Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Navarra
Jiménez Vargas, J.. ""Contraceptivos"". Persona y Derecho, 1 (1974) : 375-408.
A contraceptive may be defined as a mean of avoiding pregnancy, including all
kinds of procedures which are used with this purpose, independently of its mechanism
of action. Contraceptives are always used with the idea of avoiding
pregnancy and not to produce any therapeutic effect at all.
In fact in practice a relative importance is given to the mechanism of action;
with attention placed solely upon its efficiency. Ordinarily a contraceptive may
gain in favour upon another one simply for utilitarian reasons: for example, to
prevent secondary effects, the chemical contraceptive is abandoned and the
intrauterine device is adopted. .
In general terms contraceptives designate as well all types of means which
also act after fecundation has taken place, that is, which interrupt pregnancies.
We can include in this context, for example, the so-called «morning-after pill».
On the other hand, there axists a general tendency to avoid the term «abortive»
with reference to those means which act after fecundation. This is what happens
very often in the case of sorne oral contraceptives, which for advertising purposes
are called ovulation inhibitors, while in reality very often the effect produce is
the interruption of embryonic development, preventing thus the implantation.
The transition from using contraceptives to abortion, which is often encountered
in many instances, brings into evidence, leads to a much more realistic view
against contraceptives than that which is usually made. The important thing is to
reach the very core of the problem: a widespread use of contraceptives will not