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Medicine vs. philosophy

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Monday, Jan. 28, 2013, 8:59 p.m.
 

Obstetrician/gynecologist Rachel B. Rapkin did quite a sleight-of-hand giving us some razzle-dazzle in her letter “Contraception confusion” (Jan. 24 and TribLIVE.com) regarding emergency contraception.

She first deals with supposed confusion of “emergency contraception with medication abortion.” She is probably following the World Health Organization, Department of Health and Human Services and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists standards that a pregnancy does not exist until the fertilized ovum implants in the uterus. Thus, an abortion only occurs with uterine implantation of the fertilized ovum.

Dr. Rapkin follows this standard correctly, stating: “Once a pregnancy has occurred, emergency contraception does not work” — but only if you espouse her belief in the definition of what a pregnancy is, something that has nothing to do with medicine and everything to do with the philosophical perspective of when human life begins.

The good doctor further discredits her philosophical argument by stating: “There are no circumstances in which emergency contraception causes an abortion.” You might be able to do your philosophical tricks with medical students, Dr. Rapkin, but not with those of us trained in philosophy.

The Rev. James

Holland

Russellton

The writer is a Catholic priest serving Transfiguration Parish.

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