As controversy over the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade continues, dividing red and blue states deeper than ever, the FDA has changed the labeling of Plan B medication, so-called “morning after pills,” and clarifies that the drugs are not “abortion medications” because they do not “induce abortion.”
The agency announced it had approved a request by the makers of Plan B to update how information about the drug is presented. Along with several changes, the agency specified that Plan B does not cause abortions.
“Plan B One-Step prevents pregnancy by acting on ovulation, which occurs well before implantation. Evidence does not support that the drug affects implantation or maintenance of a pregnancy after implantation; therefore, it does not terminate a pregnancy,” the FDA said.
Levonorgestrel, better known under the brand name Plan B One-Step or colloquially as the “morning after” pill, is an over-the-counter medication used to prevent the chance of pregnancy following unprotected sex or when contraceptive methods failed or were not used.
Plan B prevents pregnancies by temporarily delaying the release of an egg from an ovary, thus stopping an egg from becoming fertilized by a sperm. The drug works best when taken within three days of unprotected sex, with the manufacturer advising it works better the sooner it is taken. Since it does not impact a fertilized egg after conception, these kinds of drugs do not “induce abortions,” and therefore are a form of contraception or birth control and cannot be restricted under current anti-abortion laws.
This is reflected in the packaging that states, “The pill does not work if someone is already pregnant, and it will not terminate a pregnancy.”