'Morning-After' Pill Expectations Fall Short, Confesses Proponent

A prominent activist and proponent of the “morning-after” pill conceded on Tuesday that the abortion drug, also known as Plan B, is not as effective as predicted.

At the National Press Club's Newsmaker forum in Washington, D.C., Kirsten Moore, president and CEO of Reproductive Health Technologies Project, admitted that introduction of the drug into the "real world" with easy access has not reduced the numbers of pregnancies or abortions. The conceded point was one of the main advantages that proponents used to bolster the case for the drug, according to the executive vice President of Concerned Women for America, Wendy Wright.

"Kirsten Moore's admission that studies and experience show that easy access to the morning-after pill has not resulted in fewer pregnancies or abortions knocks the legs out from the hard-charging coalition intent on making this drug as easy to get as toothpaste. The claim that pregnancies and abortions would reduce by half is based not on science or fact, but 'faith' with no substance in reality," said Wright in a news release.

Moore said during Tuesday’s forum that there was no evidence that the drug reduced the number of pregnancies or abortions and that there have been increases, though she claimed they were not directly related.

"The experts had estimated that we would see a drop by up to half in the rates of unintended pregnancy and the rates of abortion. And in fact in the real world, we're not seeing that. We’re not necessarily seeing an increase, either,” she said.

However, in the cases where increases were seen, she noted that “correlation does not equal causation.”

Moore also acknowledged that there was a “real honest question” as to why the rates of unintended pregnancy and the rates of abortion did not drop by half – a question, she said, “we’re willing to explore about.”

According to the CWA, the claim for Plan B advocates was based on a hypothesis asserted by the Alan Guttmacher Institute.

The FDA, meanwhile, has declined over-the-counter access for the drug, citing the need to get more information about its effects on adolescents.