Are “morning after” pills abortion pills? | Health
OKLAHOMA CITY – Hobby Lobby faced a loss this week in their battle to fight the enforcement of what they consider an “abortion pill” mandate.
The Affordable Health Care Act requires companies to provide health insurance coverage for the “morning after” and the “week after” pills.
Hobby Lobby is seeking an immediate appeal in this case.
In the meantime, we’ve found there is a lot of conflicting information about what the pills in question actually do.
The pills, Plan B, Next Choice and Ella are the at the center of the controversy.
Doctor Eli Reshef, fertility specialist at Integris Baptist Medical Center, said it’s important to understand the drugs were designed to act like a birth control pill, just at a much higher dose.
Dr. Reshef said, “Most of the mechanism in Ella and Plan B is essentially to interfere with ovulation, either the release of the egg or the union of the egg and sperm.”
Dr. Reshef said the conflict comes in the debate of what the drugs could do to an egg that is fertilized before the pill is taken.
Dr. Reshef said, “The perception among people who oppose abortion is that the morning after pill causes abortion and science does not support that.”
Though Hobby Lobby’s representation disagrees.
Emily Hardman, spokesperson for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said, “The FDA guidelines say these drugs may keep an egg from implanting.”
The issue of implantation is where the conflict comes in for Hobby Lobby.
The company and their representation through the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty believe the drugs falls under the abortion umbrella because they could potentially prevent a fertilized egg from implanting onto the walls of the uterus.
Hardman said, “For individuals who believe life starts at conception these drugs, by definition of the FDA, can abort a fertilized egg.”
Dr. Reshef said, theoretically, it could stop implantation.
However, he said there is no scientific proof to back up that theory and he believes the drugs will not impact an already fertilized egg.
Dr. Reshef said, “If someone was pregnant and I give them the morning after pill, they are not going to abort.”
Dr. Reshef said the “morning after” pills are really equivalent to taking five or six regular birth control pills.
There is one pill Dr. Reshef said is an abortion pill; it’s known as RU-486.
However, it is not one of the pills in question in this case.
In fact, Dr. Reshef said that pill is hard to even find in the United States.