It previously has been admitted by the proponents of the
morning-after pill that it kills early embryos by preventing
implantation in the womb. Now it appears that it also leads to the
deaths of embryos much later in development by causing them to implant
in the fallopian tube, and this may threaten the mother's life too.
As well as a small risk to the mother's life, there is a very high risk of sterility following an ectopic pregnancy.
Commenting on the announcement, John Smeaton, national director
of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), said:
"This drug should immediately be removed from the market so that the
available data can be fully assessed. It is being given out by the
thousands of doses every day to unsuspecting women. It is immoral to
continue to present it as an 'emergency contraceptive' when it is known
to interfere after fertilisation. SPUC's efforts to insist that the
safeguards of the Abortion Act should be applied to the drug were met
with outright opposition by the Government and the drug's
manufacturers, Schering AG, and were rebuffed by the legal authorities.
"Despite the fact that there have been no proper trials on the
safety of this drug among under-16s it is now the policy of the
Government for school nurses to give this drug to school-girls from age
11 without informing or seeking permission from their parents.
"It is particularly reckless for the government also to have
made the drug available without prescription as they did in 2001: this
means that women may take it repeatedly in a short time span, possibly
increasing the risks, including the potentially fatal risk of ectopic