The morning after abortion pill, over-the-counter

The “morning after” pill, designed to induce abortion immediately after sex, will now be available without a prescription to any female 15 and over.  This, my friends, is bigger than Roe v. Wade.

From the Washington Post:

The Obama administration on Tuesday approved over-the-counter sales of the morning-after pill for ages 15 and above, a move that contradicts a court order requiring the pill to be made available to women of all ages.

While it fell short of that order, the administration’s move represents a historic liberalization of contraception rules — perhaps the most significant since the morning-after drug was approved 14 years ago. Today, Plan B is available to teenagers younger than 17 only with a prescription. Older women must request it from a pharmacist.

In early April, U.S. District Judge Edward Korman ordered the Food and Drug Administration to make Plan B available over the counter to all women. He gave the Obama administration until May 5 to appeal his decision.

Keep reading at  Over-the-counter sales of Plan B morning-after pill approved for ages 15 and older – The Washington Post.

All ages?  So some people want the pill for “women” younger than 15?   And are indignant that this measure doesn’t go far enough?

Obamacare will also make the pill free.  I suppose that will be the only over-the-counter drug that health insurance will cover.

But do you see what this means?  Forget “contraception” (efforts to prevent conception).  Who will even bother with that anymore?  This moves us into a new phase of birth control that is post-conception, targeting the developing child after he or she is conceived.  What shall we call this approach? Don’t let anyone get away with calling it “contraception.”  It is “contrafetus,” or “contrachild.”

This routinizes abortion, making it happen so early that it won’t seem so horrible.  And won’t this be so much more convenient than all of the pills and barriers of contraception?  Just take a pill after sex.  And it will be over-the-counter.  No prescription necessary.  And it will be free.

It also takes the sexual revolution into a new phase.  Teenagers, even young adolescents are now freed to have sex at will.

Sex now can be completely separated from procreation.  The two can go their separate ways.  Sex can now be simply another means of entertainment.  Procreation can be handled by in vitro genetic engineering.  Research can accelerate on the artificial womb, which will finally liberate women from pregnancy and giving birth.

 

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Orianna Laun

    Unfortunately, yes, they would want the morning after pill available to girls younger than 15. They would likely state that in the interest of women’s health this pill needs to be available to younger girls who have been raped or are in an incestuous situation and need access to it. The likelihood of girls in those situations younger than 15 actively seeking help is low due to the circumstances. The reality is that even middle schoolers are dabbling in recreational sex. Not that this is any surprise. Sex ed has been taught younger and younger, and the basic gist of the education is that people have a right to have sex, they have a right to have sex wherever and whenever and with whomever they wish. Just don’t get pregnant and avoid getting an STD; but if you get pregnant, you can just get rid of it–sorry, if you get an STD, you’re on your own.

  • Orianna Laun

    Sorry–I think I ought to clarify. When I said “circumstances” above referring to victims, I meant that the victims’ circumstances would likely prevent them from seeking help. Youth plus shame does not lead one to readily seek help when one is abused. I looked back over my comment and saw that “circumstances” could imply that such people are not out there. Sadly, they are.

  • Tom Hering

    The reality is that even middle schoolers are dabbling in recreational sex. Not that this is any surprise. Sex ed has been taught younger and younger … (@ 1)

    Kids of middle school age were investigating sex long, long before sex education came along. Even if they hadn’t reached puberty yet. Though the earlier and earlier onset of puberty these days might have more to do with any increase in “dabbling” than sex education does.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall
  • Paul Reed

    The worst part about the entire Gosnell situation, is that pro-lifers have unknowingly sent the message that the abortions Gosnell performed are worse than the “clean”, early-term abortions that are done by these morning-after pills.

  • Mary

    No Paul Reed @ 5. The message is actually that all abortion involves the killing of a baby. One is not worse than the other. The reason the media doesn’t (didn’t) want to cover this is precisely because of that. They do NOT want to see the results of unfettered abortion. So the media wants to paint this as a rare event not as the true face of abortion-babies being killed. They want to be able to turn away and say, but we didn’t know, we didn’t see ….

  • Cincinnatus

    Paul Reed:

    On the one hand, you’re the first person I’ve heard/seen to take that as the primary “message” of the Gosnell trial. So I’m not sure where you’re getting the idea that “this” is the most notable thing that pro-lifers have “unknowingly” accomplished. I haven’t seen any pro-choice pundits gloating over the fact that Gosnell somehow validated early-term abortions.

    On the other hand, isn’t that the point–that these abortions were, in some sense, worse than “ordinary” abortions? Not in the sense that some abortions and some sins are “worse” than others, but in the sense that, as a matter of criminal law and even human decency, taking a Plan B pill is more acceptable than ripping viable fetus out of the womb and killing it on the operating table by snipping its spinal cord. So congratulations for stating an obvious, undeniable, incontestable fact.

  • Random Lutheran

    #6: it’s worse than that. They would like to blame Gosnell on those who oppose abortion. The Pro-Death League is clear: murder, as it is performed in antiseptic conditions, is to be encouraged and promoted, with a lollipop handed over for each heart stilled.

