This past Friday the FDA approved a new emergency contraceptive pill, ella, that prevents pregnancy up until five days after sex. Proponents of contraceptive services are excited about the new development that greatly trumps the only other emergency contraceptive on the market, Plan B, when it comes to duration of effectiveness. Studies show that ella has about a 60% prevention rate for up to five full days, compared to Plan B which is less and less effective as time passes and has no effect after 72 hours.
Opponents claim that this new "emergency contraceptive" is really just a veiled abortion pill. Pro-life supporters are concerned that the pill will be eligible for purchase through government subsidies as well as included in the new health care reforms. RU-486, the abortion pill, is banned from both of these policies. The FDA holds that ella is tested and approved as a safe form of emergency contraception, not as an abortion pill. Ella delays ovulation and therefore fertilization; it does not cause abortion. The study showed that the pill is safe when used in its intended capacity and may result in only minor side effects such as headache, nausea, abdominal pain or dizziness, all common in other contraceptive pills.
Supporters and opponents alike view the FDA approval as a demonstration of political ideology and acknowledge that this development will lead to heated debate between and among the parties. Even with the controversy, Vanessa Cullins of PPFA believes, "Ella will become an important option for women." Ella will provide women with a safe alternative to prevent unwanted pregnancy after unprotected sex. PPIA is excited about ella and its implications for the reproductive and sexual health of American women. You can access Planned Parenthood Federal America's entire press release here.
Ella is on the market in 22 countries and pharmaceutical distributors hope to offer the new product by the end of the year. The pill will be available by prescription in 30mg tablets and upon prescription women will be able to keep a supply at home. There is no solid information on pricing just yet.
It is Planned Parenthood's strong belief that every woman deserves the chance to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
To read more please visit the Washington Post article. Please let us know what you think about ella! We would love to hear from you :)
Technorati tags: emergency contraception, ella