by Marshall Ramsey II, Worthy News US Correspondent
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Worthy News)-- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved 'Ella', a new morning-after contraceptive pill effective up to five days after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure, despite the lack of adequate clinical trials, critics say.
Ella is touted as a successful anti-pregnancy pill that will reduce a woman's chances for getting pregnant by about 2/3 for at least 120 hours. The decision to allow the sale of Ella is hailed by supporters as a vital new option to prevent unwanted pregnancies, but critics of the decision say that approving Ella as a contraceptive is misleading because it can also be used to induce an abortion.
Ella is known by its generic name, ulipristal acetate, which blocks a woman's progesterone activity, delaying the ovaries from producing an egg. RU-486 works the same way. It prevents a fertilized egg from implanting and dislodges growing embryos.
SUPPORTERS OF THE DRUG
Vanessa Cullins of Planned Parenthood Federation of America says, "Ella will become an important option for women."
Erin Gainer, CEO of HRA Pharma of Paris, which produces Ella (ellaOne as it is known in Europe), says Ella is "an effective and well-tolerated new generation emergency contraceptive, fulfills a significant and previiously unmet need in this filed by reducing pregnancy risk up to five days after intercourse."
OPPONENTS OF THE DRUG
Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America said, "The FDA underscored the point that this decision was driven by politics by releasing it late on a Friday when people are not paying attention. The meager trials done on ella indicate it may cause miscarriages and birth defects. Yet the FDA allowed the HRA Pharma to avoid fully testing the drug so women will be kept in the dark on what kind of serious complications it may cause to her and her baby."
The FDA itself warned that it was unsafe for women to use ella more than occasionally because they did not have any data on long-term safety. It also warned that women should be ruled out as being pregnant before taking the drug, indicating that it could cause fetuses already in development to be killed and aborted.
"By misclassifying ella as emergency contraception, this administration has paved the way to covertly allow federal funding for abortion through Medicaid, Title X, and international family planning programs," said U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), co-chairman of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, a bi-partisan organization.
"The FDA is supposed to protect people from dangerous drugs and deceptive marking. Instead, today they have proven they are willing to be complicit in this abortion cover-up," said Smith. "At a minimum the drug should be classified as an abortion drug. Women deserve to know that these pills they believe prevent pregnancy could actually kill their unborn child by withholding vital nutrients and effectively starving the child to death."
"Make no mistake about it, ella is a dangerous abortion drug," said Kristan Hawkins, Executive Director of Students for Life of America, which has called on the FDA to review and reverse its decision. "The FDA's approval of ella for sale within the U.S. shows that the FDA has not done its job protecting women, particularly young women whom SFLA serves on a daily basis."
ALTERNATIVE FORMS OF CONTRACEPTION
Other forms of contraception are available to the public without having to harm the life of the child such as condoms and spermicidal sponges. Other forms of birth control work by releasing large amounts of progesterone into a woman's body which suppresses ovulation, inhibits sperm migration, and reduces sperm capacity for fertilization. The danger with this, however, is that it changes the womb's lining, preventing the newly conceived child from implanting and being brought to term. It should be noted that except in the case of abstinence, no contraception is 100% effective, nor 100% safe.