Facts & FAQs
Frequently Asked Question About "Plan B"
What is the “Morning-After Pill” (Plan B)?
The Morning-After Pill, also known as Plan B, contains a high dosage of the hormone progestin (artificially-made progesterone called levonorgestrel), and when it is used as directed, it prevents or ends pregnancy. It is marketed as an “emergency contraceptive.” The manufacturer warns that Plan B is not recommended for routine use as a contraceptive, as it’s not as effective as other birth control.
How does Plan B work?
Plan B works in one of two ways.
1. As a contraceptive it can either prevent ovulation or thicken the mucous in a woman’s reproductive tract (cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes) making it harder for sperm to reach the egg in a woman’s fallopian tube, thereby preventing fertilization (start of a new human life).
2. As an abortifacient, it irritates the lining of the uterus, making it harder for the embryo to attach to the uterus. If a woman has already ovulated and a sperm does manage to fertilize the egg, then Plan B works by preventing this new human life from implanting (starting on day 6 after fertilization) in the uterus causing death of the embryo.
Plan B does not end an already existing pregnancy once the embryo has implanted in the uterus.
How can people claim that Plan B is not an abortifacient?
Since the manufacturer says that Plan B can work by preventing implantation of an embryo, the manufacturer appears to rely on recent redefinitions of “conception,” “pregnancy” and “abortion.” According to the new definitions of some pro-choice groups, “conception and pregnancy” begin at implantation rather than at fertilization and “abortion” is the termination of a post-implantation pregnancy.
The drug makers can then claim that their statements are true under these new definitions. However according to scientific fact, human life begins at fertilization with the first cell division.
Another confusing statement for some people is that Plan B “does not harm a fetus.” This statement is actually true as the fetal stage does not begin until 8 weeks after fertilization and there is no evidence that Plan B harms a human being after it has implanted in the uterus, which occurs during the second week.
What are the side effects?
Side effects include headaches, dizziness, tiredness, breast tenderness, abdominal pain, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, and changes in vaginal bleeding. It is also possible to have an allergic reaction to Plan B. Plan B does NOT protect against any STD.
The CPC does not perform or refer for abortion