Time Corrects Medically Inaccurate Statement!

Online activism works, and works quickly!

I’ll join the women of Feministing in congratulating all who wrote to Time to ask them to correct the medically inaccurate description of emergency contraception (EC) as “abortion-inducing.” Two days ago I excerpted the problematic section of the Time article, and below I reproduce the corrected version. Note that the adjective preceding “contraceptive pills” is now “emergency” and not “abortion-inducing.”

Underground abortions are one of the leading causes of maternal mortality in Chile. Although Chile has one of South America’s strictest anti-abortion codes, it’s estimated to have twice as many abortions each year (200,000) as Canada — a country with twice Chile’s population. (Abortion is legal in Canada.) As a result, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, a socialist, late last year sanctioned the free distribution of emergency “morning-after” contraception pills at government-run hospitals. (Emphasis mine.)

In explaining the correction, this statement now follows the article on their web site:

The original version of this story inaccurately described morning-after pills being distributed free by Chilean President Michelle Bachelet as “abortion-inducing.” Though pro-life advocates claim the pills effect a kind of abortion by preventing a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus in the first 72 hours after unprotected sex, the pills are more accurately considered an emergency contraception by the medical community since they technically prevent a pregnancy from occurring in the first place.

I’d encourage you to write again to Time and thank them for correcting their error. Medically accurate information is incredibly important. In addition, as the anti-choice folks will tell you, the way an issue is framed makes an enormous difference in how people think about it. It is important that Time was willing to step in and clarify the difference between the anti-choice position on EC and the medically accurate description of how it works.

So, a big Thank You to Time Magazine for doing the right thing.

And THANK YOU to all of you who wrote!

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