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Does emergency contraception cause abortion?

Recently journalist Linda Greenhouse’s criticized for-profit companies seeking to be exempt from the HHS contraceptive mandate in a guest opinion column in the New York Times called “Doesn’t East, Doesn’t Pray and Doesn’t Love.” In response, Donna Harrison, MD, Executive Director of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, writes “Emergency Contraception Can Cause Abortion” on the Public Discourse page of the Witherspoon Institute.

Harrison especially looks at the effects of the use of the “contraceptive” Ella, and of hormonal IUD’s such as Mirena. ┬áIn her conclusion, she says:

Claims that the levonorgestrel IUD and Ella only work by preventing fertilization cannot be supported in the medical literature. On the contrary, studies show that these FDA-approved hormonal contraceptives can work by multiple mechanisms of action, both pre- and post-fertilization, including sometimes by aborting an already implanted embryo.



Robert Gotcher is a dogmatic and moral theologian and long-time member of UFL who received his Ph.D. from Marquette University. He and his wife, Kathy, are raising their seven children in Franklin, Wisconsin.