Posted by: Jayme | November 29, 2008

Plan B Pill – An “abortion pill” or not?

While watching a family show on the basic cable channel TLC this evening, I saw a commercial for the Plan B pill.  At first I was disgusted, but then curious.  The sweet voice assuring women that this would make their problems go away in the event of a “contraceptive failure” without a prescription actually said the words “Plan B is not the abortion pill.”  Labeled as emergency contraceptive the drug’s official website says: “Plan B is not an abortion pill.  It won’t work if you’re already pregnant.  If you take Plan B and are already pregnant, it will not affect your existing pregnancy.”  My skepticism kicked in, and after a little digging, I found this to be less than honest.

As it turns out, so did the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) when they learned that this drug’s status was changing from prescription only to over the counter.  In a section of the statement presented to the FDA, the USCCB said:

The drug regimen under consideration can act as an abortifacient, rather than as a contraceptive in the traditional sense of that term. Therefore it is unsafe and may be toxic to developing human embryos, recognized in law and medicine as human subjects and patients in their own right. Making this regimen readily available for self-medicating also excludes the participation of a clinician who can ensure that women receive properly informed consent about the abortifacient property of the drug, a factor that would be of deep concern to many women.

Just how does it act as an abortifacient?  The USCCB actually uses scientific terms and great detail to describe it.  My description is a little less technical.  This pill is a super-dose of hormones that will cause a woman’s body to make ovulating less likely, make it more difficult for sperm to reach an egg, and (here’s the kicker) make a woman’s uterus toxic to a fertilized egg, preventing implantation.  That’s right, the last effect I mentioned prevents the survival of a living human embryo.  Should an egg be released and the sperm get through, the result would be an abortion of a very new, very small, human person.

If you are wondering how often the first methods I mention fail, you are in good company.  Doctors R.T. Mikolajczyk and J.B. Stanford researched this, and published their findings in the journal Fertility and Sterility, as reported by They found that,

If disruption of ovulation were the only significant mechanism of
action of levonorgestrel, its “effectiveness” could not be much more
than 50% if given immediately after intercourse. With delays in its
administration, it would be substantially less.

However, clinical trials showed an overall effectiveness rating of 95% in that time period.  So with ovulation being prevented only half of the time, the effect they measured is likely not just due to pregnancy prevention, but to the destruction of human life.


Coincidentally, another show airing on TLC, features a couple who discovered early in their marriage that the pill can act as an abortifacient through tragic circumstances.  You can read about it in their own words in the first paragraph on the Duggar family’s official About Us page.



  1. […] Up Beginning of Life Confusion In a recent post I expressed shock at seeing a commercial for the Plan B drug that actually used the words […]

  2. […] to distribute the Plan B abortifacient pill, even if doing so violates their religious beliefs.  (See here for more information about that […]

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