The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



Rethink definitions

Letter to the Editor | Thursday, November 9, 2006

Ignorance can be bliss, but misinformation is scarring. There have been many opinions given on the ethics of the “Plan B” emergency contraceptive pill, but it seems moral thought keeps slipping through the cracks, as shown by the view given in “A woman’s view on Plan B.” The main view given by this submission was that Plan B does not cause abortions since the embryo never implants on the uterine wall, which is the medical definition of pregnancy. Yet, definitions can be very misleading things.

Until very recently in human history, life was not thought to begin until a child emerged from its mother’s womb. Presently, however, a premature fetus can be taken from its mother and with modern technology can survive at an age that never would have been possible before. When dealing with medical definitions, a person must use caution and not accept everything on faith. With this said, the only non-arbitrary point in a child’s development where life can be said to begin is conception. Furthermore, Plan B does actively prevent an embryo from implanting by changing the makeup of the uterine wall, contrary to what was said in that Viewpoint letter.

Finally, also unlike Woodward’s Letter to the Editor, if a drug even has the most remote possibility of ending a human life, in this case the embryo, then deference must be given to that life, whatever the chances.

Ben White


off campus

Nov. 8