  • Patrick Kyle

    With Obama as President I am finding it harder and harder to even respect the Office he holds.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    Bring back the Articles of Confederation, Patrick? :^)

    (I’d be happy to get the limits of the Constitution back…..)

    Seriously, while this is certainly appalling, it’s worth noting that there is a certain stigma to being young and walking into a pharmacy and announcing by your request that you are sexually active, which would be at least a part of the fact that about a third of sexually active kids don’t even bother with a condom. So it might not be quite as destructive as we think due to that factor.

  • Jon H.
  • Abby

    This is so sickening on so many levels, it boggles my mind. For one, think of the ever increasing manipulation of and physical and sexual abuse of very young girls. Easy to hide and wipe away the consequences. Except the mental health consequences she will live with the rest of her life. And the continuing denigration of the proper use of sex within marriage. And the continuing denigration of the family. And we are supposed to not care? These young girls might as well be temple prostitutes. We are already blind as to the magnitude of human sex trafficking. We are going to deep depths of unfettered freedom. The Devil is so happy — I wish we could see the party he is throwing over this.

  • Abby

    Jon @11 “But an examination by The New York Times . . .” Well, that makes me feel better.

  • http://concordiakoinonia.com/ Mark Schroeder

    The other issue is again a monstrous federal bureaucracy which dictates policy to the masses without being answerable to the electorate. The issue is not that we need to “take back our nation”, we need to take back our government. I have been told that one of Alinsky’s rules for radicals is you have to disorganize in order to organize. The effect of these bureaucratic fiats is everyone with any sense is an uproar…then in cyber-time, it’s forgotten and we are on to the next thing. Those who dictate policy (policy dictators?) love this because the focus of the electorate is not on the Constitution, elections and organizing to take back the government as ordered by the Constitution. First Things had many articles on the judicial usurpation of government and rightly so. It’s still a problem but so is the executive usurpation of government. There is no check and balance to the massive bureaucracy. There is one: we the people.

  • Jon H.

    @13, Abby, embrace the biology, then the politics.

  • Jack A.

    When the pro-life movement condemns Gosnell over and over, and in no uncertain terms (he deserves jail,etc), while not saying much about a pharmist who distributes abortion pills, they send a message. And Cincinnatus, murder by chemical means is just as evil.

  • Abby

    @15

    “may be unfounded”
    “say they may work by”
    “probably rooted”
    “suggest that it does not”
    “less is known about”
    “some data suggest”
    “many people think”
    “some proponents of “personhood” initiatives”
    “may be delaying ovulation”
    “doubted scientists could exclude the possibility of implantation effects”
    “if it doesn’t have this effect”
    “unresolved debate”
    “not only unresolved, but may be unresolvable”
    “several scientists acknowledged that absolute proof may be elusive”
    “you can never prove the negative”
    “could theoretically prevent pregnancy by interfering with a number of physiological processes”
    “found no discussion of evidence supporting implantation effects”
    “difficult when a drug is approved, and even afterword, to pinpoint how it works”
    Etc. etc. etc.

    I read the article right. I don’t hear any definitive science here.

  • fjsteve

    Well done, Abby! Unfortunately, the meme has already reached the willing ears of the public. It’s even in the Wikipedia article on Plan B. Who can argue with that?

  • Joe

    Well you could edit it; it is Wiki after all …

  • Cattail

    Slight irony here that in Google News, right next to the article on the morning after pill is an article stating that the FDA is investigating the effect of caffeine on children with an eye to banning it.

  • R. Hall

    1) Sex has long been treated as separate from procreation. That’s why we’ve been mad for birth control for so long.
    2) But Plan B is not fail-proof. No method will ever fully separate sex from procreation.
    3) That’s why there will always be a demand, legal or not, for clinical abortions.

    This is all one big fraud for women. They’ve been told birth control is the great liberator, when it is really the liberator for men who, not willing to take responsibility for their reproductive behavior, can access more women who are also not ready for procreation.

  • Jon H.

    @17, Funny, the words “do not” and “none” caught my attention.

  • JH

    “The “morning after” pill, designed to induce abortion immediately after sex”

    That is patently untrue for the simple reason that it is impossible. Conception doesn’t happen immediately after sex. It can happen HOURS later. Anything done before then is CONTRACEPTIVE, not abortion.

  • tODD

    Okay I read the article that Jon H. posted (@11), and, well, it seems pretty legitimate to me. Frankly, more so than the comments that have attempted to debunk it.

    First, Abby attempted an ad hominem attack (@13), suggesting that anything that involvement by the New York Times necessarily means the article’s premise is false.

    Of course, this very much misses the point that the article does not point to Times employees as its sources, but rather to groups that are at least not as easily dismissed as a newspaper: the A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia (which provides content for the NIH site), the medical editor in chief of the Mayo Clinic’s site, an obstetrician-gynecologist at the Mayo Clinic, a biochemist who oversees contraception research for the National Institutes of Health, European medical authorities (including in Italy, where laws would ban it if it were an abortifacient), an obstetrics and gynecology professor at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, researchers at the Instituto Chileno de Medicina Reproductiva, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetric, … and I might have missed some in there.

