This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

New Method of Emergency Contraception Approved by FDA

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new emergency contraception pill called "ella" that is more effective than the method known as Plan B, although unlike Plan B it is only available by prescription.
Women who have unprotected intercourse have about 1 chance in 20 of becoming pregnant. Those who take Plan B within three days cut that risk to about 1 in 40, while those who take ella would cut that risk to about 1 in 50, regulators say. Studies show that ella is less effective in obese women.
The FDA approval was greeted by cheers and jeers depending upon which side of the abortion issue people stand. However, Dr. James Trussell, director of the Office of Population Research at Princeton, who has consulted without charge for ella’s maker argues that ““Emergency contraception has no effect on pregnancy rates or abortion rates. Women just don’t use them enough to make an impact.”

The pill was originally developed by researchers at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), although it has been licensed to a pharmaceutical firm for production and distribution. It was approved for use in Europe in 2009.

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