"ella:" Contraceptive Method or Abortion Agent?
Editor's Note: the following article is a "corrected" rendition of one published earlier. In the previous article, there were some ambiguities that needed to be corrected.
Child-bearing women in the United States may soon have a new contraceptive that will prevent unwanted pregnancy after unprotected sex, UPI reports.
The “new” morning after pill, called ella, is manufactured by HRA Pharma of Paris; the company hopes it can get Food and Drug Administration approval soon.
The contraceptive is similar to RU-486 in that both can abort the pregnancy after unprotected intercourse.
The difference, however, is in how long a woman has before the pill becomes ineffective.
The general morning after pill (Plan B) works only up 72 hours after sexual intercourse, compared to 120 hours for the new birth control pill ella, which leads some to consider using the drug the equivalent of an abortion. Ru-486 works for up to 9 weeks after intercourse.
The length of time that ella is effective post-coitus makes some feel that it is merely a do-it-yourself abortion technique that is powerful enough to kill a fetus that has been implanted in the uterus.
"With (ella) women will be enticed to buy a poorly tested abortion drug, unaware of its medical risks, under the guise that it's a morning-after pill," Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America was quoted by UPI as saying.
RU-486 was not without its own controversy; neither was the “Plan B” pill. In a 2008 survey, only 3% of women interviewed claimed that their doctors discussed “Plan B” with them, possibly reflecting a widespread belief that the drug instigates abortion of the fetus.
Plan B works by either preventing sperm from fertilizing the egg, or by inhibiting the implantation of a fertilized egg into the uterus (WebMd) while RU-486 can work as an abortion agent.
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