The FDA may endorse a new pill that says it prevents pregnancy for up to five days after unprotected sex -- two days more than Plan B, the morning-after pill already approved for prescription use in the United States.
The pill, sold abroad as ellaOne
, is already approved to prevent pregnancy in over 22 countries. In the United States, though, where many pro-life groups consider the morning-after pill to be abortion, ella may face considerable opposition.
The Washington Post reports that the controversy may be especially fierce because the new morning-after pill bears a close chemical resemblance to the abortion pill RU-486
, which keeps the embryo from implanting in the woman's uterus.
As a birth control pill, ella works by preventing the ovary from releasing an egg. But critics argue that it may also have the effect of making the womb unsuitable for an embryo, much like RU-486.
"It kills embryos, just like the abortion pill," Donna Harrison, president of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists told The Post.
But Amy Allina of the National Women's Health Network, insists that ella is an acceptable form of contraception, and only that.
"The people who are opposing this are not just opposed to abortion," Allina told the Post. "They also opposed contraception and they are trying to confuse the issue."
An FDA panel is expected to consider the drug later this week.
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, morning after pill