Just notice its sparkly new (and expensive) Plan C
In 2005, after the FDA under President George W. Bush resisted liberal pressure to make the hormonal emergency contraceptive Plan B available over-the-counter, Planned Parenthood was furious, claiming unfettered access to hormonal ECs would cut the number of abortions in America by a whopping 67%, from 1.2 million annually to 400,000:
Experts estimate that wider access to EC could prevent up to 1.7 million unintended pregnancies a year – and 800,000 abortions.
In 2006, when the FDA caved, Planned Parenthood again made this same colossal claim. Actually, PP alleged those figures often. The Chicago Tribune, when repeating those stats, said they came from “experts cited by Planned Parenthood.”
I could never find those experts. But the Guttmacher Institute wrote in 2002 the figures came from a “hypothetical scenario calculated in the late 1980s.”
So they were made up.
The “hypothetical scenario” was pitched with all evidence to the contrary, as presented in testimony to the FDA in 2004 by a team from Concerned Women for America that included me. We reported that in Scotland, where EC prescriptions increased 300% between 1992-99, there was no decrease in abortions. In Lothian, where condoms and ECs were distributed in schools with wild abandon, teen pregnancies rose 10% in one year. Other studies have since drawn the same conclusions.
But suddenly Planned Parenthood has turned against Plan B. The timing appears at first blush to coincide with a November 25 revelation in Mother Jones that emergency contraceptive pills composed of levonorgestrel, like Plan B, don’t work for overweight women:
[T]he drug is completely ineffective for women who weigh more than 176 pounds and begins to lose effectiveness in women who weigh more than 165 pounds….
Data for the years 2007 to 2010 show the average weight of American women 20 years and older is 166.2 pounds….
It turns out Plan B is just a placebo for the majority of women.
Thus, as reported by National Partnership for Women & Families on December 3:
Planned Parenthood affiliates have launched a nationwide campaign to educate women and clinicians about two emergency contraceptive methods that can be used instead of Plan B One-Step, United Press International reports.
The effort comes as FDA reviews reports that levonorgestrel – the active ingredient in the most widely used EC products, including Plan B One-Step – begins losing effectiveness in women who weigh more than 165 pounds….
The Planned Parenthood campaign, called EC4U, aims to spread awareness about ParaGard, a copper intrauterine device, and ella, a newer EC pill that uses the hormone ulipristal acetate instead of levonorgestrel.
Planned Parenthood knew about Plan B’s obesity problem
But in reality, Planned Parenthood has been planning its “EC4U” campaign for some time.
A video Planned Parenthood released in September presented the EC4U campaign to affiliates and made some profound admissions:
When the FDA approved the first dedicated emergency contraceptive pills, the hope was that widespread use could reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and abortion in the United States by half. But the reality is nothing has changed. In fact, almost half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended….
Did you know that over-the-counter progestin EC pills like Plan B may not be effective for women who are overweight?
Did you know that these same pills are probably only effective for 3 days after unprotected sex?
It may be easier at times to just sell the over-the-counter product, but it may not be the right choice for every woman in every situation.
In fact, it’s probably not the best method.
Which is why we developed EC4U….
… to push copper IUDs as the new EC. Oh, PP may say it also likes ella, but given the choice between making $500 to $1,000 for an IUD, versus $30-$65 for ella, which do you think PP prefers? Plus, ella is not effective for overweight women either (read here and here). It’s just a matter of time before it, too, falls out of favor.
Evidence of PP’s plan to push IUDs as the new EC comes from an internal PP memo I have obtained that was distributed to affiliates in September. Click to enlarge:
Was Planned Parenthood the leak?
My educated guess is it was actually Planned Parenthood that gave Mother Jones the tip on the ineffectiveness of Plan B – but only after it had all its ducks in a row to get free media coverage for the lucrative lemonade it planned to squeeze from the Plan B lemon.
Let’s connect the dots. Over 1-1/2 years ago, in May 2012, U.S. News & World Report reported on research by James Trussell, pictured right, “a professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University,” who found the IUD “is safe and actually more effective for emergency contraception than the morning-after pill,” in part because “some research has found that the pills don’t work in women who are overweight.”
