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‘Morning-after’ kit may result in abortion, not just contraception

WASHINGTON (BP)–Women who use the Food and Drug Administration’s newly approved “emergency contraception” kit may abort their newly formed children rather than prevent pregnancy, some pro-life biomedical specialists are saying.
The FDA approved the application of a New Jersey firm to market the Preven Emergency Contraceptive Kit, which contains what are commonly referred to as “morning-after” pills. The kit calls for a woman to take two pills within 72 hours after sexual intercourse and two more another 12 hours later. This method is about 75 percent effective in preventing pregnancy, according to the FDA.
While the pills are designed to delay or prevent ovulation, thereby prohibiting fertilization, they also harden the lining of the uterus. This may block implantation of an already fertilized egg in the uterine lining. The FDA and some in the medical community define pregnancy as beginning at implantation, while pro-life biomedical specialists and others in the field of medicine say pregnancy starts at fertilization.
“To the extent that the pill prevents the implantation of a fertilized egg, it is an abortifacient,” said Southern Baptist biomedical ethics specialist C. Ben Mitchell. “The notion that the prevention of implantation is merely contraception is the same as calling abortion a form of contraception. I suppose the ‘prom moms’ who killed their newborn babies were just practicing contraception? How ludicrous!”
Focus on the Family life-issues analyst Carrie Gordon said in the Sept. 9 issue of Citizen Issues Alert, “Biologically speaking, life begins at conception. All 46 human chromosomes are present. Nothing changes but your location and how big you are.
“Women need to know the truth about this pill. They need to know it’s not what’s being advertised.”
The National Right to Life Committee issued a statement saying it takes no position on drugs that prevent fertilization. The statement also said, “Some chemical compounds may work to either prevent fertilization or kill the developing human being which has begun to grow. National Right to Life advises women faced with these situations to consult one or more physicians. If, in the best medical judgment of the physicians, the drug or drugs will cause an abortion, NRLC strongly opposes the taking of the drug.”
Not only may the FDA’s approval of the “morning-after” kit result in aborted babies, but it sends a crippling message to society, Mitchell said.
“A so-called ‘morning-after’ pill is a perfect tool to teach our youth that one can avoid the consequences of his or her actions,” said Mitchell, assistant professor of ethics at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a life-issues consultant for the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. “How convenient for adults who have tossed out their moral compass.
“Behavior has consequences, and the sooner we come to grips with that fact and grow up as a culture, the better off we’ll be. Until we learn that lesson, we will continue to develop technologies which allow us to practice immorality without temporal consequences. But we should never be deceived — God will not be mocked. Whatever we sow, that we shall also reap.”
The kits, which will be available by the end of September, will require a prescription and will cost about $20 apiece, according to news reports. Gynetics Inc. of Belle Mead, N.J., is the company approved to market them.
The FDA paved the way for marketing “morning-after” pills when it took the unusual step in early 1997 of announcing it was seeking manufacturers to submit drug applications for “emergency contraception.”
It already has been possible for doctors to prescribe birth control pills in heavy dosages for “morning-after” uses. The FDA’s Sept. 2 action was the first time it had approved the marketing of a specific kit for such purposes.