Letter to the Editor

USA Today

April 20, 2012

To the Editor:

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists takes issue with grossly misleading information in a recent letter to the editor ("Methods raise ethical issue," April 9). 

All contraceptives are a form of birth control and all birth control methods are contraceptives. They are synonymous. Norplant, Depo Provera, and the intrauterine device do not function as abortifacients. All contraceptives, including these FDA-approved methods, prevent ovulation, fertilization, and/or implantation. The definition of contraception is to prevent pregnancy, which occurs at implantation. RU-486 is not considered birth control. This is a medication used to cause an abortion once pregnancy has begun.

Misleading use of medical terminology left unaddressed serves to continue confusing women and the public.  

James N. Martin, Jr, MD
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of approximately 55,000 members, The College strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(6) organization, is its companion organization.


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