FDA OKs 5-Day Morning-After Pill

And both sides of abortion debate jump in
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2010 9:50 AM CDT
FDA OKs 5-Day Morning-After Pill
The FDA yesterday approved French "morning after pill," ella.   (Shutterstock)

The FDA last night approved ella, a morning-after contraceptive that can be taken up to five days after unprotected sex. As the New York Times reports, the approval stirred up predictable reaction on both sides of the abortion debate, with opponents decrying a decision released "late on a Friday night in August," while proponents lauded a decision "based on the scientific evidence and not on the political controversy."

Unlike Plan B, an over-the-counter emergency contraceptive good for only three days, ella will require a prescription. But it's unclear what impact the pill will have in the US: The Times reports that 1 million American women who don't intend to conceive have unprotected sex every night. But “emergency contraception has no effect on pregnancy rates or abortion rates,” says a consultant for ella's maker. “Women just don’t use them enough to make an impact.” (Read more morning after pill stories.)

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