    Snarking about the Times’ involvement isn’t very honest, given that list.

    Then Abby, while decrying a lack of “definitive science” (@17) did a very unusual textual analysis, in which she pulled out phrases completely irrespective of their context, attempting to create an overall atmosphere of doubt. Of course, it’s better to read the whole article, not just those bizarre highlights.

    I will assume we all agree with the premise that intentionally preventing a fertilized egg from developing is an abortion. And, furthermore, that preventing conception from happening is not.

    But I get the impression here that some are motivated by something other than a pursuit of scientific knowledge. Furthermore, I think some people are unaware of how science works, particularly with respect to something so bafflingly complex as the human body. Scientific data almost never speaks in absolutes — I mean, confidence intervals are typically 95%. Science can’t really prove that a drug doesn’t have this effect on you. It can just say that it’s never been observed under controlled conditions, or that it only happens in an extremely small percentage of cases.

    Also, let’s not all be so gullible as to pretend that the FDA isn’t capable of being politicized, hmm?

  • pekoponian

    Bike Bubba @ 10- I’m not sure there is a stigma anymore to announcing one’s sexual activity. Based on most of my recent experience, not many people seem to feel shame over anything these days. I could be wrong of course; it’s happened before.

  • Abby

    Todd @24 I really love it here that someone will confront me if I am in error. That is better than at church where gossip flies around but no Matthew 18.

    But, regarding targeting the NYT: Any name of any newspaper would have gotten the same response from me. As far as the list: I was not being intentionally dishonest. That is how I saw what I read. The article is flimsy with regard to proving anything about the drug. Why was the drug initially labeled as it was? And why the backtracking now? Why the lowering of the age? Next down to Junior High? Why not now? If it is NOT an abortifacient, what is the Emergency? Aren’t normal contraceptives already available to these girls? I think parents can get contraceptives for Junior High girls now.

    This whole thing is being driven by the FDA. The silly excuse given is “these 15 year olds need access to the drug because their own Dr. might be out of town for the weekend and can’t write the prescription.” Never mind they can go to any hospital for treatment. It smacks me of being a profit-driven endeavor. And don’t worry about the additional spread and non-treatment of STDs for these girls. At school they can’t get an aspirin from the school nurse, but they can administer this drug to themselves, by themselves. And no one knows what medical complications will be produced in her body because of these high-powered drugs.

  • JH

    tODD is right. It’s all a matter of mindset BEFORE looking at the issue. If one is determined to find an abortifacient, they will look for any evidence of one no matter how far fetched. They will also ignore any scientific evidence to the contrary. After all, they know more than the experts obviously!

  • JH

    Abby asked “If it is NOT an abortifacient, what is the Emergency?”

    Well, it is an emergency BECAUSE it is a contraceptive. It tells the female body not to release an egg soon. The sooner that’s done the better the chance of preventing conception.

    If it were an abortifacient, there would be no emergency. A very early term abortion can take place any time in the next few weeks. Why would there be a hurry?

  • tODD

    Abby (@26), you said: “This whole thing is being driven by the FDA.” So, here’s the thing: you’ve just admitted that the FDA is capable of being politically motivated or manipulated. It is the basis of one of your theses here. I agree.

    As such, let’s remove the FDA from scientific consideration. You ask “Why was the drug initially labeled as it was?” And that’s a good question. But there doesn’t seem to be a good answer for it. Certainly not in any scientific study that anyone has pointed to. Absent that, we’re left with speculation. Speculation is not science.

    Nearly all your other questions are political in nature. Frankly, I’m not interested in discussing them. I certainly see no need to defend the FDA’s actions here (or otherwise, really).

    But as to the question of whether the “morning-after” pill is an abortifacient or merely a contraceptive, the people and organizations mentioned in that article seem pretty respectable to me. You can question their work, but you’d better be something of a respectable scientist if you want me to listen to you instead of them.

    One more thing. You said:

    regarding targeting the NYT: Any name of any newspaper would have gotten the same response from me.

    Please. Are you saying that you distrust any fact that appears in a newspaper? Do you doubt that the Boston Marathon bombing occurred? Again, the scientific authority of the New York Times isn’t really the issue here. They pointed to several groups or people who made claims about contraception. To the degree that those groups or people actually made those claims, then the Times has correctly reported those facts. Now, if the studies those groups or people did are flawed, then tell me how. But please don’t adopt a selective media criticism.

  • Holly (aka Med Student)

    It is certainly still being taught in medical school that high levels of progesterone could alter the endometrium in such a way as to prevent implantation, as one of the possible mechanisms of action (although the primary ones were always given as delaying ovulation and thickening the cervical mucus). It’s very interesting to learn that may not actually be the case. There are in fact a lot of drugs out there where the exact mechanism is unknown and people are just making educated guesses (such as pretty much any anti-depressant drug in existence), so it is unsurprising that some of these surmises will turn out to be wrong.

