New 'Morning After' Pill May Come to US

Offers longer protection; sure to stir up abortion debate

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 12, 2010 12:11 PM CDT

(Newser) – Prepare for another big debate over a "morning after" pill. An FDA panel next week will begin vetting a French pill called "ella" that its manufacturer wants to sell in the US, reports the Washington Post. Ella already is sold in 22 countries as an emergency contraceptive that can be taken up to 5 days after unprotected sex. That's longer than the Plan B pill now on the market in US, which promises protection for up to 3 days afterward.

Ella, however, is similar in its chemical makeup to the so-called abortion pill RU486, which is used to terminate established pregnancies, notes the Post. Abortion foes fear that ella will be used mostly as an abortion pill, not as an emergency contraceptive. "The difference between preventing life and destroying life is hugely significant to many women," said the director of the Family Research Council's Center for Human Dignity. "Women deserve to know that difference."

This undated image provided by Barr Pharmaceuticals shows the packaging for the Plan B pill.
This undated image provided by Barr Pharmaceuticals shows the packaging for the "Plan B" pill.   (AP Photo/Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc.)
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