Emergency contraception, or Plan B, is a steroid (levonorgestrel) that is used to prevent pregnancy after sexual intercourse. This drug works in three different ways:
- Prevents ovulation
- Prevents fertilization
- Prevents the attachment of a fertilized egg to the uterus (implantation) by changing the endometrial properties2,3. This means that it may act as an abortifacient.
Emergency contraception can potentially cause an abortion by preventing implantation, but it also perpetuates the lie that sexual intercourse is without consequences. This causes women to be treated as objects and decreases the intimacy of the sexual relationship.
For information about safe methods of family planning, please visit your local FertilityCare™ Center (www.fertilitycare.org).
1. Highlights of Prescribing Information, Plan B One-Step (levonorgestrel) tablet, 1.5 mg, for oral use, Found at http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_doc/label/2009/021998lbl.pdf accessed 4/24/10.
2.Plan B Label. FDA. 2006. http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/infopage/planB/default.htm (Accessed May 18, 2007)
3. del Carmen, D. M., M. Cravioto, E.G. Raymond, O. Duran-Sanchez, M. De la Luz Cruz-Hinojosa, A. Castell-Rodriguez, R. Schiavon, F. Larrea. 2001. On the mechanisms of action of short-term levonorgestrel administration in emergency contraception. Contraception 64: 227-34.
4. Glasier, A., K. Fairhurst, S. Wyke, S. Ziebland, P. Seaman, J. Walker, F. Lakha. 2004. Advanced provision of emergency contraception does not reduce abortion rates. Contraception 69:361-366.
5. Hu, Z. L. Cheng, X. Hua, A. Glasier. 2005. Advanced provision of emergency contraception to postnatal women in China makes no difference in abortion rates: a randomized controlled trial. Contraception 72:111-116.
6. Reinberg. S. 2006. Emergency Contraception Doesn’t Lower Abortion Rates. Healthday News. http://www.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=534950 (Accessed May 21, 2007).