  • Grace

    CNN just reported:

    The Department of Justice appealed a federal judge’s ruling that directed the FDA to make the morning-after pill available with no prescription regardless of age.

    The move comes a day after the FDA authorized a drugmaker to market the emergency contraception without a prescription to females 15 and older.”

  • Abby

    Todd @29 No I don’t doubt the Boston bombing. My political leanings towards newspapers: I never get one. Not even my local one which leans and endorses Republican candidates. If you may notice — I usually only speak when the subject is one such as this (abortion issues) or Lutheran doctrine. Theology is pretty much what I read and listen to.

    But I do appreciate your reasoning. Even when I stand accused for my motives or wrong thinking. Killing babies does make my blood boil.

  • Abby

    I agree with Dr. Veith’s words in the post above.

  • sg

    “Based on most of my recent experience, not many people seem to feel shame over anything these days. I could be wrong of course; it’s happened before.”

    Shame is alive and well. Ever heard of racism?

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  • Mitchell Hammonds

    The plan b drug PREVENTS fertilization from occurring…. It is not an abortion pill. I agree that no child should have access to this without the consent of the parent(s).

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    I had the same impression as Todd @ 24. Opposition to something is fine – but if your opposition starts becoming irrational in it vociferousness, you loose. Every time.

  • Katie

    I am curious. From the opinion of those of you on the reliability of the article that was linked, is there still any chance that this pill could possibly be an abortifacient? Or, based on the researched sited, can be be 100% certain that this pill is contraception?

    I am having a hard time being 100% convinced that we do not need to be completely appalled by even the chance that abortions could even possibly be happening so thoughtlessly and for free.

  • tODD

    Katie (@37), if you want to think in terms of “any chance” or “100% certain”, you can, but I don’t think that’s very helpful.

    For something as complex as the human body, it is pretty much impossible to say anything with 100% certainty. Has science demonstrated that the morning-after pill is an abortifacient? No. But could it be, maybe, somehow, in some fashion that no one has yet observed? Of course.

    But using that metric, Prozac could also be an abortifacient. So could herbal tea. Or a multivitamin. Or whatever you’re having for dinner tonight.

    Do you think it’s helpful to consider all those possible avenues? Are you troubled by all the possible abortifacients that no one has even considered in things we consume every day?

  • Grace

     ‏

    Teen arrested after trying to flush 28-week newborn down the toilet
    by John Jalsevac
    May 02, 2013

    May 2, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) –” Days after the release of an undercover video showing an abortion clinic worker urging a patient to “flush” her baby down the toilet if it is born alive, a young woman has been arrested for attempting to do just that.

    Cherlie Lafleur, 19, was arrested after a custodian at McCaskey East High School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, discovered the body of a young baby in a trash can in the ladies restroom at the school on Tuesday.

    The teen reportedly first attempted to flush the child down the toilet. But when that didn’t work, she deposited the body in the trash can.”

    ANOTHER EXCERPT______ “So far, almost all of the media outlets that have reported on the case have referred to the newborn baby as a “fetus.” The mainstream media have been widely criticized by pro-life activists for normalizing infanticide during the trial of Kermit Gosnell by referring to his living newborn victims as “viable fetuses.”

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/teen-arrested-after-trying-to-flush-28-week-newborn-down-the-toilet.html

  • Grace

    The article above (39) is from LifeSiteNews

  • pekoponian

    sg @ 34- I’m not talking about racism. I’m talking about the non-chalant way people describe their sexual activities in public. I am living in the only place in the world where that happens?

  • Joe

    The label on Plan B states:

    3. How does Plan B® One-Step work?

    Emergency contraception is similar to a birth control pill, and works primarily by:

    Preventing ovulation
    Possibly preventing fertilization by altering tubal transport of sperm and/or egg
    Altering the endometrium, which may inhibit implantation

    EC is not effective once the process of implantation has begun. It will not affect an existing pregnancy or harm a developing fetus.

    http://www.planbonestep.com/plan-b-prescribers/ec-faq.aspx

    Reading through the rest of the label it appears (although it is not clear) that they equate an a fertilized & implanted egg as a pregnancy.

    The question is when do we hold life to begin. Fertilization seems to be a fairly accepted concept. So, as I read the label I see that Plan B will prevent a fertilized egg from implanting if you take it before the implantation process begins.

    To my thinking, that is the end of a life.

  • tODD

    But Joe (@42), the whole point of the New York Times article is that the label on Plan B was dictated by the FDA, and that there is no scientific basis for the claim that it “may inhibit implantation”. That statement appears to be pure conjecture.

  • Abby

    “Now the word of the LORD came to me , saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you . . .” Jeremiah 1:4,5

  • Abby

    Todd, you’re using NYT language: “appears to be pure conjecture” :)

  • Joe

    I apologize for jumping in late and missing some of the discussion. I would take issue with the idea that their is no scientific basis for an FDA labeling requirement. I often represent drug and medical device companies in products liability cases (i.e your drug killed me claims). The process that is entailed via the FDA for creating the label, while not perfect, is not in any way shape for form devoid of scientific inquiry.

