Students slam Northwestern for ‘morally wrong’ Plan B advice

Toni Airaksinen

  • Pro-life students at Northwestern University are calling the school’s advice on emergency contraception “patently misleading” and “morally wrong.”
  • A pamphlet produced by the school's "CARE" office insists that "emergency contraception" drugs like Plan B are "not the same as the abortion pill," even though they can prevent implantation of a fertilized embryo.
  • Members of Northwestern University’s pro-life club are slamming the school’s advice on emergency contraception, labeling it “patently misleading” and “morally wrong.” 

    The condemnation came after the school’s Center for Awareness, Response, and Education (CARE) office—which provides services for survivors of sexual assault—published a resource pamphlet claiming that emergency contraception is not an abortion pill. 

    "The progressive climate of Northwestern is so cohesive that any time abortion does come up, there is no doubt that being pro-life is a liability on campus."   

    [RELATED: TREND: Push for Plan B vending machines, free contraception]

    “Emergency contraception is a way to stop pregnancy before it begins,” the guide notes, adding that it is “not the same as the abortion pill.” The guide then recommends options such as Plan B, Ella, and the Copper IUD. 

    While Plan B can prevent a pregnancy by stopping a women’s ovary from releasing an egg, the pill can also prevent fertilization of an egg and prevent implantation of a fertilized egg into the womb.

    “Plan B One-Step works mainly by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary,” Plan B explains on its website. “It is possible that Plan B One-Step may also work by preventing fertilization of an egg (the uniting of sperm with the egg) or by preventing attachment (implantation) to the uterus (womb).”

    For students who believe that “life” begins at fertilization, therefore, Plan B is often considered a potential abortion pill. 

    [RELATED: Planned Parenthood funds Plan B vending machine at Brandeis]

    In interviews with Campus Reform, members of Northwestern Right to Life said that the guide wasn’t surprising, considering the overwhelming pro-choice climate on campus. 

    “The progressive climate of Northwestern is so cohesive that any time abortion does come up, there is no doubt that being pro-life is a liability on campus,” Benjamin Paolelli, a junior studying political science, told Campus Reform

    Monica Juarez, the president of the school’s Right to Life chapter, criticized the school for encouraging women facing a potential pregnancy to take Plan B or other emergency contraceptives. 

    “Giving women abortifacients, which can terminate their pregnancy, is not a solution to rape,” she said. 

    “The guide doesn't tell the whole story,” Paolelli continued. “They claim to be helping students but they're misleading them, and that just plays into the pro-abortion strategy of deception.”

    [RELATED: 'Reproductive justice' scholar admits abortion is key concern]

    The misleading guide was first brought to public attention by Students for Life, the largest organization of pro-life students in the country.

    SFL Press Director Matt Lamb explained that the confusion over whether Plan B can cause an abortion stems from differing views of “life” among liberals and conservatives. 

    "The information is misleading because Plan B absolutely can function as an abortion pill, since life begins at conception,” Lamb told Campus Reform

    “If a drug works to prevent a new life from successfully implanting then it is causing an early abortion,” he asserted. “All Plan B and Northwestern did is change the definition of when a pregnancy begins to implantation, whereas numerous medical textbooks recognize that life begins at conception, the moment sperm and egg unite.”

    [RELATED: Students blast UMN’s ‘digusting’ plan to hire an abortionist]

    Campus Reform reached out to Northwestern University for comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

    Tara Evans, the press officer for Plan B, told Campus Reform that the pill will “not harm an existing pregnancy,” but did not respond to follow-up questions regarding how the company defines life and whether Plan B could harm a fertilized embryo attempting to attach itself to the uterus. 

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen

    Toni Airaksinen

    Toni Airaksinen

    Toni Airaksinen is a New Jersey-based Campus Reform contributor, and previously served as a Senior Campus Correspondent. Her reporting focuses on campus First Amendment, Title IX, Equal Opportunity, and due process issues, and her stories have been profiled by numerous outlets including Fox News, The New York Post, PBS News, and The Washington Examiner.
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