- FERTILIZATION is the union of spermatozoon and ovum.
- CONCEPTION is the implantation of the fertilized ovum.
Testifying about the potential impact of the legislation [then before the US Senate], George Ryan, then president of ACOG, said, "I believe that it is realistic to assume that the IUD and the low-dose oral contraceptive pills could be considered as abortifacents and therefor declared illegal."
Tom Coburn (R-OK) sought to "clarify" the discussion, by insisting that the measure would only affect IUDs and emergency contraception, but not any type of oral contraceptives, despite the clear statements by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that they [OC] also can act after fertilization to prevent implantation.
. . . Plan B, a year later, in a question-and-answer document developed in 2004, the FDA was explicit in describing the drug's method of action: "Plan B works like other birth control pills to prevent pregnancy. Plan B acts primarily to stopping the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation). It may prevent the union of sperm and egg (fertilization). If fertilization does occur, Plan B may prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb (implantation)." In short, despite the confusion that opponents have fostered surrounding emergency contraception's mode of cation, how the method works depends more on when during a woman's monthly menstrual cycle it is taken (and, specifically, whether she has ovulated) than on when she had sexual intercourse.
And, in an inset to the article, quoting the ACOG:
Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive drugs and devices act to prevent pregnancy in one or more of three major ways: by suppressing ovulation, by preventing fertilization of and egg by a sperm or by inhibiting implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterine lining. Male and female condoms always act by preventing fertilization: however, the mode of action of any hormonal method may vary not only from woman to woman, but also for an individual woman from month to month, depending on the timing of intercourse in relation to ovulation.
. . .As with other hormonal contraceptives, there is no single mechanism of action for emergency contraception.
Pregnancy here is the Newspeak definition - after the completion of implantation.
Funny thing about language, though. The word, abortifacent simply won't go away.