    In this case you have a pill that shares the same active ingredient as one type of normal birth control pills and we have data that suggests it can prevent implantation at certain does. If you think this basis is not enough for the FDA to put the language about possible prevention of implantation on the label then you should not trust any FDA label for any drug or medical device. Reading through the article I do not see anything shocking about the label that attaches to Plan B.

    The purpose of the label is to provide as much information to the end user as possible. As science develops the label may change, but to date the FDA has not seen fit to change the label. The last time the FDA commented on issue (2005) it reviewed the studies and found that they cannot conclude that Plan B does not prevent implantation in some settings.

    So the question is this – given that science is never perfect and is always developing – do you want labels to include more information or less? Do you want them to include possible effects or only those that are proven 100%. Or would you rather the converse – a label that includes all of the possible effects of the drug until they are proven not to be possible.

    If I have to have an FDA making labels, I rather they be inclusive …

  • Grace

    No surprise – I wonder what’s next?

    Obama OK with morning-after pill sales at age 15

    By JULIE PACE
    AP White House Correspondent

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — “President Barack Obama said Thursday he was comfortable with his administration’s decision to allow over-the-counter purchases of a morning-after pill for anyone 15 and older.”

    READ THE REST:
    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_MED_MORNING_AFTER_PILL?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-05-02-18-47-26

  • http://www.youtube.com/ptmccain Rev. Paul T. McCain

    The “morning after” pill contains an extremely high amount of the chemical that induces the uterus to provide a hostile environment for fertilized egg. It’s just that simple.

    Todd’s attempt to play amateuer scientist are not helpful. Combined with his always-eager desire to assume the role of the contrarian and you have pretty much a wholly useless contribution to this thread.

    One can find, quite easily, any number of straightforward explanations for what the morning after pill is and what it does, for instance:

    You had sex. You think you might be pregnant. Now what?

    The morning after pill (also known as emergency contraception) is promoted as a quick and easy answer for unprotected sex, but there are some important things you should know before taking the pill.

    What it is.

    The morning after pill contains the same hormone as regular birth control pills, but the dosage prescribed is several times the strength of a daily birth control pill.1

    The morning after pill is not for routine use. Failure rates and side effects increase with repeated use of the morning after pill.2,3

    The morning after pill comes in two forms:

    1. Progestin-only pill
    Plan B? (levonorgestrel) is the only FDA approved progestin-only emergency contraceptive. The effectiveness rate is higher and the immediate side effects appear less than the estrogen/progestin combination pills.4 Plan B? still lacks adequate testing to know exactly what its adverse effects are upon a woman’s body.

    2. Estrogen and Progestin combination pill
    These pills are known as combined emergency contraception pills (ECPs). Due to high risk of side effects with these pills, as well as a low effectiveness rate, they are not marketed as emergency contraception in the United States.5

    What it does.

    Plan B? works like a birth control pill. There are three ways a birth control pill can work:

    1. Stop the release of an egg from the ovary.
    2. Prevent the fertilization of an egg (the uniting of sperm with the egg).
    3. Prevent the already fertilized egg (embryo) from attaching to the uterus (womb). This causes an already fertilized egg to be expelled from the womb, causing an early abortion.

    When does pregnancy begin?

    From the moment the sperm and egg unite in the fallopian tube and fertilization occurs, the genetic make-up of the baby is complete, including the sex of the child. This is the beginning of pregnancy.

    Important Warnings

    The morning after pill has possible side effects:

    Approximately 1 out of 4 women studied experience menstrual bleeding and nausea.
    Approximately 1 out of 5 women studied experience abdominal pain, fatigue, and headache

    Other side effects include:

    Changes in menstrual cycle
    Breast tenderness
    Dizziness
    Vomiting

    Also, you may be at an increased risk of having an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy developing somewhere other than in the uterus) should you take the morning after pill and become pregnant. Ectopic pregnancies can be, on rare occasion, fatal if you are not able to identify it and get medical attention immediately.6,13

    Effectiveness

    The morning after pill is not 100% effective:

    The progestin-only morning after pill (known in the United States as Plan B?) can be up to 89% effective.7
    An estrogen/progestin combination pill can be up to 75% effective.5
    Both pills can be taken up to 72 hours after having sexual intercourse but are most effective if used within 24 hours of sexual intercourse.13

    Testing

    The morning after pill has not been adequately studied and tested. Before this drug can be confirmed as safe, additional tests will be necessary to determine:

    Effects on women under the age of sixteen11,12
    Effects when interacting with other drugs6,14
    Effects on people with preexisting medical conditions6,14
    Effects on women’s ovulation and fertility6
    Effects on fetal growth and development6

    Though the morning after pill has the same active ingredient as daily birth control pills (progestin), each morning after pill contains .75 mg of progestin, several times the amount contained in a regular birth control pill.1

    Other Dangers

    Due to the risk of serious health problems, women with the following conditions may not be able to use the morning after pill:

    Established pregnancy
    Past heart attack or stroke
    Blood clots in the legs or lungs
    Breast cancer
    Liver cancer

    The morning after pill is not recommended for women who plan to have intercourse within 5 days, are breastfeeding or have given birth in the last 6 weeks, have epilepsy, cardiovascular or kidney disease, migraine headaches, diabetes, or hypertension.9

    The morning after pill will not work as intended if your pregnancy has already proceeded to the point of implantation.8 You should take a pregnancy test before taking the morning after pill.

