Roundup: Anti-Choice Bemoan ella Approval, Demand Useless Pregnancy Tests


Yesterday, the FDA met and approved the use of ella, a new emergency contraceptive pill that can provide a greater window of use than Plan B, which must be used within 72 hours.  Effective for up to 120 hours after intercourse, ella can offer a wider time frame for preventing pregnancy after contraceptive failure, sexual assault, or unprotected sex.

Sadly, the extended period of possible use seems to reflect exponentially on how outraged the anti-choice crew is over advances in reproductive freedom.

First, the Cardinals reacted, via press release:

Concerns have been raised over other drugs considered for “emergency contraception,” such as the “Plan B” regimen, because they might act not only to prevent ovulation but also to prevent implantation of the developing embryo in his or her mother’s womb.  However, such drugs were thought to have no post-implantation effects.  Ulipristal is a close analogue to the abortion drug RU-486, with the same biological effect – that is, it can disrupt an established pregnancy weeks after conception has taken place.  

This drug is contraindicated for women who are or may be pregnant.  Yet its proposed use here is targeted precisely at women who may already have conceived, as it would be administered within five days after “unprotected” sex or contraceptive failure.  No existing pregnancy test can exclude the possibility that a new life has been conceived in this time frame.  Indeed, advocates praise this drug as an advance precisely because it seems to retain its full efficacy five days after intercourse – that is, after the opportunity to prevent fertilization has passed. 

It seems that Cardinal DiNardo’s solution would be for the woman to wait until after she sees if she is pregnant before she takes the drug, since no test can exclude that early that she in fact is not. Also, the Cardinal seems to have forgotten developmental biology — an embryo is at least 21 days post-fertilization.  Before that, you have a blastocyst or a zygote.

During the trial, testimony, based on scientific studies, was given showing that ella in fact had “little effect on established pregnancies.”  Yet, according to the New York Times, scientific study isn’t good enough for the Concerned Women for America, either.

Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, a conservative group, called ella an unsafe abortion pill that men might slip to unsuspecting women.

“With ella, women will be enticed to buy a poorly tested abortion pill in the guise of a morning-after pill,” she said.

But Wendy Wright didn’t just stop there.  Even better, she claims that the panel is trying to “fool women” by not allowing them to have a pregnancy test before they get the drug.  From Lifenews:

“The drug sponsor couldn’t provide information on whether Ella can cause birth defects, or what happens to women who are pregnant who take it. And yet the committee strongly recommended not giving a woman a pregnancy test,” she told LifeNews.com after the hearing.

“In Europe, Ella is contra-indicated (not to be used) in pregnancies. But the FDA committee voted to not to test women to detect if they’re pregnant. They are telling doctors to be willfully blind when giving the drug,” Wright continued.

“The committee voted to deceive women,” Wright complained.

Um, Ms. Wright?  Cardinal DiNardo says that “No existing pregnancy test can exclude the possibility that a new life has been conceived in this time frame.” 

I think you anti-choice spokespeople need to go over your talking points better before you start hitting the media circuits.

Mini-Roundup: The FACE Act is used against a man who entered a clinic in San Antonio, parents in Iowa claim a sex-ed class used “sex toys” in their demonstration, and one politician claims God is providing economic prosperity to cities that refuse to allow abortion.

June 17, 2010

Rossi on Murray’s abortion votes – Seattle Post Intelligence

Tories absent as MPs call for abortion funding at G8 – Toronto Star

Anti-Abortion Activist Wins Free-Speech Ruling – Courthouse News Service

Abortion bill on Jindal’s desk – KPLC-TV

Louisiana To Require Forced Medical Rape Ultrasounds Before Abortions – Blue Wave News

mcCollum supporters drop the A-bomb (abortion) on Scott – Orlando Sentinel

Alaska health department releases abortion figures – CNBC

FDA Panel To Decide On New Morning After Pill – CBS 4

Parents voice concern of Shenandoah sex ed class – SW Iowa News

Canadian Women Protest Lack of Funding for Family Planning and Abortion in … – Ms. Magazine

McCollum Team Continues to Attack Scott on HCA/Columbia and Abortion – Sunshine State News

Top Catholic Bishop Blames Catholic Health Association for Pro-Abortion HCR – LifeNews.com

Liberties at the Liberty Bell – Wall Street Journal

Louisiana Approves Wave of Anti-Abortion Legislation – Ms. Magazine

US panel approves French morning-after pill – AFP

FDA Advisory Committee Gives Thumbs Up to New Abortion Drug Ella – LifeNews.com

Alaska health department releases abortion figures – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

5-Days-After-Sex Pill Gets FDA Panel Nod – WebMD

Pro-Life Chair Voices ‘Grave Concern’ over FDA Plan to Approve Abortion Drug … – PR Newswire

Hepatitis Gone Viral: 100 Times More Infectious Than HIV, Over 40 Americans …  – Huffington Post

June 18, 2010

Feds sue abortion opponent from SA – San Antonio Express

Lawmakers say take 24 hours to think over an abortion – WCBD

Patricia Blair files wrongful death lawsuit – Bennington Banner

Abortion rates shock lawmakers – Dickinson Press

Panel Recommends Approval of After-Sex Pill to Prevent Pregnancy – New York Times

Court rules women can’t be charged for taking drugs during pregnancy – Lexington Herald Leader

Antiabortion message for specialty plate – Boston Globe

Bitter pill for Muslim women – Asia Sentinel

Abortion laws slash sales of ‘Morning After’ pill – The Portugal News

Fireworks over New “Morning After Pill”? – CBS News

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

To schedule an interview with contact director of communications Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.

