The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Aug. 13 the approval of "ella," which it says prevents pregnancy when it is taken within five days after sexual intercourse. Ella, which requires a prescription, functions primarily to restrict or postpone ovulation in a woman, according to the FDA.
Pro-life organizations, however, charge ella can act to eliminate an embryo already implanted in the mother's womb. The newly approved drug is more closely related to RU 486, the abortion drug already sold in the United States, than to currently marketed emergency contraceptives Plan B and Next Choice, pro-lifers say.
Ella is like RU 486, also known as mifepristone, in that it prevents production of the hormone progesterone, destroying the placenta that provides nutrition to the embryo and causing the tiny child's death, according to the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG). Like the "morning-after" pills Plan B and Next Choice, ella also can block implantation of an embryo in the uterine wall, causing an abortion.
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