    You Have Options

    Only eight out of one hundred women will become pregnant after a single act of intercourse during the middle two weeks of their menstrual cycle (during the approximate time of ovulation).10 By taking the morning after pill, you may be putting yourself at risk for no reason. If you are pregnant, there are other positive options besides taking immediate steps to end your pregnancy. The caring people at Highland LifeCare Center are available to answer your questions and help you make an informed decision. Call us at 651-695-0111.

    * MAP information is cited from the brochure “The Morning after Pill”, Care Net, Sterling, VA

    1. http://www.fhi.org/en/RH/FAQs/ECP_faq.htm
    2. http://www.go2planb.com/ForConsumers/Index.aspx
    3. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs244/en/
    4. http://ec.princeton.edu/questions/dose.html
    5. http://ec.princeton.edu/info/ecp.html
    6. http://www.go2planb.com/PDF/PlanBPI.pdf
    7. http://www.go2planb.com/ForConsumer/TakingPlanB/Default.aspx
    8. http://www.go2planb.com/ForConsumer/ImportantSafetyInformation.aspx
    9. http://www.fwhc.org/birth-control/ecinfo.htm
    10. http://www.webmd.com/hw/birth_control/hw252717.asp
    11. http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/infopage/planB/planBQandA.htm
    12. http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/infopage/planB/planB_NALetter.pdf
    13. “Emergency Contraceptives are Linked to Ectopic Pregnancy Risk.” Practice Nurse. February 14, 2004
    14. “Progestins-For Contraceptive Use.” Advice for the Patient: Drug Information in Lay Language. 2005.

  • Abby

    Pastor McCain @48 Thank you. I wish I had a better mind.

    One saving fact regarding this is, in order to go to a drug store to get this pill you have to put down $75 each. Simple contraceptives are much cheaper than this. How many times a month can you afford that? Of course, under Obamacare (oxymoron), they will be free I guess if you qualify.

  • Grace

    Paul @ 48

    So few understand, or want to face the truth. You outlined the situation well.

    Medications of this kind HAVE side-effects. The main effect is the death of a child, which the mother doesn’t want to be responsible for, that’s the result of any sort of abortion, it is the elimination of life.

  • Grace

    Abby @ 49

    “One saving fact regarding this is, in order to go to a drug store to get this pill you have to put down $75 each. Simple contraceptives are much cheaper than this. How many times a month can you afford that? Of course, under Obamacare (oxymoron), they will be free I guess if you qualify.”

    Abby, it isn’t a matter of “can you afford that” – it’s an infant, a life. “AFFORD” ? – Why would you even think of the monetary cost, or bring it up?

  • Holly (aka Med Student)

    I don’t have time to do an in-depth literature search, but I did find a few articles that prevent evidence that Plan B has no effect on implantation and in fact is ineffective if used after ovulation has already occurred, indicating that its mechanism of efficacy is to delay ovulation.
    “Mechanism of action of emergency contraception.” Contraception. 2010;82(5):404
    “Contraceptive efficacy of emergency contraception with levonorgestrel given before or after ovulation.” Contraception. 2011 Nov;84(5):486-92. Epub 2011 Apr 27.
    The idea that Plan B or even regular birth control can prevent implantation seems to be entirely theoretically and has not actually been demonstrated, as the second article listed above states: “Theoretically, this [progesterone] may lead to some asynchrony between endometrial and embryonic development, which eventually could interfere with implantation, but this has not been demonstrated empirically.”
    May I also just point out that if you are that concerned that Plan B may prevent implantation, you should stay away from any hormonal contraceptives containing progesterone, because you will run the same risk, however small.

  • Holly (aka Med Student)

    Also, I apologize for not linking to the above articles, but I got to them through my school’s library access and I’m not sure if they’re available for free anywhere.

  • tODD

    Paul (@48), I find it highly ironic that you attempt to lambast me for “playing amateuer [sic] scientist”, while you then to go on not to provide any knowledge of your own, or even link to or reference of actual scientific studies, but rather to post several screenfuls of text that you copied and pasted from a pregnancy resource center site. (Yes, you even copied in the typos, like the question marks after “Plan B” that were clearly trademark symbols in the source that the resource center copied from).

    What’s more, you didn’t even notice that nothing in the text you copied (and didn’t cite; they call that plagiarism in the editorial business, but what would you know about that?) actually backs up your claim, or contradicts what I’ve said. At least, not with science.

