The following comes from a Jan.8 story in Crisis magazine.

Shortly before the new year, a number of religious organizations were given protection from the HHS abortion and contraception mandate.  While social conservatives and defenders of the First Amendment cheered, numerous prominent media organizations manipulated basic scientific facts to deny that the mandate—required by federal law—forces people to fund abortion-inducing drugs.

Media Matters did this at least twice, on January 1 and January 2, with the The New York Times and NBC News doing likewise.  While Pew Research did not deny that the mandate requires abortion funding, its weaselly assessment of the debate surrounding the mandate was almost as bad.  To wit, Pew stated that many with religious beliefs “oppose abortion and believe that using emergency contraception like the morning-after pill is akin to abortion” (emphasis added).

Like Pew, Politico tried to have its cake and eat it, too (emphasis added):

While the FDA calls those products [i.e., intrauterine devices (IUD) and “morning-after pills” like Plan B and ella] contraception, many organizations say that they could prevent the implantation of a fertilized embryo, which they consider akin to abortion.

These excerpts are symptomatic of the media’s aggressive push to frame the HHS mandate as a contraception issue.  But the coverage of potentially abortifacient drugs like Plan B and ella, as well as indisputably abortifacient intrauterine devices (IUD), makes this an abortion issue as well.

As pointed out at last February:

[R]egardless of whether Plan B, Next Choice, or ella cause abortion, the Obama administration is forcing insurers, and thus, their customers to pay for devices that destroy embryos before they implant, which many doctors, scientists, and citizens consider to be abortion.

And this says nothing about IUDs, of which HHS’s own Office of Women’s Health says, “It [sic] fertilization does occur, the IUD keeps the fertilized egg from implanting in the lining of the uterus.”

So how do Media Matters, the Times, and others justify their claim about the mandate’s abortion requirements?  They say life begins at implantation, not fertilization, and thus drugs and devices like Plan B, ella, and IUDs do not cause abortions.

This is a Clintonian strategy: it all depends on what the definition of “conception” is.  Also “pregnancy,” “contraception,” and “abortion.”

First, “conception”: in 1965, the American Congress (then the “College”) of Obstetricians and Gynecologists changed its definition of this term to denote implantation of a human blastocyst in the uterine wall, rather than the union of spermatazoon and ovum to form a unique single-celled human organism.  Under this new definition of “conception,” any drug or device that destroys the new human being after fertilization but before attachment to the mother’s uterus is a contraceptive rather than an abortifacient.

But doctors are not above being wrong.  And with a moment’s scrutiny, even the average citizen can tell that this definition is absurd.

First and foremost, one can find ample scientific evidence that human life begins at fertilization. Likewise, embryology textbooks declare fertilization, not implantation, the beginning of a human’s existence.

One can also simply apply common sense: are we human beings because of what we do (implant in our mothers’ uteruses), or because of what we are (living organisms with human DNA)?  The latter definition resonates on a fundamental level—indeed, advocacy groups from abolitionists to suffragettes have used it to push for rights and privileges based on common, inherent humanity, not on actions or behavior.  Even homosexual activists use this tactic to great effect….

Editor’s note: This article first appeared simultaneously at and American Thinker on January 6 and is reprinted here with permission of the authors.

To read the entire story, click here.