July 28, 2012 in Letters, Opinion

Ella not an abortion drug


The so-called morning after pill, Ella (ulipristal), is not an abortion drug, rather it is actually a contraceptive. To review a little physiology, an egg is produced in an ovarian follicle, which is like a cyst. This cyst must rupture to release the egg (ovulation) so it can travel to the uterus via the fallopian tube. The pharmacology, or mechanism of action of Ella, is to prevent ovulation (the follicle within the ovary rupturing and releasing the egg). Ella does this by restricting the secretion of the hormone LH, which is necessary for the rupture and subsequent release of the egg. You see then, if the sperm has no opportunity to enter an egg there can be no conception. Without conception, abortion is not an issue.

I hope this helps to clarify the categorization of this drug, which acts in a somewhat similar way to conventional birth control pills. Therefore, this drug should be no more of an attack on the freedom of conscience of Americans than the pill that has been with us now for 50 years.

Robert Fulton, MD


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