FDA panel recommends approval of contraceptive after-sex pill

A federal advisory panel has voted unanimously that federal drug regulators should approve a medicine that could help prevent pregnancy if taken as late as five days after unprotected sex.

The pill, called ella, sprang from government labs and appears to be more effective than Plan B, a morning-after pill now available over the counter to women 18 and older that gradually loses efficacy after intercourse and can be taken at latest three days after sex. Ella, by contrast, works just as well on the fifth day as the first after sex…

The F.D.A. usually follows the advice of its advisory panels but not always.

There is a dispute is whether the drug works by delaying ovulation (as the pill’s manufacturer claims) or by preventing a fertilized egg from implanting itself in the uterus (as anti-abortion advocates say)…

Neither of which should have a damned thing to do with approval on medical and scientific grounds. Which is all the FDA should be considering.

Even though ella is somewhat more effective and can be taken later than Plan B, the new drug would, if approved, probably do little to solve this epidemic of unplanned pregnancies. Plan B has been available without a prescription since 2006 for women 18 and older, but abortion and unintended-pregnancy rates have remained largely unchanged.

Women who have unprotected sex have about one chance in 20 of becoming pregnant. Those who take Plan B within three days cut that risk to about one chance in 40, and if ella is approved, that risk would be cut further to about one chance in 50…

American mutant religious nut balls will rant and tear their hair over women having another choice, an additional means of controlling whether or not they become pregnant.

Separation of state and church means nothing to True Believers. Their diminutive lives are governed by ideological dross from the Dark Ages. They see nothing wrong with imposing their foolishness on everyone else.

A simple scientific task will now have to trudge through the folkways of Congressional opportunism and hypocrisy. If you’re one of our U.S. Readers, consider contacting your Congress-critter and tell ’em to support reason over ignorance. If you think they’re capable, of course.

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