Is Ella Contraception Or Abortion?
Coming soon to a store near you: the “week after” pill named “Ella.”
This new drug, hailed by some as the next generation of the “morning after”
birth control pill or “emergency contraception”
claims to prevent “pregnancy” up to five days after sexual intercourse.
Nearly universal access to contraception apparently wasn’t sufficient for
our sexually permissive culture so—shazam!—along comes “emergency
contraception”(EC). The “morning after” pill or EC is a high dose (a really
high dose, at 40 times the potency) of the ordinary birth control pill.
Emergency contraception claims to prevent pregnancy up to 72 hours after
Now, apparently EC isn’t enough. On June 17, an advisory committee gave its
unanimous recommendation to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow
the sale of “Ella” in the United States. This development is another sad
indictment of our society’s impoverished view and abuse of human sexuality.
The characterization of Ella (by the FDA and others) as the next generation
of “emergency contraception” is also an abuse—of truth in advertising. Ella
is, in fact, closer to the abortion drug RU 486 than it is to emergency
Here is the difference. As just mentioned, EC is a high dose of the hormone
progesterone which can suppress ovulation (contraceptive effect) or alter
the lining of the uterus so a conceived embryo can’t implant (abortifacient
effect). It is not known with certainty how often EC operates as a
contraceptive versus an abortifacient.
Ella, on the other hand, is a progesterone blocker called “selective
progesterone receptor modulator” (SPRM). This is the same type of drug used
in the chemical abortion regimen RU 486. A SPRM works by preventing a newly
conceived embryo from implanting in the uterine lining or by starving an
already implanted embryo. This is an early abortion—not contraception!
This biological fact hasn’t stopped Ella supporters from claiming that it is
a new form of contraception, not abortion. This claim is based on a
biological sleight of hand that dates back to the advent of the birth
control pill 50 years ago.
When it was discovered that one of the ways in which the Pill works is to
alter the uterine lining to prevent implantation of an embryo (abortifacient),
its supporters knew that would be a problem for those who might accept
contraception but not abortion.
To remedy this, Pill advocates convinced key players in the medical
establishment to change the definition of pregnancy from conception to
implantation. By doing this, if the Pill prevented an embryo from
implanting, they could claim that it was preventing a pregnancy, not ending
one. This deceptive act is an example of the maxim that “verbal engineering
always precedes social engineering.”
In a letter to the head of the FDA, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, chairman of the
U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, expressed “grave concern”
over the FDA’s move to approve an abortion drug as an “emergency
“Millions of American women, even those willing to use a contraceptive to
prevent fertilization in various circumstances, would personally never
choose to have an abortion,” said Cardinal DiNardo. “They would be ill
served by a misleading campaign to present [Ella] simply as a
“In fact,” the Cardinal continued, “FDA approval for that purpose would
likely make the drug available for ‘off-label’ use simply as an abortion
drug—including its use by unscrupulous men with the intent of causing an
early abortion without a woman’s knowledge or consent. Such abuses have
already occurred in the case of RU-486, despite its warning labels and
As the “aging sex symbol” Rachel Welch said in a recent editorial
challenging the sexually permissive culture created by the birth control
pill, “we’re capable of so much better.”
2013 Southern Nebraska Register Publication Dates
(Resume Jan 4, 2014)
November 27 (Wed.)