ECP (Morning After Pill)

Canadian Government makes kids available for sex to anybody – but at least they will not get pregnant?

On April 20th 2005 “…Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh announced an amendment to the Food Drug Regulations permitting Levonorgestrel 0.75mg, also known as the :morning after pill”, to be sold without a prescription….Levonorgestrel 0.75mg is an emergency contraceptive that can help prevent pregnancy up to three days after unprotected sex and is most effective if taken within 24 hours…..Health Canada’s decision to exempt Plan B from being sold only by prescription was made following extensive review of clinical evidence and safety data on the product. Health Canada undertook extensive consultations that included publication in Canada Gazette Part 1 on May 22nd 2004….”

Levonorgestrel 0.75mg is an emergency contraceptive that can help prevent pregnancy

The government order allowing the behind the counter sales claims the drug can be used to “prevent pregnancy,” yet the same document goes on to say that it does so by “preventing the fertilized egg from attaching to the wall of the uterus..”  Pharmaceutical companies state clearly that the prevention of implantation is at the very least a back-up mechanism in their formulations of the pill, while some newer “contraceptives” are solely aimed at revention of implantation, for example the contraceptive vaccine.  Now which is it a contraceptive or an abortifacient or is it both? Let us consult the “experts”.

Ontario Women’s Health Council

“The primary mechanism by which ECPs prevent pregnancy is by delaying or inhibiting ovulation. They may also work by inhibiting tubal transport of the egg or sperm, interfering with fertilization, or altering the lining of the uterus.”

Health Canada News Release April 20th 2005; Health Canada Media Inquiries Jirina Vlk

Health Canada April 19th 2005 “Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement”, page 1

Pal R. “Absence of corpus luteum rescue by chorionic gonadotropin in women immunized with a contraceptive vaccine”, Fertility and Sterility 76 (2)

Toronto Public Health

“Sometimes it works by preventing the sperm and egg from meeting. Sometimes, if the sperm has already fertilized the egg, it may prevent the growing group of cells from implanting in the uterus…”

Planned Parenthood Federation of Canada

“The way the pills work depends on where you are in your monthly cycle when you take them. They can work by stopping the egg from being released from your ovary, preventing fertilization of the egg or stopping the egg from becoming implanted in your uterus. This is similar to the way that regular birth control pills work.”

ProChoice Action Network

“The Emergency Contraceptive Pill (ECP) can be used up to 72 hours after unprotected sex. There are various types of ECP; generally there will be two doses of pills 12 hours apart. The first dose must be taken within the 72-hour time limit. The pills work by preventing fertilization or implantation of a fertilized egg in the wall of the uterus.”

Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada

“Multiple mechanisms have been proposed including induction of endometrial asynchrony, altered endometrial receptors, suppression or delay of the LH surge, and ovarian steroid changes through pituitary suppression with subsequent corpus luteum disruption. Most of these mechanisms are felt to either suppress ovulation or prevent fertilization. The mechanism may also be through blocking implantation. Women should be aware of the possible mechanisms of emergency contraception because for some women this may not be an ethically acceptable option.” in answer to a question “Can you let me know PlanB’s mechanism of action. “The medication in PlanB which is Levonorgestrel is similar to the ingredients in most birth control tablets. It works by delaying ovulation and therefore delaying fertilization. It may also prevent implantation in the uterus, but that is speculative.”

Canadian Physicians for Life

“The morning after pill is a multiple dose of an oral contraceptive. The MAP may prevent ovulation, or if fertilization has occurred, it may ruin the implantation of a newly conceived human being. It is important that the potential for post fertilization effects be communicated to patients and health-care providers, as many consider human life to be present and valuable from the moment of fertilization. The common description of MAP as an emergency contraception fails to accurately describe its possible abortifacient action   and is misleading the public.”

The Society for the Protection of Children (UK)

The Society for the Protection of Children (sought a judicial review on morning after pills, two of the witness statements in support of the drug company and the judge’s ruling acknowledged the fact that non-barrier birth control could affect the lining of the womb, which is where the early embryo needs to implant.16

Postfertilization Effect of Hormonal Emergency Contraception: The Annals of Pharmacology, p.470, March 2002 Vol. 36; Chris Kahlenbon, Joseph B Stanford and Walter L. Larimore

International Journal of Cancer on Courier-Mail on and Society for the Protection of Children, May 20th

“Experience in other countries shows that easier access does not lead to excessive use…”