The above article purports a single mechanism of Plan B, levonorgestrel, to operate by stopping ovulation. It is known that progestin-only (a class of hormone analogs) pills perform this job very poorly, or not at all if taken in the latter third of the fertile period of a human female. The media claim that this is their only operative mechanism of action would hinge upon extremely poor performance, a failure rate of approximately 40 percent per use.
From the Prescribing information of Plan B One-Step:
12.1 Mechanism of Action
Emergency contraceptive pills are not effective if a woman is already pregnant. Plan B One-Step is believed to act as an emergency contraceptive principally by preventing ovulation or fertilization (by altering tubal transport of sperm and/or ova). In addition, it may inhibit implantation (by altering the endometrium). It is not effective once the process of implantation has begun.
Note that it contradicts the above linked article by mentioning the fact that levonorgestrel affects the endometrium and may act to inhibit implantation. This stops the life of a human embryo at the blastocyst stage of development, and is one of the bases for controversy concerning dispensing and use of this form of birth control. Unmentioned in the package insert is that effect on tubal transport also influences the transport of the very early embryo prior to implantation.
Here’s the quote of the year concerning Plan B:
“It has more than doubled since the last time the data were collected,” said Megan L. Kavanaugh, a senior research associate at the Guttmacher Institute in New York who worked on the study.
However, she said in an interview, “its use still seems relatively low, given that it’s easy to access. So there’s room for improvement.”
Somehow, in the fevered brain of Ms. Kavanaugh it represents an improvement to fail in the more reliable forms of preventing pregnancy, and require the use of the LEAST reliable modality, the morning after pill, tossed over the counter by the local pharmacist, who could be censured for attempting to ascertain clinically appropriate application of the drug. Kavanaugh credits the media, and not health care professionals, for stimulating the increase in this dependency. (A tiny silver lining in this cloud.)
The above article suggests that the number of women who require afterthought birth control is on the rise, since the levonorgestrel form of morning after pill has been given over the counter status, and that this is a positive development. It is one more reason that women should not obtain medical information and advice from the mainstream media.
The prescriber info of Plan B One-Step admits to a failure rate of 16 percent, per use (which corroborates the multiple mechanisms of action), and admits to the cumulative problem of failure should a woman rely on the morning after pill as her main form of birth control.
How does the Guttmacher institute spell “improvement”?? Birth control failure. It sells abortion.