BY DAVID V BARRETT
THE NEW morning-after pill Ellaone, which can be taken up to five days after sexual intercourse, will raise the rate of unintended pregnancy, according to a pro-life charity.
Joanne Hill, spokeswoman for Life, said: “This new pill will lull women into a false sense of security leading them to believe that their ‘mistake’ will be even easier to rectify than ever before. More casual sex and more unintended pregnancy will inevitably be the result.” Also, the rate of sexually transmitted infections is soaring, and the pill offers no protection against them, she said. By encouraging sex Ellaone will push STI rates even higher. “Secondly, there is no knowing what long-term effect such powerful drugs will have on young women’s reproductive health. To be able to terminate a pregnancy up to five days after intercourse, Ellaone must contain some very powerful drugs indeed,” she said.
“Thirdly, this pill will without doubt act as an abortifacient. It is a means of early abortion and could cause all the same physical and psychological ill-effects as later abortion. Are women and girls being told this and don’t they have the right to know?” Ellaone has been shown to be slightly more potent than the currently available morning-after pill Levonorgestrel in the first three days after sex, but also works in the period between three and five days after sex, when the existing pill does not. But it is only available on prescription, so it is unlikely to replace the existing morning-after pill which is available from chemists.
But pro-life activists are even more opposed to it than they are to Levonorgestrel.
Josephine Quintavalle of the ProLife Alliance said: “If you take a morning-after pill within 24 hours there is always the argument that the sperm may not have fertilised the egg by then, meaning pregnancy has not yet happened. But if this pill works for five days there is no argument. This is not a contraceptive, it is an abortive agent.” But researchers claim that the new drug works by delaying the release of an egg.