"Morning-After Pill" Challenged for Its Abortive Qualities

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LONDON, FEB. 12, 2002 (Zenit.org).- A High Court bid to halt over-the-counter sales of "emergency contraception" has been launched, on the grounds that the pills can cause early abortions.



If the campaign is successful it could place a question mark over the legality of many forms of what is now simply considered contraception, BBC reported.

The Society for the Protection of the Unborn Children (SPUC) notes that so-called emergency contraception can, in fact, cause early abortions and, as such, should be subject to abortion legislation.

Dubbed the morning-after pill, the drug levonelle is designed to be taken up to 72 hours after intercourse.

The 1861 Offences Against the Person Act prohibits the supply of any "poison or other noxious thing" with intent to cause miscarriage.

SPUC´s argument is based on the fact that the drug stops an embryo -- a tiny human life -- from implanting in the lining of the womb.

The pro-life organization successfully applied last year for leave to bring a judicial review of the government´s decision to reclassify the drug as suitable for over-the-counter sale.

The court will be asked to consider what is the precise moment at which a woman becomes pregnant: when the egg is fertilized, or when the resulting embryo is implanted in the womb? Numerous medical sources as well as the Catholic Church say pregnancy begins at fertilization.