This is an updated version of an article originally published in 2006 after the drug known as “Plan B” or “the morning after pill” received over-the-counter status in America. Plan B was the pioneer in a class of drugs that have come to be known as “emergency contraception.” The occasion for updating this article is what appears to be the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s immanent approval of another similar drug called “EllaOne.” All drugs within this class are to be taken three to five days after unprotected sex or “contraceptive failure” for what their manufacturers term the “prevention of pregnancy.”
The massive ignorance about how these drugs function has led to their widespread use and the unwitting embrace of chemical abortion in America. The label “abortion” fits because these drugs work by a combination of three primary mechanisms, with mechanism three causing a chemical (as compared to a surgical) abortion:
- stopping the release of an egg from the ovary, and/
- preventing the fertilization of an egg, and/or
- preventing an embryo from attaching to the womb/uterus/endometrium, thus being aborted from the body.1
Action three, above, is a textbook description of a chemical abortion. This action is plainly stated in Duramed’s drug insert for Plan B, “In addition, it [Plan B] may inhibit implantation” 2 of a newly conceived baby by altering the endometrium. Again, this means that a newly conceived human being can not attach to the womb to receive nourishment, and consequently dies and is aborted by the body. EllaOne, the latest form of “emergency contraception,” works similarly. Section 5.1 of the drug manufacturer’s (HRA Pharma) Summary of Product Characteristics, explains that it too creates “alterations to the endometrium (which) may also contribute to the efficacy of the medicinal product.”3
Emergency contraceptives clearly violate “Plan G” – that is, God’s Plan - for human beings. In the Bible, God establishes that biological personhood begins at conception and immaterial personhood begins before conception!4 Therefore, to take the life of an unborn child/person by surgical or chemical abortion is evil.
If the evidence is this clear, then why is emergency contraception so widely accepted that new versions of it are being introduced into the marketplace? The answer, in part, is a deceptive marketing campaign that redefines terms, masks the whole truth, and is purposefully vague. This highly effective mix aims at what one unidentified proponent claimed as the ultimate goal for Plan B, “To have a bottle of emergency contraception next to every bottle of baby aspirin in every medicine cabinet in America.” Tragically, that goal is becoming reality as a result of the following factors.
First, these drugs are deceptively labeled as “contraceptives.” The truth is that they do not necessarily “tend or serve to prevent conception or impregnation”5 the way a textbook contraceptive (like a condom) does. Action number two, above, hints at a contraceptive action, but upon further investigation, product literature is both vague and confusing about if and how that action works. At the very least, to call these drugs contraceptives is not the whole truth – a whole truth that should include the likelihood of causing an abortion.
Second, makers of Plan B and EllaOne deceptively distance their drugs from those known to cause abortion, like RU-486. On their website, Duramed states that “It is important to know that Plan B® is not RU-486 (the abortion pill).”6 Plan B and RU-486 are, in fact, two different drugs at least regarding the timeframe in which they are to be taken: Plan B within 72 hours of sex and RU-486 “to terminate a pregnancy of 49 days or less duration.”7 However, RU-486, Plan B, and EllaOne all work to kill a child as revealed by drug action number three, above. They are “drug cousins” at the very least.
Third, these drug manufacturers spin glowing, altruistic-sounding appeals that tout their drugs as the happy bringers of convenience, anonymity, and effectiveness in the face of fear. In recent years, Plan B has been relabeled “Plan B ~ One Step” highlighting its altruistic convenience with the tag line, “Plan B® One-Step is just one pill, which allows you to get what you need right away.”8 For months, the downtown St. Louis Planned Parenthood (a big supplier of such drugs) displayed a large banner on the side of their building showing a happy assortment of 20-somethings along with a message, “Need emergency contraception? Planned Parenthood to the rescue!” Such messages deceptively produce a false perception that these drugs are safe and reasonable.
Fourth, manufacturers redefine “pregnancy” to avoid saying that their drugs cause an abortion. Duramed claims that “Plan B® One-Step will not affect an existing pregnancy.”9 This is an outright lie. Action three, above, clearly implicates an embryo, which by definition, means the woman is pregnant! This claim only makes sense by redefining pregnancy as something that does not begin at conception – a claim clearly refuted by Scripture.4
Fifth, most people have never heard of the concept of chemical abortion, let alone understand what it is or that so-called “emergency contraceptive” drugs cause it. To make matters worse, nearly all abortion statistics in America refer to surgical abortion, and those figures have been decreasing in recent years. What people do not realize is that chemical abortion – largely due to the use of emergency contraception – is increasing! The potential for abortion by such chemical means has the potential to easily eclipse the killing done via surgical abortion in America.
Sixth, the truth is just not getting out. This article was written to help change that. Please graciously and appropriately share it to help people understand the dangers and lies associated with emergency contraception. Help them see that these drugs clearly cause abortion and violate “Plan G,” God’s plan for human life. The longer we wait, the more children will be killed by chemical abortion.
4 Gen 1:26-27, 9:6, Ps 139:13-14, Jer 1:5, Isa 49:1, Gal 1:15-17, John 1:1-5, 8:58, 17:24, 1 Pet 1:20-21, Luke 1:15, Eph 1:3-5, esp. v. 4, Matthew 25:34.