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Published: September 5, 2013 2:50 pm to Analysis

WaPo on contraception: fools or liars?

Zygote-imageThe Washington Post editorial board has published a brain-teaser for its readers. The article is called “Ken Cuccinelli’s ‘personhood’ travails.” A better title would have been “Riddle: Are we fools, or are we liars?”

Quick background: WaPo really, really doesn’t want Ken Cuccinelli to be the next governor of Virginia, and the staff there know that the best way to oppose a pro-life politician is to start screaming about “social issues.” Here, the febrile WaPo insists that personhood legislation (which Cuccinelli has supported in the past) “provide[s] an opening to prohibit common methods of birth control, including the pill and intrauterine devices.”

As the editorial board puts it:

The practical effects of “personhood” measures, including the one in Virginia to which Mr. Cuccinelli affixed his name, would easily include banning the most popular forms of contraception. This is because the pill, as well as other forms of birth control, work partly by preventing the implantation of eggs in the uterus wall after they have been fertilized. If the “preborn” are protected “from the moment of fertilization,” as the 2007 bill demanded, then contraception — which defeats a fertilized egg’s chances of becoming a living being — could be prohibited. In fact, the legislation seems to demand it.

If the article’s comments are any indicator, WaPo’s regular readers have no idea how problematic this paragraph is.

First of all, consider WaPo’s use of parenthetical dashes. If they wanted to say that only some contraception prevents implantation, the sentence would read as such:

If the ‘preborn’ are protected ‘from the moment of fertilization’ … contraception that [not 'which'] defeats a fertilized egg’s chances of becoming a living being could be prohibited.

But instead, the editorial board opted for the dashes – with the clear meaning that contraception per se “defeats a fertilized egg’s chances of becoming a living being.”

So does WaPo seriously think that condoms (easily among the “most popular forms”) and other barriers allow fertilization but prevent implantation? Or is the august editorial board trying to terrify its pro-choice readers into turning out against Cuccinelli by hyperventilating over a fictitious ban on all contraception? (Option number three is that the WaPo can’t comprehend basic English grammar, but that can’t possibly be right.)

This isn’t just a grammatical punctilio. On the contrary, it destroys the Post‘s entire argument, because it hits the heart of what contraception actually is.

To make this clear, take the WaPo’s nauseatingly euphemistic language, like “fertilized egg” and “defeats … chances of becoming a living being.” To spell it out, a “fertilized egg” – itself a nonsense term – is a human being, with his own individual human DNA, meeting all the criteria for an independent living organism. So to keep that zygote from implanting in the uterine lining doesn’t “defeat” a “chance” of “becoming a living being.” It kills a unique human. It is an abortion, and the “contraceptive” that effects said abortion is in fact an abortifacient.

This is the whole point of personhood legislation, which the Post tries so hard to skirt in this ridiculous piece. The fact is, the phrase “contraception that prevents fertilization” is redundant, because the whole point of contraception is to prevent conception. And “contraception that prevents implantation” is an oxymoron, because there’s no preventing conception that has already occurred.

As Lila Rose mentioned earlier today, personhood advocates like Ken Cuccinelli are explicitly against the willful destruction of a unique, innocent human life. Contraception, properly understood, does not effect such destruction. This means that the people who oppose personhood legislation based on fear-mongering about “outlawing contraception” are in fact championing abortifacients, and thus abortion.

For people who pay attention to what words actually mean, none of this is revelatory. The grammar-challenged, science-challenged, and ethics-challenged Washington Post, on the other hand, seems to be having a hard time. Small wonder that no one volunteered to affix his name to this farce of an article.

About Drew Belsky

Drew Belsky is Live Action's communications director. You can reach him on Facebook or Twitter (@DJB627).
View all posts by Drew Belsky

  • princessjasmine45

    What else can you expect from WackPo that publishes such tripe as this?

  • KarenJ

    “To spell it out, a “fertilized egg” – itself a nonsense term – is a human being, with his own individual human DNA, meeting all the criteria for an independent living organism.”

