Wednesday September 22, 1999

Early Abortion Drug Available Over the Counter

Potent drug receives revolutionary exemption from usual doctors’ risk assessment

TORONTO, Sept 22 (LSN) – LifeSite has learned that the controversial early abortion drug PREVEN, the so-called “emergency contraceptive”, was put on the Canadian market as of last Friday September 17. Furthermore, plans are underway to have the drugs available over the counter in short order.

Sales representatives from Roberts Pharmaceuticals, the Oakville, Ontario agency, which has exclusive Canadian marketing rights to PREVEN from Gynetics Inc., its US manufacturer, have been approaching pharmacists with information on the drug’s availability. Promotional material notes that Roberts plans “an aggressive national promotion campaign” for the early abortion kit. The drug’s availability from wholesalers has been confirmed.


Despite assurances from Health Canada that the drug would only be available by prescription, the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CphA) has, in conjunction with the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC), devised a plan whereby the “emergency contraception” would be available without seeing a doctor. An elaborate plan of training for pharmacists, and securing appropriate compensation for their new duties, would allow pharmacists to “prescribe” the abortifacient kit directly without recourse to a physician. Evidence for the implementation of such training programs was obtained by LifeSite from the College of Pharmacists of British Columbia.

Of note, the SOGC says that the impetus for making the drugs available over the counter comes from the United Nations’ health arm, the World Health Organization. Rosemary Killeen, SOGC director of professional affairs justified the SOGC support for the over the counter availability of the drug saying, “The World Health Organization has made a statement [that] a pelvic exam is not required to prescribe emergency contraception.”


The same deceptive marketing campaign that is being waged in the US to hide the truth of the abortifacient nature of the morning after pills is prevalent in PREVEN’s marketing in Canada. While the ads admit that the drugs are effective 72 hours after intercourse, they attempt to portray them as true contraceptives rather than abortifacients. The PREVEN kit, which is specifically designed for “emergency contraception”, even offers a pregnancy test and says, if the test indicates you are pregnant, do not take the pills. Pregnancy testers, however, look for a chemical in the body known as hcG which, according to health professionals, is undetectable until a substantial period after conception. In fact, most pregnancy testers indicate that users should wait until the first day after a missed period before using the device.

A large portion of the deception stems from the altered definition of “pregnancy” used by the “emergency contraception” pushers. While pregnancy commences at fertilization (conception), those bent on pushing the drugs have conveniently redefined pregnancy as beginning at implantation. Thus PREVEN and all such morning after pills bring about the death of the human embryo by altering the endometrium (the lining of the womb) so as to make it hostile to life; unable to support the embryo (also called a blastocyst at this stage of development). Despite the denials, research on morning after pills has shown their primary effect to be the halting of implantation. Textbooks on embryology state clearly: “After fertilization, the pre- implantation embryo remains extremely vulnerable. The ‘morning after’ pill, with its high estrogen content, alters the endometrium so that implantation fails to occur …” (Human Embryology and Developmental Biology, by Bruce M. Carlson, M.D., Ph.D., 1994, p. 110.)


Apart from the mild side effects of the pill such as severe nausea and vomiting, studies have shown use of the drugs to be strongly associated with the incidence of breast cancer, cervical cancer, blood clots, infertility, stroke and ectopic pregnancy. In fact the reason for the switch from “the Pill” to the “mini Pill”, containing a lower dosage of hormones, was specifically to avoid the nasty side effects of the original Pill. The morning after pills however, are a double dose of the original Pill and thus likely to produce the same side effects.

Moreover, several studies have found oral contraceptive use to be associated with increased risk of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases since sexual activity increases and the use of condoms decreases with the availability of oral contraceptives. The availability of the morning after pill will surely exacerbate this effect.


The US marketing of PREVEN has met with strong resistance from pro-life forces. Judie Brown of American Life League referred to PREVEN as nothing more than “a do-it-yourself abortion kit.”

The battle has led to pharmacists refusing to dispense the abortive drug. In December 1996 Karen Brauer, a pro-life pharmacist, was fired by K-Mart after refusing to dispense morning after pills. Bauer is currently suing K-Mart with the help of the American Center for Law and Justice. Another pharmaceutical giant in the US, WAL-MART, has refused to sell PREVEN despite heavy pressure from pro-abortion groups.

The Roman Catholic Church has condemned morning after pills, saying they are the same as abortion. Monsignor Elio Sgreccia, vice president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, wrote in the Italian Roman Catholic daily l’Avenire in April calling the pill an “abortion technique” rather than a contraceptive. “The morning-after pill does not exist… This is an abortion,” said the Bishop.


Pharmacists for Life Canada, noted that pro-life pharmacists were concerned over having to dispense abortion-causing drugs and hoped conscience legislation would be enacted to protect the beliefs of pharmacists. Campaign Life Coalition has urged a boycott of Roberts Pharmaceuticals. Pro-lifers are encouraged to approach their pharmacists and ask for a list of products by Roberts Pharmaceuticals, and let their pharmacist know that they do not wish to support the company with their business, due to its promotion of the abortifacient drug.

For more information on the abortive nature of PREVEN see:

For some history on the “morning after pill” see:

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