"Morning-After Pill" A Hot Debate For Some People - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

08/01/05 - East Texas

"Morning-After Pill" A Hot Debate For Some People

by Stuart Burson

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to make a big decision by September 1st on whether the "morning after" contraceptive pill should be available over the counter.

The pill is designed to prevent pregnancy after a woman has had unprotected sex. Research has shown the pill causes a ninty-three percent reduction in unwanted pregnancy.

"It makes a bad environment for the implantation of the egg, and it makes it a hostile environment for the sperm to live in." says Dr. Mitchell Silver.

Right now, emergency contraceptives like the "morning after pill" are only available through a doctor's prescription.

The "morning after pill" is not without controversy. Those in favor of the pill, being made available over the counter say it would reduce the number of unintended pregnancies.

Those opposing the drug say it sometimes aborts the fertilized egg. The controversy surrounding the "morning-after pill" comes from the way it prevents pregnancy.

"It acts in the same way as a high dosage birth control pill. It can prevent ovulation... it can prevent implementation." says Michelle Green with Lufkin Planned Parenthood.

But to others, it's something different.

"The 'morning after pill' aborts live babies." says Barb Flournoy with Lufkin For Life.

Depending on who you ask, the "morning-after pill" is a blessing, or a curse.

"It's merely a high dosage of birth control it's the best way to prevent an unintended pregnancy, especially in cases of rape, incest, or contraceptive failure." says Green.

Lufkin for Life advocates are opposed to any form of chemical birth control.

"Birth control pills are abortivations. They work in the same fashion. They actually can, in a woman's cycle, prevent the baby from attaching." says Flournoy.

As for the "morning-after pill" being made available over the counter, is that a good idea?

"Say, you were sexually assaulted on Friday night. You can not get into your doctor until Monday morning, you're loosing that valuable time when this pill can be most effective. So it's our goal that every woman has access to this in her medicine cabinet." Green says.

"I think it's going to send a message to our teenage young ladies and young gentlemen... that 'hey, go ahead and have your good time. If you happen to have a broken condom or forget it or whatever, just run to the drug store and get your pill.' is this a message we want to be giving our young people?" asks Flournoy.

No matter what side you take on the issue, one thing is certain. The controversy over the "morning-after pill" will continue, as long as the pill is available, over the counter or not.

The "morning-after pill" is not to be confused with "RU-486" another controversial pill that actually aborts an existing embryo.

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