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Governor Blunt Thinks "The Pill" Equals An Abortion

Governor Matt Blunt believes that "The Pill" is the same thing as an abortion. He equates ordinary birth control with abortion.

At least that is what you would have to conclude from documents posted on the State of Missouri website, and his support of S.B. 609, sponsored by Senator Jason Crowell of Cape Girardeau.

In describing his support for the so-called Conscience Protection for Pharmacists" bill, Governor Blunt says:

Recently, pharmacies have taken action against pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions for RU-486 or the so-called morning after pill.

The language referring to RU-486 describes a situation that is factually impossible, and by using it, Governor Blunt is attempting to make Missourians believe he is doing something quite different than this legislation would actually achieve.

Morning After Pill

But let's start with the morning after pill, or Plan B, as it is sometimes called. That drug is made from the hormone progestin and "is prescribed as a back-up in the event of unprotected sex or a contraceptive failure, such as a condom breaking."

Progestin is the same hormone that is used to make "The Pill," as in, the commonplace, run-of-the-mill, oral contraceptive used every single day by thousands of Missouri women.

For those of you who aren't familiar, "The Pill" works to prevent pregnancy:

  • By stopping the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation).
  • It may prevent the union of sperm and egg (fertilization).
  • If fertilization does occur, it may prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb (implantation).

Since the "morning after pill" is the very same hormone as "The Pill," you might be curious as to how it works to prevent pregnancy:

  • By stopping the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation).
  • It may prevent the union of sperm and egg (fertilization).
  • If fertilization does occur, it may prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb (implantation).

Sound familiar? It should, because it's the same hormone, and it prevents pregnancy in exactly the same way.

And according to the Kasier Family Foundation, the "morning after pill" or Emergency Contraception (EC), as they call it:

does not affect an established pregnancy, nor is it a medical abortion drug like mifepristone (RU-486) or methotrexate that end an established pregnancy. Studies of women who inadvertently continued to take their daily birth control pills (the same hormones as EC) during the early weeks of pregnancy show no evidence of negative effects on the fetus. (emphasis added)

So when the Governor equated "the morning after pill" and RU-486, he was intentionally deceiving by equating two very different things.


As the Kaiser piece above describes, RU-486 is a medical abortion drug. However, unlike the Governor suggested, RU-486 is never dispensed by a pharmacist directly to a patient. It
is administered, by a physician, in a clinical setting after:

  • a pregnancy test has come back positive and the woman has been determined to be less than 9 weeks pregnant
  • she has been counseled about her options
  • and she has chosen to have a "medication abortion" rather than a surgical procedure.

In addition, the manufacturers of RU-486 only distribute that drug directly to abortion providers, never to pharmacies directly. So
when the Governor suggests that "pharmacies have taken action against
pharmacists who refuse to fill a prescription for RU-486...," he is
describing a wholly fictitious scenario. That could never occur.

So What's Really Going On?

So what do the Governor and Senator Crowell really have in mind with S.B. 609 and why are they talking about the morning after pill and RU-486 as if they are the same thing, when clearly they are not?

Since pharmacists don't dispense RU-486, S.B. 609 can't possible be about that. So what is it about?

The bill says that no adverse action can be taken against a pharmacist who refuses to fill a prescription for any drug "that they have a good faith belief is used for abortions." The Governor specifically refers to the "morning after pill," so it's probably safe to assume that is at least part of what they are getting at.

Here's the problem for the Governor and Crowell. The only way a pharmacist could have a "good faith belief" that the 'morning after pill" is used for an abortion, is if they believed that by preventing the implantation of a fertlized egg, the morning after pill was acting to perform an abortion.

So instead of believing as most people do, that pregnancy begins when a fertlized egg is implanted, they would have to take the position that pregnancy begins the moment an egg is fertilized. In other words, the destruction of a fertilized egg, even before it is implanted, would constitute an abortion.

But here's the problem with that. If both the Governor and Senator Crowell believe that, then they have equated birth control and abortion.

Their bill would permit a pharmacist to refuse to dispense any drug that may prevent the implantation of a fertlized egg, because they think that's an abortion.

Here's the rub. That's exactly how "The Pill" works too. So if a pharmacist can refuse to fill a prescripton for the "morning after pill" because it may interfere with the implantion of a fertilized egg, they could, and likely would, refuse to fill a prescription for "The Pill" as well, for the very same reason.

So the Governor threw out the language about RU-486 as a smokescreen, to create confusion and to distract people away from his radical position.

If Matt Blunt believes birth control is abortion, and that pharmacists should be able to refuse to dispense prescriptions for "The Pill," he should be man enough to say so.

And then the women of Missouri, will undoubtely dispense with Governor Blunt.



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