Follow Robin Marty on twitter: @robinmarty

  • crowepps

    “The committee voted to deceive women,” Wright complained.

    Surely if its important to a woman to know if there’s an established pregnancy, she is capable of ASKING the doctor to do a test, or for that matter doing it herself.

  • ahunt

    Gee…deceiving women…again.

     

    Now we get to add to the list…with Oklahoma attempting to give doctors the right to lie to their pregnant patients.

  • crowepps

    About 1,600 North Dakota teenagers had abortions in the state during a 10-year period ending in 2008.

     

    The state Health Department data surprised some lawmakers during the interim Health and Human Services Committee meeting this week.

    160 a YEAR? I’m surprised it’s so LOW!

  • colleen

    It seems that Cardinal DiNardo’s solution would be for the woman to wait until after she sees if she is pregnant before she takes the drug, since no test can exclude that early that she in fact is not. Also, the Cardinal seems to have forgotten developmental biology — an embryo is at least 21 days post-fertilization. Before that, you have a blastocyst or a zygote.

    If the Cardinal would spend a bit less time pretending to authority over the uterine lining of every fertile woman in the country and more time protecting actual children from pedophiles under his authority, actual children would have been protected. What a shame that he has not learned this lesson.

  • jivinj

    Robin,

    A blastocyst is a term used to describe an embryo in a certain stage of development.  The NIH defines blastocyst as “a preimplantation embryo of about 150 cells produced by cell division following fertilization.”

     

    Maybe you didn’t know that but you should be more careful about correcting others when you apparently don’t have the subject matter firmly in hand. 

  • squirrely-girl

    So am I supposed to feel more or less protective of that preimplantation embryo?

  • ahunt

    So is a released ova…”prefertilized?”

  • colleen

    is that Cardinal DiNardo is predeceased

  • squirrely-girl

    I thought we were using un- to describe all things that are actually “nots” (e.g., unborn, undead, unfertilized). Did we change the rules again? 

     

    At any rate, what do we call sperm that haven’t made contact with an egg? Keeping in mind that pre-cum is already taken.

     

  • ahunt

    Well done, Ladies…

     

    …but yes, pre and un appear to be interchangable in pro-life speak.

  • crowepps

    As is any woman who’s not currently pregnant

  • crowepps

    You don’t seem to have the subject matter firmly in hand either, certainly not well enough to be correcting others.

     

    Each stage of development has its own unique name, a way for science to be clear just what exactly is being talked about.  While a blastocyst contains what eventually may become an embryo, it also contains what eventually will become the placenta, amniotic sack, amniotic fluid and cord.

     

    The stages of development are:

    Sperm & Ova

    Zygote (conception)

    Morula (3 days after conception)

    Blastocyst (5 days after conception – precursors for placenta, the rest of the support system and the embryo)

    Embryo (10-14 days after conception, after implantation, distinguishable from placenta)

    Fetus (10 weeks)

     

    Keeping in mind that this is the point in the process where is most likely the conceptus will fail, there is a fascinating slide show of development available that makes it clear just how complicated the early process is here:

     

    http://www.ehd.org/prenatal-images.php?thum_id=54#content

     

  • ahunt

    Don’t make me hurt you, Crowepps…

     

    Left is Right, North is South, Up is Down, Blue is Red, and/or possibly Yellow…

     

    …It just keeps coming.

  • sarah-w

    All textbooks on gynecology state quite explicitly that human life starts at fertilization. From then on the creature in the womb is regarded in obstetrics and gyncecology as the “second patient”. That ought to be the guiding principle when it comes to deciding whether any form of contraception is ethically acceptable. If it takes effect after fertilization then it kills that new life. Human life is a profound value and the taking of human life is always an inexpressibly serious matter. You do not address that issue. Instead you charicature those who do. That shows a cynical disregard for the women you seek to mislead by assuring them they are not taking a life when they use this latest contraceptive to appear on the scene. You also show a cavalier disregard for women’s health by advocating the use of something, the safety of which is far from established.

  • squirrely-girl

    That ought to be the guiding principle when it comes to deciding whether any form of contraception is ethically acceptable.

     

    I’m pretty sure that is the guiding principle for individuals. See, not everybody needs or wants some other person or persons making moral and ethical decisions for them. Some of us are perfectly capable of doing that for ourselves. If you don’t like the idea of taking ella… don’t. But don’t expect everybody to live their lives according to your principles. 

    All textbooks on gynecology state quite explicitly that human life starts at fertilization. From then on the creature in the womb is regarded in obstetrics and gyncecology as the “second patient”.

    So why do most of these textbooks not define pregnancy until after implantation?