WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has announced it will amend the labeling for the Plan B emergency contraceptive pill to “clarify” that it is not an abortifacient, despite evidence that the drug can function by killing already-conceived embryos.
In an announcement made December 23, the FDA declared that Plan B “will not work if a person is already pregnant, meaning it will not affect an existing pregnancy. Plan B One-Step prevents pregnancy by acting on ovulation, which occurs well before implantation. Evidence does not support that the drug affects implantation or maintenance of a pregnancy after implantation, therefore it does not terminate a pregnancy.”
The FDA claim it was removing language acknowledging the possibility of preventing implantation because a review of “the current science supports a conclusion that Plan B One-Step works by inhibiting or delaying ovulation and the midcycle hormonal changes,” and that “there is no direct effect on postovulatory processes, such as fertilization or implantation.”
In fact, however, Plan B does have an abortifacient capacity, and whether it prevents fertilization or implantation depends on when it is taken relative to a woman’s cycle. Pro-lifers have long accused abortion activists of denying this based not on science but expediency.
“If Plan B is taken five to two days before egg release is due to happen, the interference with the LH signal prevents a woman from releasing an egg, no fertilization happens, and no embryo is formed,” Dr. Donna Harrison of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists explains, citing numerous studies. However, if the pill is taken during the “two-day window in which embryos can form but positive pregnancy tests don’t occur,” studies indicate it “has a likely embryocidal effect in stopping pregnancy.”
Further confusing the issue is the manipulation of semantics by activists in the medical establishment. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a purportedly-impartial medical authority that in reality is heavily pro-abortion, redefined “conception” in the 1960s to refer to implantation rather than fertilization, for the purpose of making contraception more culturally acceptable.
Even so, a 2011 survey found that most OB/GYNs continued to say life begins at fertilization, not implantation, and a 2019 survey found that 96% of biologists “affirmed that a human’s life begins at fertilization.”
National Public Radio notes that supporters of abortion and contraception have expressed concern that, with last year’s overturn of Roe v. Wade allowing direct abortion bans to take effect, new pro-life laws could be applied to contraceptives as well. The FDA’s latest move may have been intended to provide legal cover for excluding Plan B from such bans.