The Director of the Bioethics Group at the Pan American University of Mexico, Rodrigo Guerra, warned this week that in places where the legalization of the morning after pill is being debated, many people are not aware of their own country’s legal statutes regarding the unborn and are told that human life does not begin at the moment of fertilization.
Guerra, who is also coordinator of the Social Observatory of the Latin American Bishops’ Council (CELAM) said that in order to deny the possible anti-implantation effects of the drug, health officials in different countries where abortion is illegal hide certain technical aspects which are unknown to the average citizen and which demonstrate that the empirical data is still insufficient in determining whether the pill is just another contraceptive.
On the other hand, Guerra stated that in countries where abortion is allowed, the very laboratories that promote the so-called Emergency Oral Contraceptive recognize that the main ingredient, Levonorgestrel, can prevent the maturation of the uterus lining and thus preclude the minimum conditions necessary for the zygote to become implanted and develop. "In both situations an ideological component exists that is thrown into the mix with the scientific debate and that distorts the sense of justice that should be present in all pubic policy," Guerra said.
Regarding the recent studies carried out on monkeys and rats by health researchers in Peru, Mexico and Chile, Guerra noted that while the leaders of such research, Muller and Crozatto, prove that Levonorgestrel does not inhibit implantation, it is not scientific to extrapolate that this is the case with humans.
"Mating in these types of monkeys occurs very close to the time of ovulation and thus the drug does not act like an abortifacient but rather merely like a contraceptive. In the case of humans, sexual relations can take place before, during and after ovulation, meaning the effect of the substance can truly be abortifacient," he maintained.
Lastly, Guerra called on Catholics to defend human life with sophisticated and intelligent reasons both in the medical field and in the area of philosophical ethics.