Tag archives: Ella

Conscience Rights At Stake as HHS Considers Mandates for Abortifacients in Obamacare

by Family Research Council

July 19, 2011

NPR ran a story today on the Institute of Medicines report to be released tomorrow which will include a list of recommended services to be covered with no cost-sharing under the Obamacare law.

But there are a few key points that NPR did not include. The real issue is not about “birth control” as such but rather about specific contraceptives that can function as abortifacients, in particular, emergency contraceptives. This isnt a matter of opinion or political ideology. The FDA approved label for Plan B suggests it can prevent implantation of an embryo. Moreover, the most recently approved EC, “ella”, is chemically similar to RU-486 and it may destroy an embryo after it is already implanted.

Additionally, this is a question of whether the government should mandate every health plan to cover these drugs free of cost. Whatever one’s position is on the issues of contraceptives, abortifacients, and such, it does not matter whether proponents of such drugs do not care about the effect on human embryos. The point is that many Americans do care, and many religious health plans would care, and that they should not be forced to violate their conscience. Non-discrimination laws are in effect for this very reason. The IOM recommendations will potentially require people who are not in favor of these drugs to cover and participate in something they find objectionable. You don’t have to agree with such objections, but at the same time people should not be forced to violate their consciences.

Here is our letter to HHS with more information.

And here is more information on ella, taken from my public comments at the second IOM meeting on January 12, 2011:

While the FDA approved the drug application of Ella as an emergency contraceptive, this drug is known to be chemically and functionally similar to the abortifacient drug, RU-486. In a study published this month in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy, the mechanism of action of ulipristal in human ovarian and endometrial tissue is identical to that of its parent compound, mifepristone.[1]

In one study of ulipristal on monkeys, 4 out of 5 fetuses were aborted.[2] On one with rats, all were aborted.[3] [E]xisting studies in animals are instructive in terms of the potential abortive effects of the drug in humans.[4]

A recent study concluded that it can be reasonably expected that the prescribed dose of 30 mg of ulipristal will have an abortive effect on early pregnancy in humans.[5] This is the dose of ulipristal now available as an EC in the United States.



[1] Harrison, D, Mitroka, J Defining Reality: The Potential Role of Pharmacists in Assessing the Impact of Progesterone Receptor Modulators and Misoprostol in Reproductive Health. Annals of Pharmacotherapy January 2011, Volume 45

[2] European Medicines Agency.CHMP assessment report for EllaOne. (Doc.Ref.: EMEA/261787/2009). London,UK. www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/EPAR_Public_assessment_report/human/001027/WC500023673.pdf (accessed 2010 Dec 9).

[3] Food and Drug Administration. Mifeprex label. www.accessdata.fda/gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2000/20687lbl.htm (accessed 2010 Sept 26).

[4] Harrison, D and Mitroka, J Defining Reality: The Potential Role of Pharmacists in Assessing the Impact of Progesterone Receptor Modulators and Misoprostol in Reproductive Health. Annal of Pharmacotherapy January 2011, Volume 45

[5] Ibid

Watson Pharmaceuticals Ignores Facts on Ella

by Family Research Council

December 3, 2010

This week Watson Pharmaceuticals announced the launch of a new educational campaign about ella, the abortion drug that was misleadingly labeled as an Emergency Contraceptive and approved by the Food and Drug Administration in August. Watson, ranked as one of the top five pharmaceuticals companies in the country in sales and no stranger to winning marketing technique, also announced the availability of the drug in pharmacies and for those who prefer even more convenience, over the internet.

Sadly, women who read the Watson website will continue to have inaccurate and/or incomplete information about ella and the way it will work on their bodies and their babies.

For example, the website says ella works primarily by stopping or delaying ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovary). It is possible that ella may also work by preventing attachment to the uterus.

However, Watson ignores the fact that ella has a critically important additional mechanism of action, one that can cause an abortion post-implantation by blocking progesterone. In doing so, ella works in a way that will starve an embryo of necessary proteins to survive its first ten weeks of development.

Additionally, the website says: ella 30-mg tablet is not an abortion pill, and is not for use to end an existing pregnancy. The abortion pill, sometimes called RU-486 or Mifeprex, works by terminating an early pregnancy. If used as directed, emergency contraceptives do not work the same way as Mifeprex.

