FDA now clear: The morning-after pill is not an abortion pill

According to data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2021, nearly a quarter of women of childbearing age who have sex with men answered yes to the question: “Have you ever used the emergency contraceptive pill, also known as ‘Plan B,’ “‘Preven’, ‘Ella’, ‘Next Choice’ or ‘Morning after’ pills? The agency did not break down the data by the type of pill taken.

Dr. Giovannina Anthony, an ob-gyn at the Women’s Health and Home Care Clinic in Jackson, Wyoming, said some patients were confused about whether the pills could cause miscarriages because of claims from anti-abortion groups, and her staff Now they will be able to reassure them using the FDA’s new interpretation of the scientific evidence.

Dr. Anthony, whose state is among those trying to restrict abortion, said the FDA’s new guidance “is critical for women who have had unprotected sex and live in geographic areas where abortion is not available, prohibited or inaccessible. It should Encourage more women to use Plan B to reduce unwanted pregnancy rates.”

As early as 1999 in the approval process, Plan B maker Barr Pharmaceuticals (later acquired by Teva) asked the FDA not to list implant effects on the label, The Times reported in 2012.

Implantation is likely written on the label, experts say, in part because daily birth control pills, some of which contain Plan B’s active ingredient, appear to alter the endometrium, the lining of the womb where a fertilized egg implants. Altering the lining of the uterus has not been shown to interfere with implantation. But regardless, the morning-after pill doesn’t have time to affect the lining of the uterus, unlike the cumulative dose of a daily birth control pill, scientists say.

By 2007, evidence was mounting that morning-after pills do not prevent implantation. In 2009-2010, when discussing making Plan B over the counter available to people of all ages, Teva also demanded that the implant be removed from the label.

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