A philosopher in Britain has ruffled feathers on both sides of the Atlantic by suggesting that the rhythm method of contraception may increase the risk of early embryonic death.
Luc Bovens, a philosopher at the London School of Economics, argues in the Journal of Medical Ethics that couples who try to prevent pregnancy by avoiding sex during the woman's most fertile time of month may be more likely to produce embryos that do not develop or implant in the womb.
If this is correct, he writes, then "millions of rhythm method cycles per year globally depend for their success on massive embryonic death."
Those who worry about early embryonic death should be as concerned about the rhythm method as they are about other forms of contraception, like Plan B, and about embryonic stem cell research, he asserts.
Dr. Bovens's article has drawn swift response from abortion opponents in the United States and the United Kingdom, many of whom are proponents of natural family planning, an outgrowth of what was once called the rhythm method...
Fertility experts say that there is little evidence to support this assumption but that there are some indications it may be valid.
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