However Watson fails to address the fact that except for one small side tail, ella is chemically and functionally identical to Mifepristone, commonly known as RU-486. Even according to their own labeling information, ella caused abortions on studies in animals in the animals tested, all of the rats babies and half of the rabbits babies were aborted.

If you visit the internet site to order ella online, you will see a comparison between ella and Plan B. The primary difference between ella and Plan-B is the amount of time you have after contraception failure or unprotected sex to obtain and take the medication. ella is effective up to 120 hours (5 days) after intercourse. Plan-B is only effective for 72 hours (3 days) after intercourse.

In truth, ella is more accurately compared with RU-486, not Plan B. Plan B is in the class of drugs known as an antiprogestogen, whereas RU-486 and ella are both categorized as selective progesterone receptor modulators. Plan B can prevent a newly fertilized baby from attaching to the lining of its mothers uterus, but does not affect a baby post-implantation. This is critical because the abortion industrys definition of the beginning of pregnancy is implantation (7-10 days after fertilization). RU-486 and ella both can work in ways that can abort a baby post-implantation.

Additionally, the Watson website gives one the distinct impression that ellas only mechanism of action is to prevent ovulation. They know what women want to hear: One recent study confirmed that at least 40 percent of women would not use methods of contraception that work post-fertilization. So Watsons marketing is brilliant: cute pictures of a sperm showing up at the door of the eggs house with a caption reading she cant come out for five days. A picture of a teeny tiny baby being starved of necessary nutrients would be much less aesthetically pleasing.

At the end of the day, the truth is that Watson is more concerned with making money then providing complete and medically accurate information to women. In fact, their website admits just that. If you read through the small print, there is a disclaimer that reads, The information provided is merely for educational purposes and its accuracy is not guaranteed. Watson assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in the Information on this Web site.

Family Research Council has joined with a coalition of organizations in launching ellacausesabortion.com to educate women and pharmacists about these serious health concerns. Thousands of concerned Americans have contacted their pharmacists to ask that they not carry this new abortion drug. Watson Pharmacueticals misleading advertisements may boost ella drug sales but they cannot hide the truth about ella.

What They Wont Tell You About Abortion webcast

by Family Research Council

October 25, 2010

Tomorrow night, October 26th at 9:00 p.m. ET, Students for Life will host a short audio webcast on ella, the abortion drug, What They Wont Tell You About Abortion.

Family Research Council is co-sponsoring the event, as well as Concerned Women for America, LifeNews and the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute.

Speakers include Kristan Hawkins from Students For Life, Wendy Wright from Concerned Women for America, Dr. Angela Lanfranchi from the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, and me. I will be discussing the ella pharmacy education campaign.

To register and/or for more information visit the registration page.

What is the effect of “Ella” on a teenage woman’s body?

by Family Research Council

October 13, 2010

Today Dr. Donna Harrison, OBGYN and president of the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) completes our educational series on ella by discussing safety concerns for adolescent women who might take ella.

The FDA issued no age limitations for ella. Dr. Harrison explains that no studies have been completed concerning the impact of ella on a developing female teenager. She explains that adolescent girls require estrogen and progesterone to properly develop, and therefore the impact of impeding this development could potentially be serious. For example, it is not known if a young woman might have difficulty in recovering ovarian activity once it has been intentionally blocked. Dr. Harrison makes the point that more studies should take place to assure ella’s safety for young women.

Watch the video clip to learn more. Please send this to the women in your life. Women deserve to know the truth about ella and how it will work on their bodies and babies.

What happens to the babies who survive “Ella”?

by Family Research Council

October 7, 2010

Continuing our educational series on ella, the new FDA-approved “emergency contraceptive” that can also cause an abortion, today Dr. Donna Harrison, OB-GYN and president of the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) continues with a short explanation of ella’s potential impact on the small number (approximately 2%) of babies that will survive despite their mother taking ella.

Dr. Harrison explains that when a pregnant woman takes ella, her placenta is altered so that the developing baby is essentially starved of necessary nutrition. The two percent of babies that do survive this trauma will likely be impacted developmentally. Dr. Harrison tells of one such baby. However, no studies have been conducted on the effect of ella on children in the womb.

