowledge of any science believes which is the point of implantation, then Personhood believes that trillions of human lives have essentially been flushed.  If Personhood believes that this is entirely natural, then they believe that since their deity created the universe, in six 24-hour days mind you, and therefore everything natural, except homosexuality mind you, their deity is the biggest abortion doctor in the entire universe, since a fertilized egg is a baby and expelling a baby from the uterus, if it's not being born, is murder. But they don't believe that because their god is all powerful and sternly loving and everywhere always at all times everything (but not evolution or homosexuality and totally isn't an abortion doctor). So where do all the fertilized eggs go, since they're PEOPLE? You'll never get a fucking answer out of these lying freaks.

I half-expect a Personhood follower to start demanding funerals for every tampon, every maxipad, or divacup of married women, mind you, not those single women because they're sluts of course, to mourn the life that could have been lost. Hell, I half expect them to start demanding science do something about this as they become aware of the absolute fact that 50% of fertlized eggs are expelled from the body during menses.

Is what I "half-expect" absurd? YES. It's because EVERYTHING PERSONHOOD BELIEVES IN IS FUCKING ABSURD. It is at best pseudoscientific bullshit and Beysus knows, Americans of all stripes and political ideologies LOVE pseudoscientific bullshit. But THIS pseudoscientific bullshit just basically got the green light from SCOTUS even if they didn't explictly say that. Not all Christians believe Personhood is valid---voter results from Mississippi which DENIED Personhood suggests it's a somewhat small minority. But these people explictly have stated they want to overturn both SCOTUS rulings that essentially legalized birth control for all, because they believe their god doesn't like it. This is a religious movement, one that has privilege in the courts. When Justice Ginsberg writes "we've entered a minefield" she's not being fucking hyperbolic. She's godsdamn right!

Nevermind what science actually says. Nevermind that emergency contraception does not cause an abortion. Nevermind that IUDs merely prevent sperm from meeting egg and this is NOT abortion. Nevermind that their own freaking holy book states when life begins in the womb in several places.  

But we know that this isn't a sincerely held "religious" belief. Personhood is about controlling women, and keeping to the conservative value that women need to stay the fuck home and raise the kids and there really should be no choice in the number of kids you have and if you want to do that, just use methods that have high failure rates because god loves you or some shit. And that's what essentially Hobby Lobby's owners beleive.

(oh and nevermind that even amongst this particular tribe of evangelicals the average family has 3 or fewer children. They use the pill too. Fucking liars.)

this makes me mad as all fuck. Can't you tell?

Originally posted to #WELLACTUALLY on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 08:14 AM PDT.

Also republished by Abortion, Pro Choice, and Community Spotlight.

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