What’s the difference? Marketing.

Yes on 26 has spent a great deal of time and effort claiming that hormonal birth control won’t be affected (although the evidence suggests otherwise). However, they are very, very clear that the “morning after pill” would be banned under 26. So, it seems an appropriate time to ask: what exactly is the difference between the “morning after pill” and hormonal contraception?

As it turns out, marketing and packaging are the only difference between emergency contraception and hormonal birth control.

Princeton University has a great factual resource on emergency contraception, which helpfully tells us the dose of hormones contained in each pill. As you can see from their helpful chart, Plan B (the most common morning-after pill) is a package containing two pills, each of which has 1.5mg levonorgesterel as its active ingredient, for a total of 3mg of synthetic progesterone.

As you can also see from the same helpful chart, each pill in a regular 28-day pack of birth control pills contains approximately 0.5mg of the very same hormone, levonorgesterel. So, taking six regular birth control pills is the exact equivalent of the supposedly-banned morning-after pill (actually, the table recommends that you take 8 pills total if you want to use your regular birth control as emergency contraception, but the point still holds).

Emergency contraception is the exact same medication as the birth control pill. It’s just packaged a little differently, into two pills instead of eight, and sold over the counter instead of by prescription only. However, the mechanism of action is exactly the same, as is the active ingredient.

So, let me see if I’ve got this straight: taking one of these pill a day is to be protected, but taking 8 pills over two days is employing a “human pesticide” which wouldn’t be permitted under 28? And will someone please explain to me how 26 permits one dosage but not the other, of the very same medication?

About Atlee Breland

I'm a Mississippian, a Christian, a computer programmer, a wife, and -- thanks to infertility treatment -- a mother of three wonderful children.
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One Response to What’s the difference? Marketing.

  1. Your Neighbor in Louisiana says:

    It’s obvious. They’d have to ban the pill; even monitoring how often a woman refills her prescription wouldn’t give the government the ability to prevent her from taking eight of her ordinary pills, which could be prosecuted as attempted murder under 26. It would be morbidly interesting to watch this play out in the courts–can you prove attempted first-degree murder of a fertilized egg that might not have even existed?