by Steven Ertelt
May 16, 2006
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A pro-life doctor who served on a Food and Drug Administration panel regarding selling the morning after pill over the counter is criticizing a campaign by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The physicians group has started a new effort to get doctors to promote the drug, which can sometimes cause an abortion.
The campaign features ads for doctors to post in their offices and waiting rooms, but pro-life doctors who oppose the drug, which can sometimes cause an abortion, may not be receptive.
Dr. David Hager, a Kentucky OBGYN is one of those doctors.
Because the FDA ultimately rejected the request to sell the morning after pill over the counter and has delayed acting on a second request from the drug’s manufacturer, Hager contends the ACOG ad campaign is an effort to promote over the counter sales.
However, Dr. Hager told Agape Press that ACOG’s contention that the drug will lower pregnancy and abortion rates is contradicted by two leading studies showing the opposite.
"A study done out of Scotland, a very well done study, concludes that advance provision of emergency contraception does not reduce abortion rates," he told Agape. "They did not find an effect on lowering abortion rates in women who had these prescriptions or had the medication available."
Meanwhile, Hager points to another study, done by the University of California at San Francisco and conducted by a Planned Parenthood medical advisor, that showed those rates did not decrease even when women were supplied with the Plan B drugs.
UCSF tracked 2,117 local women from age 15 to 24 who participated in the study for six months. Some women were given a personal supply of the pills, another group were told to obtain the pills at a local pharmacy, and a third group were instructed to get the drugs from a local health clinic.
The study found that increased access to the "morning after" pill did not lower pregnancy rates, because many women did not use the pills. In fact, only 55 percent of the women who had the pills already in their possession took them following sexual intercourse.
Regardless of which of the three control groups the women were placed in, the results showed the same percentage of women in each group had sex, contracted sexually transmitted diseases and became pregnant at the same rates.
Hager told Agape Press about his time on the FDA advisory committee.
"I was on the FDA advisory committee for reproductive health drugs and women at the time that the ultimate decision was made by the FDA not to approve this for over-the-counter sale," he told the news service.
"The vote of the advisory committee was 23-4 in favor of making Plan B [a brand name of EC in the U.S.] available over the counter. I was one of the four negative votes on that," Dr. Hager added.
The new "Ask me" ads include waiting room posters designed to encourage women to ask their doctors about the Plan B drug "Accidents happen," the posters say.
ACOG plans to send the posters to its 49,000 members but pro-life OBGYNs may be opposed to putting them up.
Currently nine states allow the morning after pill to be purchased over the counter and without a prescription.
Related web sites:
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists – https://www.acog.org