Ella: Bad News for Women and Families

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August 4, 2010

A French drug company has developed a new “morning-after” pill, according to the Washington Post. Marketed under the brand name of ella, proponents have described it as  emergency contraception for up to five days.

Now you may recall that a drug called “Plan B” (levonorgestrel) is already on the market, and is in fact available without a prescription. Many in the pro-life community have expressed concerns that it may interfere with implantation, making it an abortion-causing agent (an abortifacient). This claim is controversial, and not proven either way scientifically.

Here’s the problem: the new drug, ella,  is not related to Plan B at all. It is actually chemically related to the abortion drug RU-486 (mifepristone), so it has a high likelihood of being an abortifacient itself. The FDA is likely to approve the drug for the U.S. market, despite an absence of studies on its possible abortifacient effect.

The Center for Bioethics, along with 19 other American organizations, has signed a letter to the FDA, opposing approval of ella. We have joined such groups as Concerned Women for America, the Family Research Council, the National Right to Life Committee, Americans United for Life, and Life Issues Institute. You can read the letter here.

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