[Comment: Plan B (and the later Ella drug to be taken even a week later) were made possible when in the 1960s, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ redefined of the beginning of life from conception to implantation in the uterus to provide cover for the contraceptive Pill. This ignores the fact that the newly conceived human being travels down the fallopian tube to implant in the womb. This is why the president of Reproductive Health Technologies Project states “Whether LNG-EC disrupts ovulation, interferes with fertilization or prevents implantation is irrelevant, since all three function to prevent pregnancy under established medical definitions…”
Regarding the ACOG/abortion/pharmaceutical position that pregnancy/life begins at implantation in the uterus, a thinking person made this great point: “The supposed medical definition of pregnancy as starting at uterine implantation ignores the fact that fallopian implantation is called ectopic PREGNANCY!” N. Valko RN]
Plan B More Likely to End Pregnancy, Not Prevent Pregnancy: Journal Calls it ‘Emergency Abortion’
Pills used to prevent unplanned pregnancies are likelier to end a pregnancy than to stop one, and hospitals should rethink whether to provide them, say the authors of a scientific review article in a medical journal.
Dr. Chris Kahlenborn and his colleagues, in a paper in the new Linacre Quarterly, said the chances of abortion are so high that the pills should be renamed “emergency abortion/contraception” — or “EC.”
The new report should also give pause to emergency room doctors and others who prescribe EC to rape victims, they said, as it appears that ingesting EC on the day of ovulation or shortly thereafter not only doesn’t stop a pregnancy, but may act to stabilize a pregnancy.
“Once somebody is pregnant — has an implanted egg in the endometrium — [EC] has no effect. So it’s not an abortifacient,” he said. “There’s been lots of studies on this — it primarily works by blocking ovulation.”
“It is not accurate to label [levonorgestrel emergency contraception] LNG-EC as simply a contraceptive,” wrote Dr. Kahlenborn and his colleagues. “If given prior to ovulation, LNG-EC should be labeled as emergency abortion/contraception.”
Organizations such as the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists stand by their findings that EC primarily acts as a contraceptive.
“The science has shown that emergency contraception essentially works by blocking or preventing ovulation,” Dr. Hal C. Lawrence, chief executive and executive vice president of ACOG, said Monday.
Once somebody is pregnant — has an implanted egg in the endometrium — [EC] has no effect. So it’s not an abortifacient,” he said. “There’s been lots of studies on this — it primarily works by blocking ovulation.”
Plan B One-Step, the EC pill approved in 2013 for over-the-counter status by the Food and Drug Administration, and generic EC products are intended to be ingested within 72 hours of unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy.
A national campaign to promote EC awareness and urge easy access to the products was started in the 1990s by groups like Reproductive Health Technologies Project and Advocates for Youth. They raised hopes that if EC products were widely used, half of unwanted pregnancies and thousands of abortions could be avoided each year.
EC, however, became a culture war issue as pro-life and traditional values groups argued the products could act as abortifacients and were unsafe without a doctor’s prescription given their association with ectopic or tubal pregnancies.
The Linacre Quarterly article said new research shows that EC’s efficacy is tied to the timing of a woman’s ovulation: “Plan B is almost 100 percent effective in stopping clinical pregnancy if given prior to ovulation, and 0 percent effective when given on or after the day of ovulation,” Dr. Kahlenborn, president of the Polycarp Research Institute and an internist in Altoona, Pennsylvania, told The Washington Times.
He and colleagues Dr. Rebecca Peck, who has a family medicine practice in Ormond Beach, Florida, and Walter B. Severs, professor emeritus of pharmacology at Penn State University College of Medicine, cited several studies as the basis of their claims, including work by Chilean reproductive biologist Gabriela Noe and colleagues.
Among their key points:
• EC did not appear to harm the health of sperm or ova.
• EC appeared to be effective in impeding ovulation only if taken five or four days before ovulation. Thus, if a woman had unprotected sex, took EC and ovulated three, two or one days later, there appeared to be no reason she still couldn’t become pregnant.
• In the Noe 2011 study, not one of the 103 women who took EC before they ovulated became pregnant. At least a few of these women should have become pregnant due to the little-or-no effect of EC on an emerging ovulation. But since there was not even a single pregnancy, this indicates that EC “worked” by making the womb inhospitable to a newly fertilized egg, i.e., acting as an abortifacient, the authors said.
The Linacre article also had disturbing findings for use of EC for rape victims.
In the Noe study, 45 women were given EC on the day of ovulation or a day or two later. In that group, about nine women would have been expected to become pregnant without EC and, in fact, eight women who took EC ended up pregnant.
Thus, it appears EC was virtually useless to end a pregnancy if taken during or after ovulation, the Linacre Quarterly authors said.
Moreover, there is evidence EC may actually “increase a woman’s risk of getting pregnant” if taken after ovulation because it has pregnancy-enhancing effects, they said.
Jessica Arons, president and chief executive of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project, [spun this information by saying that] the study authors seemed to be crafting a political statement to push their “radical notion” that Catholic hospitals should not use EC for rape victims.
“…[the Linacre Quarterly authors’] definition of abortion to include interference with the implantation of a fertilized egg is outside the medical mainstream”, said Ms. Arons.
“Whether LNG-EC disrupts ovulation, interferes with fertilization or prevents implantation is irrelevant, since all three function to prevent pregnancy under established medical definitions,” she said, adding: “No matter what patina of science they attempt to use to cloak their ideological intentions, the bottom line is this: LNG-EC works only to prevent, not end, pregnancy.”
[Website Ed.: Of course, ‘conception’ was always interchangeable with ‘fertilization’ until the mid-1960s when the abortion & pharmaceutical industries changed ‘conception’ to mean ‘implantation’ and called the human embryo before implantation a ‘pre-embryo’ to dehumanize this unique being. Any embryology textbook worth its salt identifies human life as beginning at the union of sperm & ova… that is where the textbook study begins because that is where a unique life begins!
For Arons to say that the definition used by the Linacre Quarterly authors “is outside the medical mainstream” is disingenuous to say the least.]
Judie Brown, president of the American Life League, applauded the Linacre article, saying “Catholic bishops have been assured by Plan B proponents that the drug does not cause an abortion. We now know this is not true.”
There is a “grave risk” unborn human lives are being killed with EC, and “Catholic hospitals need to immediately halt dispensing these drugs and review their policies,” Ms. Brown said.
Jeff Tieman, chief of staff for the Catholic Health Association (CHA), said Tuesday that there are “conflicting studies and interpretations of the science as it relates to this issue.”
“CHA and our member organizations look to the ethical and religious directives for Catholic Healthcare Services and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for guidance,” he said.
[Cheryl Wetzstein, The Washington Times, February 17, 2015, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/feb/17/plan-b-more-likely-to-end-versus-prevent-pregnancy/ ]