Statement Of Canadian Physicians For Life; The Morning After Pill

The Morning After Pill (MAP/EC)I. STATEMENT OF CANADIAN PHYSICIANS FOR LIFEThe MAP is a multiple dose of an oral contraceptive. The MAP may prevent ovulation or, if fertilization has occurred, it may ruin the implantation of a newly conceived human being. It is important that the potential for post-fertilization effects be communicated to patients and health-care providers, as many consider human life to be present and valuable from the moment of fertilization.The common description of the MAP as emergency contraception fails to accurately describe its abortifacient action and is misleading the public. The confusion is aggravated by the current attempt to re-define pregnancy as occurring after implantation. It is a basic fact of human embryology that life begins at conception. The common description of the MAP as emergency contraception fails to accurately describe its abortifacient action and is misleading the public. The confusion is aggravated by the current attempt to re-define pregnancy as occurring after implantation. It is a basic fact of human embryology that life begins at conception. Impact of MAP Use Manufacturers have greatly reduced the hormone content of oral contraceptives due to serious side effects and health risks. Now women are being encouraged to use these same pills, in multiple doses, as post-coital “contraception.” The potential long-term impact of these high hormone doses, especially when used repeatedly, is worrisome and not being adequately addressed. The effect of the drug on children who survive is also a cause for concern. The policy to make the morning-after-pill available without a doctor’s prescription puts women and girls at higher risk for disease and sexual health problems. Physical and clinical...

RU-486: Basic Information

RU-486: The "abortion pill," RU486…destroys the conceptus by interrupting implantation because of interference with the hormonal environment of the implanting embryo. (Keith Moore and T.V.N. Persaud, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 6th ed., Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Comp. 1998] RU 486 is a drug which is being used as part of a regimen of drugs to cause an abortion. It can be used up to about 46 days of pregnancy.  The human embryo's heart begins to beat at about 18-25 days after fertilization.  The RU 486 chemical abortion procedure requires the administration of two potent drugs. The first drug, RU 486, is a powerful steroid which blocks the action of the female hormone progesterone. As a result, the tiny developing human being literally starves to death as the nutrient lining of the womb sloughs off. The secondary drug, (Cytotec) misoprostol, causes muscular contractions of the uterus to expel the dead human. Prolonged excessive bleeding, severe cramps, and diarrhea are some of the common side effects of the RU-486 abortion procedure. As many as 82 percent of patients reported painful contractions with bleeding continuing anywhere from ten days to six weeks. One to two percent of women bled so severely that surgical intervention is required to stop the bleeding. Some women have required blood transfusions. Potential exists for RU-486 to cause severe disabilities in babies who survive the abortion, to injure and kill women, and to potentially harm a woman's subsequent offspring. During trials in the United States, one woman in Iowa nearly bled to death. Another has died.  Often, the RU 486 abortion procedure does not result in a...

Contraceptive Agents: Estrogens / Progestins

[the following text comes from "Estrogens and Progestins", "Contraceptive Agents" and "Agents Used to Treat Infertility", AMA Drug Evaluations, 5th Ed., AMA (American Medical Association), 1983; "Estrogens, Progestagens, Oral Contraceptives", Modern Pharmacology, Craig and Stitzel, Little, Brown, and Company, 1982] Although these textbooks are dated, one may find it quite interesting and telling to learn of the amount of information that was available 20 years ago… "In postmenopausal women treated with estrogen, changes in hepatic excretory function will result in greater cholesterol saturation in the bile, thus predisposing to gallstone formation. The risk of gallbladder surgery is increased 2.5 times in these women. Estrogens should not be given to patients with severe acute liver disease…It has been reported that the associated risk of developing angina pectoris almost doubled in women given postmenopausal estrogen therapy, although mortality was not increased (Ryan 1976; Gordon et al, 1978)…Estrogens are generally not administered to patients with migraine…Synthetic progestins should not be administered during pregnancy because of their teratogenic potential…The administration of any estrogen is contraindicated during pregnancy…There are reports of structural and functional abnormalities of the female reproductive tract resulting from in utero exposure to DES…Postpuberal girls whose mothers received DES during pregnancy should be examined yearly for early detection of abnormalities…in several studies, an increase in the risk of endometrial carcinoma has been associated with estrogen therapy in postmenopausal women…Endometrial cancer associated with estrogen therapy is usually an early stage malignancy. The latent period between estrogen administration and development of cancer is relatively short (three to six years) and the risk of cancer is reduced after an estrogen-free interval of two years...

Mifeprex (mifepristone) (RU 486) (1/01)

On September 28, 2000, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the approval of mifepristone, in combination with misoprostol, for early pregnancy termination. This decision received the enthusiastic approval of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Mifepristone is also known as RU 486 and is marketed in the United States under the brand name Mifeprex. When the drug was introduced in France, 1/3 of all abortions became RU 486 abortions. If the same acceptance is found in the United States, 400,000 women per year will undergo Mifeprex abortions, making it a an extremely significant health care issue. The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) opposes the destruction of an unborn human being at any stage of development. Therefore, we oppose pharmaceutical abortion with the same vigor that we oppose surgical abortion. However, pharmaceutical abortion has now become a reality of American medical practice, sanctioned by the FDA and ACOG. A stipulation of the FDA’s approval of Mifeprex is that its distribution be restricted to physicians able to meet certain standards, or "qualifications." The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists believes these qualifications are insufficiently circumscribed to adequately safeguard the health of American women. We therefore make the following statements regarding these qualifications: The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists believes these qualifications are insufficiently circumscribed to adequately safeguard the health of American women. We therefore make the following statements regarding these qualifications: FDA Qualification: Physicians providing, or supervising the provision of, Mifeprex must be able to assess the duration of pregnancy accurately. Comment: Mifeprex is approved only for the termination of intrauterine pregnancy through 49...

The Pill

According to FDA information, the typical pregnancy rate for women using the pill is 5 percent. This means that of every 100 women using the pill, 5 will be pregnant within 12 months. About 10.4 million American women use the pill; thus there are more than 500,000 pregnancies per year among these pill users. Two surveys by AGI (Planned Parenthood research arm) have shown that 56%- 58% of women procuring abortions were using some method of birth control the month they became pregnant.   Pharmacist Patrick McCrystal said 20-30 mcg estrogen Pills, designed to minimize side effects, have a "breakthrough" ovulation rate between 2-10%, and progestogen-only Pills have a breakthrough rate of 60-85%. The original large dose Pills made a barrier to sperm by thickening cervical mucus. Foam, condoms, and diaphragms also interpose a physical barrier but other contraceptives merely prevent implantation and therefore, cause early abortions before the woman realizes conception (fertilization) had occurred. Low dose contraceptive pills prevent implantation; they do not "contracept" (prevent fertilization). [National Association of Pro-LIfe Nurses, Spring 1996]   The 1999 Physicians Desk Reference reads: "Progestin-only oral contraceptives prevent conception by suppressing ovulation in approximately half of users, thickening the cervical mucus to inhibit sperm penetration, lowering the midcycle LH and FSH peaks, slowing the movement of the ovum through the fallopian tubes, and altering the endometrium" (p. 2201). "Combination oral contraceptives act by suppression of gonadotropins. Although the primary mechanism of this action is inhibition of ovulation, other alterations include changes in the cervical mucus (which increase the difficulty of sperm entry into the uterus) and the endometrium (which reduce the likelihood...