Trussell was quoted in the aforementioned Mother Jones article as a Princeton professor but also “a senior fellow with the Guttmacher Institute,” Planned Parenthood’s research arm.
Turns out Trussell is also on the National Medical Committee of Planned Parenthood Federation of America as well as the board of directors of NARAL. And he shows up at :56 on PP’s EC4U video.
So PP apparently had information long ago that Plan B was problematic but didn’t say anything until it had worked out a plan to 1) extract a profit from the bad news, and 2) distract the press from noticing how wrong it had been to falsely proclaim the merits of Plan B. This includes the fact that Plan B was never tested on overweight women.
Even if Plan B didn’t have an obesity problem, PP had internal evidence that emergency contraceptives were an epic fail long ago. John Jansen of Pro-Life Action League posted startling figures way back in September 2011:
As the number of EC kits distributed by PP went up – a lot, 313% – its abortion numbers should have come down. But they didn’t. As John noted, “Planned Parenthood’s annual number of abortions increased every single year, and by 36% over the course of these six years.”
Despite all this, PP hailed a federal judge’s decision earlier this year to force the FDA to make Plan B available OTC to children. But Plan B should never have been offered for sale OTC to adults, let alone children. It should immediately be taken off the shelves.
Why abortion industry groups pushed the widespread distribution of a terribly faulty contraceptive product has yet to be revealed. Down on the Pharm theorizes, “Perhaps this was a crony capitalist effort to help manufacturers snap up as much profit as they could before the general news came out that the drug is not reliable….” Perhaps those with stock in Teva were hoping for a bump up in price followed by a quick sell before the crash. Perhaps PP had a stockpile of Plan B it needed to get rid of.
Whatever the malfeasant reasons are, some day they will be known.
Dr. Deborah Nucatola, [pictured right], senior director of medical services at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America [and an abortionist], said Plan B hasn’t made a dent in the one-half of U.S. pregnancies that are unintended.
There are two main theories why, Nucatola said: The women who most need Plan B aren’t using it when they are actually at highest risk for pregnancy – soon after having sex – or they are not using it effectively.
This is the same Deborah Nucatola who wrote in a CNN op ed only eight months ago, after Plan B became available OTC for all ages:
Lifting these restrictions will allow emergency contraception to be stocked on store shelves, making it more accessible to everyone. It will provide a safe, effective way to prevent pregnancy and reduce the need for abortion
That’s why last week’s ruling is so important – it’s based on good science and good sense. And that’s a fact.
Such liars they are! Argh…
I never understood why PP wanted to make Plan B available OTC to begin with, basically giving away its corner on the market.
But now PP is taking it back. The IUD can only be inserted by medical professionals, and ella is only available by prescription, so these are two EC funding streams Planned Parenthood can keep in-house.
But the copper IUD, which is the type recommended for EC and particularly when used as EC, can cause abortions. The copper IUD has no impact on ovulation. It only stops pregnancy after an egg has been released.
From the prescription information:
Ideas about how ParaGard® works include preventing sperm from reaching the egg, preventing sperm from fertilizing the egg, and possibly preventing the egg from attaching (implanting) in the uterus. ParaGard® does not stop your ovaries from making an egg (ovulating) each month.
As an abortion device, the copper IUD creates a hostile environment for the implanting 5-to-9-day-old human. Even Planned Parenthood, which is loathe to admit the abortion properties of any contraceptive admits the likelihood:
Ongoing use of the copper IUD prevents fertilization by releasing copper, which alters fluids in the uterus and fallopian tubes to act as spermicide. In theory, ongoing use of the copper IUD may prevent implantation by thinning the endometrial lining of the uterus, but there is no scientific evidence that this actually happens. Emergency insertion of a copper IUD may work somewhat differently than ongoing use. It may prevent fertilization, but it may also prevent implantation.
The IUD has the potential to net more revenue for PP than a than a first trimester abortion. The IUD costs as much or more, and it can be inserted by PP clinicians (not doctors) at any clinic, not just abortion clinics.