Catholic Bishops Say FDA Betrayed Women Approving Ella Abortion Drug

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 23, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Bishops Say FDA Betrayed Women Approving Ella Abortion Drug

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 23
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — A spokeswoman for the nation’s Catholic bishops says the Food and Drug administration betrayed women when it approved the unproven and little-researched Ella abortion drug. The Ella pill is hailed as an improved morning after pill but it causes abortions because it begins working after conception.

The drug reportedly can be used longer after sexual intercourse than the traditional Plan B drug and the FDA approved the drug with prescription-only status for use as an “emergency contraceptive” up to five days after sexual intercourse.

Supporters of Ella have gotten around that fact by redefining the beginning of pregnancy as implantation rather than conception, or fertilization.

But Deirdre McQuade, the Assistant Director at the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, says it crosses the line between contraception and abortion.

"It is similar in its formula and biological effects to the abortion drug RU-486, which can be used to induce abortion up to 49 days’ gestation," McQuade explains.

"Both drugs inhibit progesterone – a hormone needed to sustain a healthy pregnancy – by blocking progesterone receptors in the lining of the womb (the endometrium) and causing it to deteriorate. But if the mother’s endometrium is not hospitable or starts to shed prematurely, the 6-to-10-day-old embryo will have difficulty becoming or remaining implanted in the womb," McQuade says.

That’s important because the "vulnerable child will die from the lack of nutrients and oxygen."

"Thus, ella can effectively starve a newly conceived unborn child even after implantation in his or her mother’s womb, what the American Medical Association calls an “established pregnancy," McQuade explains.

McQuade complains that Ella has been approved as a “contraceptive” even though the drug works likes RU 486 (mifepristone) that the FDA approved as an abortifacient.

"The FDA approval blurs the line between preventing conception in the first place, and preventing implantation or even ending an established pregnancy after implantation, killing a person in the earliest weeks of life," she says.

This confusion the FDA is producing does women a disservice the Catholic bishops’ spokeswoman says.

"If ella is promoted as a way of preventing pregnancy, many women will be misled as to how it actually works, and will not know that they are putting their newly-conceived children at risk. Blurring the line between abortion and contraception undermines women’s informed consent," McQuade says.

"The FDA has betrayed women as well as their unborn children, by selling out to abortion advocates. Abortion is not health care, because pregnancy is not a disease to be treated with drugs or surgery," she continued. "Ella is just the latest drug to treat pregnancy as a pathological condition. Drug manufacturers will profit while innocent humans pay with their lives."

McQuade promises the Catholic bishops will continue to oppose the promotion of ella, and to raise awareness about this abortion-causing drug.

Related web sites:
USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities –


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