Pro-Life Groups Blast Obama Administration Approval of New Abortion Drug Ella
by Steven Ertelt
August 16, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) – Several pro-life groups have released statements in the wake of the Obama administration approving for prescription sales the abortion drug Ella. The FDA, mainstream media outlets and backers of the drug call it an improved morning after pill, but the pro-life groups say ella clearly causes abortions.
The ella drug, sold as EllaOne currently in Europe, can be used up to five days after sexual intercourse — but that time period is past the point at which contraception can prevent pregnancy and the creation of a new, unique human being.
That means the drug causes abortions and, as Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest told LifeNews.com, "billing this abortion-causing drug as an ‘emergency contraceptive’ is misleading to the public."
She said that, like the commonly-known and used RU 486 abortion drug which works about seven weeks into pregnancy, ella is a selective progesterone receptor modulator.
"As a progesterone blocker, an SPRM works to interfere with the developing human embryo, causing it to die by either interfering with the uterine lining and preventing implantation, or by starving an implanted embryo. Women deserve to be fully informed that ella may interfere with and kill a developing embryo and does not only prevent conception," she said.
Yoest also said, "The FDA’s irresponsible approval of ella (Ulipristal), without adequate safety studies, places women’s health and lives at risk."
She noted how, several members of the FDA advisory panel that reviewed ella’s application raised the concern that there was insufficient data to show the effect ella would have on a pregnancy and a developing embryo or fetus.
"The chemical make-up and mechanism of action of ella are very similar to RU-486, which is known to cause serious adverse health risks such as severe bleeding, ruptured tubal pregnancies, serious infections, and even death," Yoest added. "Further study is necessary to ensure ella is safe for women, particularly if it is used off-label."
Yoest also said the FDA summary of the ella drug indicates the clinical study on ella was too limited to draw any meaningful conclusions about risks associated with tubal pregnancy.
"Little data is available about ella’s effect on minors or complications from ella’s interaction with other drugs, such as hormonal birth control," she said.
Jeanne Monahan, director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council, also responded to the FDA approval of ella.
"The FDA opted against including the critical fact that Ella can cause an abortion on a baby already implanted in its mother’s womb in the drug labeling information. This decision flies in the face of the Obama Administration’s promise to transparency and a commitment to science," she said.
"The difference between preventing and destroying life is enormous, and women have the right to know how this drug will act on their bodies and on their babies," Monahan added.
Monahan also emphasized the medical concerns for women.
"Since Ella is chemically similar to RU-486 (which has been the cause of at least six deaths reported to the FDA in less than six years) it is likely that the serious health concerns for women will be similar," she said. "The FDA has very little knowledge about how this drug will impact women’s health and for that reason alone should do more research before approval."
Monahan also said approval of Ella raises concerns about taxpayer funding of abortions, since currently the federal government will pay for drugs labeled as emergency contraception, but not abortion pills.
Meanwhile, Kristan Hawkins, executive director of Students for Life of America, said she was disappointed the FDA approved the ella drug.
“Make no mistake about it, ella is a dangerous abortion drug. The FDA’s approval of ella for sale within the U.S. shows that the FDA has not done its job protecting women," she said.
Hawkins has serious concerns about the new drug, especially because ella is being portrayed as a five day "emergency contraceptive" while it has a similar chemical makeup to RU-486, another abortion drug.
"There is evidence that ella actually prevents implantation of an human embryo and may also kill or injure the unborn child after implantation. In addition to this, SFLA and the Coalition are concerned that similar side effects of the RU-486 pill will occur with ella, such as severe bleeding, ruptured tubal pregnancies, infections, and even death," she said.
Related web sites:
Americans United for Life – http://www.americansunitedforlife.org
FRC – http://www.frc.org
Students for Life – http://www.studentsforlife.org
Ella Causes Abortions – http://www.ellacausesabortions.com
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