I read an article by four physicians that makes the case that ovulation normally causes a rapid build-up of the endometrial tissues; that anytime a woman on the pill ovulates, the surge of hormones accompanying ovulation counteracts any abortifacient effect on the endometrium. As for one of Alcorn’s most powerful evidences, the evidence from ectopic pregnancy ratios, they maintain that those studies only concern progestin-only pills (and so do not apply to combination pills). What’s interesting is that these physicians take as fact the effect the combination pills have on the endometrium but simply deny this effect ever aborts a baby. Essentially these physicians say Alcorn hasn’t made his case. What do you think?
Animal studies have provided the best information as to what happens in response to the use of hormonal birth control products. For example, a highly respected journal reported on a study to see how a particular birth control product, an implant like Norplant, would affect the transmission of the AIDS virus (“Progesterone Implants enhance SIV transmission and early Virus Load,” Nature Medicine, Oct. 1996, vol. 2, no. 10). They used simian monkeys because their reproductive systems are the closest to the human reproductive system. The monkeys were given progesterone implants. Later, when efficacy should have been optimized, they were given a vaginal load of semen. Almost all monkeys developed AIDs, and some cases were extremely aggressive (which suggests that women on such a hormonal, when exposed, may contract a more deadly case of AIDs). After one such vaginal load, a group of SIV positive monkeys were euthanized and autopsied.
The result indicated that the layers of epithelium in the vaginal tract, and the layering in the uterus were both compromised, dramatically thinned to allow pathogens like AIDs to cross into the body. This was a normative feature and was not absent even in monkeys that had ovulated. At the same time, when they autopsied the monkeys given the SIV (simian as opposed to human) virus, they noted that despite the fact that they were using a consistent dosing system (an implant) that should have provided for optimum prevention of ovulation, ovulation rates remained high, well above 50%, and sperm travel remained at around 73% despite the fact that the implant was expected to prevent sperm travel through thickened mucous. Fertilization was entirely possible, and the inconsistent layering of the uterine tissues meant that some areas might favor implantation while other areas clearly would provide a hostile environment for growth.
Based on animal studies (since human studies cannot be done) one would have to conclude that Alcorn has done his homework. However, Alcorn is not alone. You may wish to contact a pharmacy group (Pharmacists for Life International) at email@example.com or visit their website at http://www.pfli.org/. You may be able to contact Dr. Walter Larimore who has done extensive research into the literature, or follow the citations that are given within the topic of “birth control pills” in Randy’s book ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments. Certainly too you may wish to follow the citations from his booklet Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortion. Randy Alcorn’s evidence is not his own but has been gleaned through a great deal of research. He has been meticulous in citing references so that readers do not have to depend upon his or another’s interpretation of the data but may go to original sources themselves.