Letter: IUDs, emergency contraception not abortifacients

Published July 2, 2014 3:20 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

As a physician, I am deeply disappointed by the Supreme Court's decision to allow corporations like Hobby Lobby to deny their employees insurance coverage for certain contraceptive methods. I would like to address the misleading claims made by Hobby Lobby's owners and by Utah Bishop John Wester ("Mormon, Catholic leaders in Utah laud Hobby Lobby ruling," June 30), who is quoted saying that IUDs and emergency contraception cause abortions.

No FDA-approved method of contraception—including IUDs and emergency contraception—acts as an abortifacient. Like all other contraceptive methods, IUDs and emergency contraceptives work by preventing pregnancy and do not disrupt pregnancy. This fact is supported by up-to-date medical research and scientific evidence.

Affordable access to the full range of birth control options is critical for women's health. Choosing a medically appropriate birth control method is an individual, private medical decision that each woman must be allowed to make for herself, in consultation with her health care provider. Her employer's personal beliefs about contraception have no place in this or any other health care decision. Yet given the high up-front cost of especially IUDs, lack of insurance coverage for this highly effective and safe contraceptive method can have a very real impact on a woman's ability to choose this option

Leah Torres, MD MS, OB/Gyn

Salt Lake City

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