FDA considers a Plan C

But antiabortion activists want ulipristal acetate, a new and improved emergency contraceptive, to be banned

Topics: Pregnancy, Broadsheet, Sex, Sex Education, Love and Sex,

FDA considers a Plan C

Next week, the Food and Drug Administration is set to consider approval for an emergency contraceptive that can be taken five days after sex, and it just might be more effective than Plan B. Ulipristal acetate, sold under the brand name ellaOne, is already approved in Europe as a morning-after — make that a several-mornings-after — pill. 

USA Today reports that “two company-funded trials involving more than 3,000 women, published in February, found that it was consistently effective up to 120 hours, or five days, after unprotected sex.” Compare that to Plan B (aka levonorgestrel), which decreases in effectiveness during its 72-hour window. Even within that three-day period, though, ellaOne was more effective than Plan B, according to one study. 

You Might Also Like

A new, more effective form of emergency contraception? The potential here is thrilling — except for some outspoken antiabortion activists. As LifeNews.com reports, the American Association of Pro Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists has sent a letter to the FDA opposing ulipristal’s approval, calling it “an abortifacient of the same type as mifepristone (RU 486).”

Mifepristone isn’t approved in the U.S. for use as an emergency contraceptive, so it’s a misleading comparison. (See here: “Emergency contraceptives should not be confused with mifepristone.”) That isn’t to say that ulipristal can’t cause an abortion, but its indicated use is as emergency contraception; taking it to terminate a pregnancy would be a dangerous, off-label use. As the European Medicines Agency noted in a review of the drug, “pregnancy should be excluded” before the drug is prescribed.

Not that that precaution would satisfy the antiabortion critics. I tell you, FDA approval sure seems like a laughable obstacle in comparison to the political opposition ellaOne is bound to face.

Tracy Clark-Flory

Tracy Clark-Flory is a staff writer at Salon. Follow @tracyclarkflory on Twitter and Facebook.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Martyna Blaszczyk/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 1

    Pond de l'Archeveche - hundreds thousands of padlocks locked to a bridge by random couples, as a symbol of their eternal love. After another iconic Pont des Arts bridge was cleared of the padlocks in 2010 (as a safety measure), people started to place their love symbols on this one. Today both of the bridges are full of love locks again.

    Anders Andersson/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 2

    A bird's view of tulip fields near Voorhout in the Netherlands, photographed with a drone in April 2015.

    Aashit Desai/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 3

    Angalamman Festival is celebrated every year in a small town called Kaveripattinam in Tamil Nadu. Devotees, numbering in tens of thousands, converge in this town the day after Maha Shivratri to worship the deity Angalamman, meaning 'The Guardian God'. During the festival some of the worshippers paint their faces that personifies Goddess Kali. Other indulge in the ritual of piercing iron rods throughout their cheeks.

    Allan Gichigi/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 4

    Kit Mikai is a natural rock formation about 40m high found in Western Kenya. She goes up the rocks regularly to meditate. Kit Mikai, Kenya

    Chris Ludlow/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 5

    On a weekend trip to buffalo from Toronto we made a pit stop at Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. I took this shot with my nexus 5 smartphone. I was randomly shooting the falls themselves from different viewpoints when I happened to get a pretty lucky and interesting shot of this lone seagull on patrol over the falls. I didn't even realize I had captured it in the shot until I went back through the photos a few days later

    Jassen T./National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 6

    Incredibly beautiful and extremely remote. Koehn Lake, Mojave Desert, California. Aerial Image.

    Howard Singleton/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 7

    Lucky timing! The oxpecker was originally sitting on hippo's head. I could see the hippo was going into a huge yawn (threat display?) and the oxpecker had to vacate it's perch. When I snapped the pic, the oxpecker appeared on the verge of being inhaled and was perfectly positioned between the massive gaping jaws of the hippo. The oxpecker also appears to be screeching in terror and back-pedaling to avoid being a snack!

    Abrar Mohsin/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 8

    The Yetis of Nepal - The Aghoris as they are called are marked by colorful body paint and clothes

    Madeline Crowley/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 9

    Taken from a zodiac raft on a painfully cold, rainy day

    Ian Bird/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 10

    This wave is situated right near the CBD of Sydney. Some describe it as the most dangerous wave in Australia, due to it breaking on barnacle covered rocks only a few feet deep and only ten metres from the cliff face. If you fall off you could find yourself in a life and death situation. This photo was taken 300 feet directly above the wave from a helicopter, just as the surfer is pulling into the lip of the barrel.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>