Plan B – More Than Just a Pregnancy Alternative

Topics: Birth control, Emergency contraception, Hormonal contraception Pages: 4 (1392 words) Published: August 24, 2006
Plan B – More Than Just A Pregnancy Alternative

If there was a form of birth control available that could greatly reduce the number of abortions and unwanted pregnancies in America, wouldn't you be all for it? As a woman who believes in the right to choose but also values life, I believe this could be the answer to many controversial issues in the United States today. Controversy and bureaucracy surround a drug that exists today that could accomplish this goal. The pill, Plan B, is what health care officials refer to as an "emergency contraception pill" or ECP. The controversy surrounding this pill is two-fold. First, there is the Food and Drug Administration's lack of prompt decision-making in reference to making this ECP readily available to the public. Then there is the controversy from the pro-life advocates that consider this pill to be a form of chemical abortion, similar to RU486 or "abortion pill". However, most agree that the availability of this ECP could ultimately reduce the need for unwanted pregnancies and consequently abortions. What is it and how does it work? Plan B is similar to most birth control pills in that it contains high-levels of natural hormones, primarily progestin, that prevents ovulation. The difference being that Plan B provides the hormones in larger doses. If taken within 24 to 72 hours after having unprotected sex, the ECP will likely prevent ovulation or fertilization of a woman's egg (Pruthi, 2006). Plan B differs from the abortion pill RU486 in that it will not work after a woman has already become pregnant. RU486 is a combination of powerful medications that actually induce an abortion (Pinsky, 2001). Plan B, on the other hand, uses hormones to prevent a woman from becoming pregnant by blocking the ovulation of the egg therefore no fertilization or pregnancy can be established. Although Plan B has been available in the United States for years, it is only available with a...

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Pruthi, Sandhya (2006, May) Morning-after pill: Emergency birth control. MayoClinic.com. Retrieved August 7, 2006 from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/morning-after-pill/AN00592
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McClain, Carla (2005, October) Rape victim: ‘Morning after ' pill denied. Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved August 3, 2006 from http://www.azstarnet.com/dailystar/dailystar/99156.php
Kaufman, Marc (2004, May) Plan B Won 't Be Sold Over Counter. washingtonpost.com. Retrieved August 7, 2006 from http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A6766-2004May6?language=printer
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