By: Therese Bermpohl
This week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will decide whether or not to approve the use of a controversial drug – Ulipristal Acetate – that has already been distributed in the European Union under the name ellaOne for use as an “emergency contraception.” This pill is being hailed by its advocates for its ability to prevent pregnancy for up to five days after sexual relations, compared with the Plan B contraceptive which was approved several years ago and must be taken within 72 hours after sexual relations to “prevent pregnancy.”
What the advocates of ellaOne (and Plan B) don’t want people to know is that, in addition to preventing fertilization, the drug can also cause abortions. Dr. Donna Harrison, president of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, spoke with ABC News. From their report:
“Because fertilization of egg and sperm can only be prevented within 24 hours of intercourse if the woman has just ovulated, Harrison says, any emergency contraceptive that is effective five days after sex most likely works by preventing the fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. If one believes pregnancy begins with fertilization, that action would be considered abortion.”
People deserve to know the truth about the effects of ellaOne and pro-life groups are hoping that the drug will carry a warning label correctly identifying it as a substance capable of causing an abortion.
In addition, the damage done by drugs like ellaOne and Plan B goes beyond the abortive sphere. The drugs encourage promiscuity and make it easy for people to walk away from the responsibility that comes with their actions. These drugs communicate a message to young and old alike that sexual relations are easily separated from marriage and its life-giving potential. These drugs do not encourage us to find solutions to tough problems – what do we do for members of our community who are faced with crisis pregnancies? One thing is for certain, if Ulipristial Acetate is approved, it will be a lose-lose for our culture.
UPDATE: The FDA has approved use of ellaOne in the United States and the Pro-life Chair of the USCCB has voiced ‘Grave Concern’ to the FDA.