New York Times Publishes Discredited Arguments About Emergency Contraception
Last week, CVS Caremark, the 7,600-store pharmacy chain, announced it would stop selling tobacco products. CVS took this step in large part because it wants to become more of a health-care provider, and the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products made for some “awkward conversations” with doctors and hospitals, according to various reports. By adding more in-store clinics, CVS may increase access to preventive screening and management of chronic illnesses, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, to many people in need.
In response, the New York Times asked four individuals to write short pieces on “other unhealthy products CVS should stop selling.” And for some reason, they gave one of those four spots to Donna J. Harrison, executive director of the Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, who wrote a deeply flawed piece entitled “Dangers of Emergency Contraceptives.” The piece called for—you guessed it—CVS to abandon sales of both Plan B One-Step over the counter and ella by prescription.
It’s a mystery why the Times asked Harrison to write this piece, since it is composed of three outright false claims, all of which have been previously debunked by the New York Times itself.
First, Harrison argues that “the over-the-counter availability of Plan B, and the prescription distribution of Ella, are … incompatible with health care provision.”
Contraception is primary health care, so contrary to Harrison’s assertion, increased access to emergency contraception (EC) is a critical public health intervention. Whether it is intended or unintended, any pregnancy carries far more risk than the use of hormonal contraception; what would be “incompatible with health care provision” would be to force a woman to undergo the risks of an unwanted pregnancy when it could be prevented through access to EC.
To read the full essay, please click here: http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2014/02/10/new-york-times-publishes-discredited-arguments-emergency-contraception/
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