    Oh, sure, the thing you pasted in is lengthy, and it has lots of footnotes — perhaps that was enough to impress you — but here’s the sum total of what your copy-paste text says about whether Plan B is an abortifacient or not:

    Plan B? works like a birth control pill. There are three ways a birth control pill can work: … 3. Prevent the already fertilized egg (embryo) from attaching to the uterus (womb). This causes an already fertilized egg to be expelled from the womb, causing an early abortion.

    Do you see the footnote with a citation backing up the claim in point 3 there? No? That’s because there isn’t one. There is this other odd statement, further down, though:

    The morning after pill will not work as intended if your pregnancy has already proceeded to the point of implantation.8

    And footnote 8 there? Leads to a “404 Not Found” page (which also isn’t in the Internet Archive). So that’s impressive. And that’s all your document has to say about implantation, post-fertilization, and so on. Did you even read it?

    Meanwhile, anyone wanting to read actual scientific references can read Holly’s comment (@52). Her first citation, an editorial in Contraception from 2006, can be read here. The other citation, also from Contraception (in 2010), cannot be read for free, but here ist he abstract. It is the article written by the “researchers at the Instituto Chileno de Medicina Reproductiva” that I referred to earlier (@24), that was cited in the New York Times article.

  • tODD

    My comment above is currently in moderation because it had too many links in it. So I’ll modify it slightly by converting the links to footnotes:

    Paul (@48), I find it highly ironic that you attempt to lambast me for “playing amateuer [sic] scientist”, while you then to go on not to provide any knowledge of your own, or even link to or reference of actual scientific studies, but rather to post several screenfuls of text that you copied and pasted from a pregnancy resource center site. (Yes, you even copied in the typos, like the question marks after “Plan B” that were clearly trademark symbols in the source that the resource center copied from).

    What’s more, you didn’t even notice that nothing in the text you copied (and didn’t cite; they call that plagiarism in the editorial business, but what would you know about that?) actually backs up your claim, or contradicts what I’ve said. At least, not with science.

    Oh, sure, the thing you pasted in is lengthy, and it has lots of footnotes — perhaps that was enough to impress you — but here’s the sum total of what your copy-paste text says about whether Plan B is an abortifacient or not:

    Plan B? works like a birth control pill. There are three ways a birth control pill can work: … 3. Prevent the already fertilized egg (embryo) from attaching to the uterus (womb). This causes an already fertilized egg to be expelled from the womb, causing an early abortion.

    Do you see the footnote with a citation backing up the claim in point 3 there? No? That’s because there isn’t one. There is this other odd statement, further down, though:

    The morning after pill will not work as intended if your pregnancy has already proceeded to the point of implantation.8

    And footnote 8 there? Leads to a “404 Not Found” page (which also isn’t in the Internet Archive). So that’s impressive. And that’s all your document has to say about implantation, post-fertilization, and so on. Did you even read it?

    Meanwhile, anyone wanting to read actual scientific references can read Holly’s comment (@52). Her first citation, an editorial in Contraception from 2006, can be read at this footnote[1]. The other citation, also from Contraception (in 2010), cannot be read for free, but here is the abstract:[2]. It is the article written by the “researchers at the Instituto Chileno de Medicina Reproductiva” that I referred to earlier (@24), that was cited in the New York Times article.

    [1]ec.princeton.edu/references/mechanism_of_action_contraception2006.pdf
    [2]ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20399948

  • tODD

    Joe (@46), I’m not certain you’re replying to me, but if so, you’ve misconstrued my statements:

    I would take issue with the idea that their is no scientific basis for an FDA labeling requirement.

    I’m not arguing that there is no scientific basis for FDA labels, I’m just arguing that, as you admit, the system is “not perfect”, and sometimes politics are a bigger factor than do science. In other words, not all FDA actions are backed by science, even if most are.

    In this case you have a pill that shares the same active ingredient as one type of normal birth control pills and we have data that suggests it can prevent implantation at certain does.

    Where is that data? Can you cite it? The most I’ve seen is that older studies (from 1986 and earlier) suggested that such drugs have had some kind of effect on the endometrium. However, several recent studies have not shown any such effects. Please note that having some effect on the endometrium is not tantamount to preventing implantation.

    As such, no, I don’t think that the utter lack of evidence so far is “basis … enough for the FDA to put the language about possible prevention of implantation on the label”.

    Do you want them to include possible effects or only those that are proven 100%. Or would you rather the converse – a label that includes all of the possible effects of the drug until they are proven not to be possible.

    I really feel like this ignores the reality of science in general — and medical testing of drug interactions in particular. Nothing is ever “proven 100%”, even for drugs that are used routinely to great effect. A list of all possible side effects would likely dwarf any other literature to which it was attached (thereby completely ruining its intended informational nature), because side effects are very frequently merely correlational. That is, we gave this drug under these conditions to these people, and they reported these things happened.

    Assume a massive statin drug trial — say, 100,000 people. One of them dies. As it happens, his doctor is pretty certain he died from an unrelated gun wound. But, of course, he can’t be 100% sure. So should death be reported as a possible side effect (along with headaches, acne, flu, colds, pregnancy, and all the other things that happened to the trial participants while they were testing the drug)? Even if you answer yes, there would still be stronger evidence that said drug killed people than there would be for Plan B preventing implantation.

