Oct 6, 2011

Posted by in Articles & Essays, Family Life, Women and Health | 0 Comments

Ladies Home Journal: Dispelling Myths About IUDs?

But because we live in an age of science,
we have a preoccupation with corroborating our myths.

~Michael Shermer

In the November 2011 issue of Ladies Home Journal, tucked a few pages after recipes for Sticky Buns, smart phone apps to give you dietary willpower and information on diabetes, there is an article called, “The Best Birth Control You’re Not Using.” The article is about IUDs (intrauterine devices). It is on page 146 for those who get the printed issue. Even though I am past the point of having more babies, articles about women’s health do draw my attention.

As a longtime reader of Ladies Home Journal, I feel the magazine did not give complete information in the article.

The article has a list of several “myths,” including one “myth” which states “IUDs cause abortions because they prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterine wall.” This myth is supposedly “dispelled” by discussing how IUDs alter the uterine wall to “discourage” implantation and that they also work by preventing sperm and egg from meeting. The article then states: “Plus, even if fertilization did happen to occur, a fertilized egg can’t be aborted.” This last statement is supported by a Raquel D. Arias, M.D, who said, “The medical definition of pregnancy is implantation, not fertilization.”

I think these comments are disingenuous. Life occurs at fertilization, also known as conception. Conception is when the sperm fertilizes the egg. If the fertilized egg cannot implant, then it is aborted.  The US Department of Health, Education and Welfare defines abortion as, “All the measures which impair the viability of the zygote at any time between the instant of fertilization and the completing of labor constitute, in the strict sense procedures for inducing abortion.” An IUD is an abortifacient.

Ladies Home Journal should have made this distinction in this article. Many women rely on publications such as this for accurate information. The magazine was remiss in writing a skewed version of the facts. Their manner of dispelling “myths” is obviously a bit different from mine!

I did take the time to send my opinion to Sally Lee, the Editorial Director. Time will tell if there is a response.

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