According to the theocons, a human being exists from the "moment" two people's DNA merge in conception. The womb is therefore a natural killing field for countless human beings who never make it past conception to implantation, let alone further along the birth process. This is why the Christianists want to ban the morning-after pill, because they see it as a form of abortion, because it makes it much harder for an embryo to implant in the uterine wall. The Catholic church, however, supports the "rhythm method" for birth control, where a couple only has sex outside a woman's fertile period, when the uterine wall is less receptive to new embryos. What's the difference? A new paper argues: none at all. Money quote:
"Even a policy of practising condom usage and having an abortion in case of failure would cause less embryonic deaths than the rhythm method," writes Luc Bovens, of the London School of Economics, in the Journal of Medical Ethics... As many as 50% of conceptions may not survive long enough even to disrupt menstruation, Bovens says. It is reasonable to assume then, he adds, that embryos created from sperm that has been sitting for days within the female's reproductive tract before ovulation may be disadvantaged.
The situation is similar, he suggests, for eggs that have been waiting around for sperm to arrive. These are the only two likely scenarios where fertilisation might occur using the rhythm method, he points out.
These embryos may then face a less-than-ideal uterine lining, he points out, since the uterus is not as receptive outside of the most fertile period.
Bovens calculates that, if the rhythm method is 90% effective, and if conceptions outside the fertile period are about twice as likely to fail as to survive, then "millions of rhythm method cycles per year globally depend for their success on massive embryonic death".
Is the Pope facilitating a holocaust? By his own logic, perhaps. Mr Ponnuru, call your office.