Additionally, if a woman takes ella while nursing, the drug can cross into the mother’s milk. This could be dangerous for children and the FDA even included a warning on the labeling information that breastfeeding women should not take ella. Yet no studies have been conducted on babies who ingest ella through their mother’s breast milk.

For more information watch the clip below. Please send this information to the women in your life. Women who deserve to know the truth about ella — how it will work in their bodies and on their babies.

Ella vs. RU-486: Similarities and Differences

by Family Research Council

October 5, 2010

Last week, as the abortion industry celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the FDA approval of RU-486, we learned the grim news that two additional women have died from complications related to the abortion drug. In total, since its approval in 2000, 12 women (and approximately a million babies) have died as a result of RU-486 in the U.S.

As we’ve previously reported, ella, which is chemically and functionally similar to RU-486, was approved by the FDA on August 13th. Continuing our series educating health care workers and the general public about ella, in this short youtube clip we again hear from Dr. Donna Harrison, OB-GYN and president of the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG).

In this clip Dr. Harrison simply describes the differences and similarities between ella and RU-486. She explains how both drugs block progesterone, alter the placenta and what that means for implanted fetuses.

Is Ella an Emergency Contraceptive?

by Family Research Council

September 30, 2010

Today Dr. Donna Harrison, OBGYN and president of the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) continues explaining the medical perspective and science behind ella, the abortion drug approved by the FDA on August 13th, misleadingly labeled as an emergency contraceptive (EC).

In this short clip Dr. Harrison discusses the different ways ella can work, i.e., “modes of action”. She addresses how ella works in a woman’s body before ovulation, after a baby is fertilized and also after an embryo has implanted. Dr. Harrison also explains how ella’s label as an EC is misleading.

For more information watch the clip below. Please send this information to the women you know. Women who deserve to know the truth about ella — how it will work in their bodies and on their babies.

Ella vs. Plan B

by Family Research Council

September 28, 2010

In the following youtube clip, Dr. Donna Harrison, OBGYN and president of the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) continues her series of short videos explaining the medical perspective and science behind ella, the abortion drug approved by the FDA on August 13th, misleadingly labeled as an emergency contraceptive (EC).

In this 48 second clip, Dr. Harrison succinctly explains how ella is different than Plan B. The FDA has categorized both drugs as ECs. Until now, Plan B has been the most widely used EC in the United States. But Plan B is in a completely different class of drugs than ella and RU-486. It is believed that Plan B does not impact an already implanted baby, although it can prevent implantation. Ella, however, can work both before and after implantation.

For more information watch the clip below. We encourage you to send this clip and others in the series far and wide to the women you know. Women who deserve to know the truth about ella — how it will work in their bodies and on their babies.

How Ella Causes Abortions

by Family Research Council

September 24, 2010

Dr. Donna Harrison, OBGYN, and president of the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) has recorded a series of YouTube clips explaining the medical perspective and science behind ella, the abortion drug.

Ella, misleadingly labeled as an Emergency Contraceptive (EC), was quietly approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on August 13th. Watson Pharmaceuticals, the drug company manufacturing ella, will distribute the drug as early as October, 2010.

In this two minute clip, Dr. Harrison explains from a medical perspective how ella can cause an abortion in a pregnant woman. She also discusses studies of ella on pregnant animals on mice, monkeys and rats.

Women’s Health — At Peril in the Hands of Pharmaceutical Giants

by Family Research Council

September 23, 2010

In the wake of the controversy surrounding ella, the abortion drug produced by Watson Pharmaceuticals, MSNBC today is reporting new and serious allegations that another Pharmaceutical giant, Johnson and Johnson, has been withholding critical information about the health side effects of another reproductive medication, ortho evra, commonly called “the patch.”

The patch has reportedly caused at least 23 deaths in women who have taken it since FDA approval in 2003. This is in part likely due to the fact that the patch allows for a large amount of estrogen to enter a woman’s body (60% more than “the pill”). MSNBC is claiming that Johnson and Johnson have known about the deadly risks, but have hidden this information. Apparently the FDA has also been looking into these allegations for two years, but have not taken any action…

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