    If that is true, then that “fertilized egg” could be put in an aquarium full of nutrient and, like a fertilized salmon egg, would then independently grow to become a fetus, then a baby, all on its own, eh? When it pokes its head out of the aquarium nutrient, it’s “born”.
    BTW, corporations are people, too. So why don’t you fetus worshipers just incorporate those fertilized eggs? They might qualify for a farm subsidy. After all, they’re eggs, aren’t they?

    • Drew Belsky

      You do understand the very basic differences between human and salmon reproduction, right? …Right?

      • princessjasmine45

        I’m not sure that the pro death camp has a very sound grasp in any kind of science Drew….

        • Drew Belsky

          Buh-buh-but fish-people!!!

          • princessjasmine45

            mermaids? :-)

          • Basset_Hound

            Geez I broiled up some salmon with paprika, cumin and ancho chili powder last night. I coated it with honey and stuck it back in the broiler for a minute or so to create a nice glaze.

          • princessjasmine45

            sounds delicious

          • Beverly Harlton

            Soylent green?

          • Basset_Hound

            Who me? I’m more likely to BE the soylent green than to fix it.

        • http://eastsidehunky.wordpress.com/ EastSideHunky

          egg-zactly!

          • princessjasmine45

            Lol!

          • JDC

            I see what you did there.

    • princessjasmine45

      show me the fetal heartbeat of the corporation, it’s 10 fingers and 10 toes…then I might consider.

      fetus worshipers?

      is that the best you people can come with?
      It’s not even accurate.

      • JDC

        “is that the best you people can come with?”

        Sadly, we all know the answer to that is yes.

        • princessjasmine45

          indeed
          it appears that their non-creativity in bed and sexual prudishness carries over into their writing ….
          ah well… what can one do?

      • Basset_Hound

        Anybody wanna dust off the Billy Madison quote again?

        • princessjasmine45

          I’ll do it!!!

          … what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having
          listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

          :-)

          • Basset_Hound

            When I used it on NRO. I changed it a tad. I changed “heard” to “read”, “said” became “posted” and “in this room” was “on this thread”

          • Basset_Hound

            On someone else’s web site, I had a particularly annoying troll dogging me with insane ridiculous comments, then sniveling and whining that I and another poster were “bullying” him. I did a and dumped my clipboard full of SVG code from a vector drawing program I was using and closed out with “THIS makes about as much sense as the tripe you’re posting”.

            God, you gotta love multitasking.

    • Beverly Harlton

      I don’t think you have much of an understanding of basic biology. That being said, were an artificial womb developed, it is possible that a zygote could be inserted and grow to term.

      Because there is no inflection apparent on the internet, I’ll assume for argument’s sake that the mound of gibberish that you evidently consider a post is more serious than sarcastic and ask why the “fertilized egg” should be responsible for its own life. Would you suggest the same for an infant? A toddler? Young human beings need to be cared for and nurtured. Their environment, whether in utero or out, is incidental.

    • http://eastsidehunky.wordpress.com/ EastSideHunky

      this post above is further proof confirming this reader has no scientific training and likely was a public school grad thinking like an Obamatron, no independent critical thought, just the mental disease known as liberalism

    • Therese

      Correct. Once it is fertilized, it is called a zygote – the term for the first developmental stage of the new organism.

    • Ingrid Heimark

      In fact, the zygote is perfectly able to develop and survive in his or her natural environment, such as we are in ours

  • http://eastsidehunky.wordpress.com/ EastSideHunky

    Well, we know with definite CERTAINTY WaPo has no scientists writing its columns, they just parrot what the closest abortoholic group(s) tell them…there is no scientific reality called a “fertilized egg”, once fertilized, an ovum no longer is an ovum but rather a new human with 23 pairs of chromosomes, half from mom and half from dad…

    • princessjasmine45

      Just saw your webpage.
      You’re a Trad?

  • PrincessJasmine4

    Racist against mermaids I’d imagine :-)