Last week the FDA approved “Ella” for sale in the USofA. Ella is a morning after “contraceptive” pill that is effective when taken up to five days after intercourse. I put contraceptive in quotes there because this new pill does not meet the true definition for a contraceptive. A contraceptive prevents conception, which is the joining of sperm and egg. Thing is, there is a very narrow window of time during which a sperm and egg can join, and five days is at least two days past the largest theoretical window for that. By 72 hours after intercourse, sperm and egg either have joined, or are not going to join. This means that for Ella to work for five full days it has to destroy a fertilised egg or prevent implantation.
Why does this matter? If you think life starts at the point when the egg implants in the uterus, or at any point after that, it does not matter. If you think life starts when sperm and egg join, it does matter, because this pill is causing an abortion based on that definition. This is different from Plan B, which does not destroy a fertilised egg (see link below).
As long as I am on hormonal contraceptives…
After a great deal of research, Lori and I have concluded that many hormonal pills do NOT destroy a fertilised egg, and as such are not abortive. Various conservative groups have put out a great deal of propaganda, bad science, and maybe some outright lies about “the pill”. Some of it is well meaning ignorance, some if blind faith, some is politically motivated. Regardless of why, we are opposed to the lack of truth. On our birth control page we have done our best to give you the facts, so you can make up your own minds. We are not trying to sell anyone on hormonal contraceptives; we simply want the truth to be shared.
Speaking of the truth about hormonal forms of birth control: there is now conclusive evidence that they harm a woman’s sex drive, do so long term, and that the negative effects may never go away completely. For this reason, I would caution against their use in all but situations where pregnancy could mean death. Working on details on that, I will share when it’s done.