By Scott Tibbs, August 28, 2006
Last week, the Food and Drug Administration approved "Plan B", the so-called "Morning After Pill", for over the counter sales. While I take some comfort in the fact that girls under 18 cannot get the drug without a prescription, I am saddened by the decision to expand use of a drug that can kill innocent human life in its earliest stages.
Supporters of the MAP have been telling anyone who will listen that the drug does not cause an abortion, but occasionally they slip up and blurt out the truth. Last summer, I pointed out that an article on Planned Parenthood's own web site said that "(Emergency Contraception) prevents pregnancy by stopping ovulation, fertilization, or implantation." (Emphasis is mine.) PlannedParenthood.org also had an article that said the birth control pill "can also prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus." Both articles have since been removed from PP's web site.
In a rare moment of honesty, Planned Parenthood said in a press release that the MAP "may in rare circumstances prevent a fertilized egg from becoming implanted", and even admitted that "regular oral contraceptives would prevent implantation in the same way."
And there's the nub of the issue. America has been debating the ethical ramifications of embryonic stem cell research for several years, and the first time that President George W. Bush used his power to veto legislation since being inaugurated was when the Congress sent him legislation expanding stem-cell research. How is the MAP different? If use of the MAP results in the destruction of a newly-formed human life, there is no difference between using "emergency contraception" and destroying a newly formed human life to extract stem cells.
This was a bad move by the FDA. A government agency charged with protecting human health by keeping harmful drugs off the market has approved a drug that can kill a human being in the earliest stages of development. I hope the Bush Administration or Congress takes steps to reverse the FDA's decision.