    Myself, I favor a reasonable approach like most scientists, in which we set a cut-off for correlations and side-effects. If 8% of people testing your medicine get severe headaches, that could indicate a problem. But no, I do not want to know all of the correlations possible. Because that would render all labels unreadable and pointless.

  • Abby

    Now we are trying to “prove” that the drugs do not cause abortions — which no one can. Instead of caring about the 15 year old (and younger) girls being used for sex outside of marriage — and getting rid of the consequences by the use of ANY kind of contraceptives. And the poor girls — guess what?! — the government says all this is ok!! It’s ok for boys and men to use you. Keeps getting worse and worse. The pedophilia people are ecstatic. Unbelievable.

    How can our churches speak to this? Get out from under the “cone of silence.” We need to speak. And try to protect our girls and women — somehow.

  • Abby

    All abortion is considered “birth-control.” All contraceptives are considered “birth-control.” If you don’t want to have a baby, you know what to do.

  • Joe

    Todd — gun shot/statin scenario really? I guess I assumed folks would understand my “all possible” language to mean things that are actually possible, as that word is commonly understood in normal conversation. I’ll accept that I was probably not as clear as I should have been and will be sure to chose my words with a more carefully … ;)

    Here is what we have (nicely summarized at the Princeton “editorial” you linked): Some studies that show Progestin alters the endometrium thus reducing the likelihood of implantation and other studies that do not find an alteration to the endometrium. And now we have folks fighting over which conclusion is correct. You’ve noted that it is appears to be a matter of old versus new science. First, that might be correct. The Princeton editorial linked to a 2005 paper that found: progestin taken at a certain point in the menstral cycle “altered the luteal phase secretory pattern of glycodelin inserum and the endometrium”

    Second, I don’t think newer always equals better is a valid scientific proposition. In this case, I wonder if older might not be better. Has the inquiry about the effect of progestin become less political or more political over time? I’m not sure.

    This seems to be a concise summary of the current state of the science on the whether progestin ends a pregnancy (i.e. works post fertilization):

    “Early treatment with ECPs containing only the progestin levonorgestrel has been shown to impair the ovulatory process and luteal function [16–20]; no effect on the endometrium was found in two studies [17,18], but in another study, levonorgestrel taken before the LH surge altered the luteal phase secretory pattern of glycodelin inserum and the endometrium [21]. Treatment with ECPs containing only levonorgestrel during the periovulatory phase may fail to inhibit ovulation but, nevertheless, reduce the length of the luteal phase and total luteal phase LH concentrations; this observation suggests a postfertilization contraceptive effect [16].”

    Anyway, I tried to find the labeling for the normal pills using progestin. I could not determine if this lanauge is sti

  • Joe

    whoops – fat fingers cause that to post before I was done:

    Anyway, I tried to find the labeling for the normal birth control pills using progestin. I could not determine if this language is still on the labeling: “progestin-only contraceptives (sic) are known to alter the cervical mucus, exert a progestinal (sic) effect on the endometrium, interfering with implantation, and, in some patients, suppress ovulation.”

    (I found this language on a decidedly biased webpage. It cited the Federal Register – which would be an official source of labeling language – as the source but it did not include a full cite. Thus, I don’t know if this the current label or not).

  • Grace

    Abby @ 56

    “Instead of caring about the 15 year old (and younger) girls being used for sex outside of marriage — and getting rid of the consequences by the use of ANY kind of contraceptives. And the poor girls — guess what?! — the government says all this is ok!! It’s ok for boys and men to use you. Keeps getting worse and worse. The pedophilia people are ecstatic. Unbelievable.

    Abby, step back a moment ——————
    Girls don’t have to have sex, if they choose to do so, they know the risk. STOP blaming the boys/men, and instead realize girls/women must take responsibility for their actions. Girls and women have all but undressed themselves when in public. Have you no eyes to see what they wear? Why do you think females dress that way? – any clues? – because they want ATTENTION, and they get plenty when their tops are too small, with plunging neckline. Leggings that are two sizes smaller then they are. If females want that kind of attention, they will get it.

    “How can our churches speak to this? Get out from under the “cone of silence.” We need to speak. And try to protect our girls and women — somehow.”

    Abby, again —- there is NO SILENCE, girls and women dress the way they wish, they have sex because they want to. If girls and women want to PROTECT themselves, they need to behave and dress just like they want to be treated – they also have to be careful who they date, where they go, what they drink, what kind of boys and men they are trusting. Women need to take responsibility for themselves, and make safe choices.

    If women want respect, they need to portray themselves as though they have respect for themselves. Playing the ‘victim, isn’t going to solve anything.

    Yes there are men who take advantage of women. One good tip to all females. When going out with someone for the first time or two — meet them, – don’t have them come to your home or apartment, etc. If the guy doesn’t like the idea, you’ve already gotten a good idea where it’s going.


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