Morning-After Pill Can Cause Abortion


On August 25, reports announced that a morning-after pill—dubbed Plan B—has been made available in the United States to women 18 and over without a prescription. The media framed the arguments of those who oppose Plan B as a stance against a pill that could promote sexual promiscuity. But opposition to the morning-after pill is not simply about reducing sexual promiscuity. Although that would be a perfectly acceptable reason to be against the over-the-counter distribution of these pills, that argument distracts from a more serious reality: The morning-after pill can be a form of abortion.

Labeling this pill simply as another form of family planning like the use of a condom is disingenuous. There are two ways the newly approved morning-after pill can prevent pregnancy:

1) The morning-after pill reduces the chance that an egg will become fertilized by: a) delaying/preventing the release of an egg, and b) thickening the cervical mucus, preventing the sperm from fertilizing the egg. Ethically speaking, this is no different than traditional birth-control pills or even the use of a condom. If the egg never becomes fertilized, clearly, no life has begun.

2) The morning-after pill prevents a fertilized egg from implanting itself in the uterus (, August 28). In other words, the already conceived embryo dies because it is unable to implant itself in the mother’s uterus, resulting in a spontaneous abortion. Whether you are for abortion or against it, this is a form of abortion by any traditional definition.

The Associated Press report that ran in many newspapers simply said this: “Plan B is different from the abortion pill: If a woman already is pregnant, Plan B has no effect” (August 25). This miracle is accomplished by simply redefining when a pregnancy begins. Instead of acknowledging, as many believe, a pregnancy begins at conception, pregnancy is simply redefined as beginning when a fertilized egg is implanted in the uterus. Even most pro-lifers won’t oppose this pill because the media will not have informed them that it has the potential to cause abortion at all.