Morning After Pill – The Ethical Issues

The morning after pill has been widely promoted as a contraceptive pill, to be more precise, as an emergency contraceptive pill. The pill has to be taken within short interval of unprotected sexual intercourse to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

Critics have raised serious doubts about its mechanism of action. They believe that the action of the morning after pill is abortifacient and not contraceptive. However, people who are pro- morning after pill say that, the pill has an anti- implantation effect (preventing the implantation of the fertilized egg, also called embryo to the wall of the uterus). Thus, the effect is “interception”, which is distinct from abortion.

As per a study conducted by American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), emergency contraception can prevent at least 1.5 million out of the 3 million unwanted pregnancies that occur in the United States each year. However, Medical professionals concerned with ethical issues believe that, this controversial pill does not prevent pregnancy every time and at least in some cases, it does kill a developing embryo. And, that makes the pill an abortifacient.

To decide whether morning after cytotec bolivia pill is an abortifacient or a contraceptive, it becomes important to understand the definition of pregnancy.

The definition of pregnancy as defined by ACOG is “successful implantation of a fertilized egg”. However, embryologists believe that pregnancy begins with fertilization and not implantation as claimed. This is so because an embryo has all the genetic information required for it to become a complete human being.

Scientifically, the human zygote formed after fertilization of egg is an actual human being and not “something”, that can possibly develop into a human being. It has the ability to grow further and develop its capacities to full potential.

As per FDA, the emergency contraceptive pills are supposed to work by preventing or delaying ovulation. However, if the egg has been fertilized before or despite the effect of the pill, then the action of the morning after pill is believed to be abortifacient.

The pill creates a hostile environment for the embryo in the uterus and it is unable to attach to the uterine lining. This leads to its ultimate death and expulsion from the body.

Critics believe that the anti implantation action of the morning after pill is nothing more than a “chemically induced abortion”. It is said that people are being deceived by redefining pregnancy as implantation of the embryo.

Those in favor of the pill argue that the action of the pill cannot be abortifacient because if the pregnancy is already established then the pill doesn’t have any effect.

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