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Action Alert: Thank Boots For Their Stance On The Morning-After Pill

UPDATE: The below Action Alert was written before Boots UK apologised for their previous communications, and have promised to revisit their policy. We still recommend supporters write to Boots and encourage them in their previously stated position on ethical grounds.

Today, the Guardian has reported that the chemist chain Boots has resisted pressure from the abortion lobby to lower the price of morning-after pills (MAPs).

Abortion providers like BPAS have called on pharmacists to cut the price of MAPs due to the differential price between France (where they cost £5.50), and the UK (where they now cost between 3 to 5 times as much).

Boots UK has resisted this, on the basis that they:

“[D]o not want to be accused of incentivising inappropriate use, and provoking complaints, by significantly reducing the price”.

Please welcome this move by writing to Boots and applauding their actions. You can do so by e-mailing them at boots.customercare_team@boots.co.uk, or by using their e-mail facility at http://www.boots.com/contact-us.

You may also wish to consider giving your custom to Boots whilst they hold this policy, and withdraw it from Tesco and Superdrug, who by contrast have acquiesced to abortion lobby pressure and halved their prices for morning-after pills.

As right-to-lifers, the reason why we welcome this news is because some morning-after pills are potential contragestives: they cause the death of a conceived human being by preventing her from implanting in her mother’s womb. To fully understand this, it’s important to understand, as RTL has explained before, that there are three forms of drugs that try to prevent or end pregnancy:

=> Contraceptives: these act to prevent conception (a child being conceived by the father’s sperm fertilising the mother’s egg).

=> Contragestives: these act to prevent gestation. They stop an already conceived child from implanting in the endometrium, or womb lining, of her mother’s womb, and thereby prevent her from being given nutrients to live.

=> Abortifacients: these act to ‘abort’ a pregnancy by causing a miscarriage. They break the link between the child being gestated and her mother, leading to the child’s death.

Contragestives and abortifacients sound similar, but are considered chemically different.

Medical science defines pregnancy as when the mother begins to ‘carry’ (provide nutrients to) her child, which is called gestation. The process of gestation begins at implantation, which is when the child first forms a biological attachment to her mother.

Since a miscarriage’ constitutes the disruption of the carrying of the unborn child by her mother, and since abortion is defined as the aborting of a pregnancy through the causing of a miscarriage, only drugs that act after implantation can be called abortifacients.

By contrast, if a drug stops the child from being carried, gestated, in the first place, then it is called a contragestive, rather than an abortifacient.

Since both contragestives and abortifacients cause the death of an already conceived human being however, they are morally equivalent: they cause the same outcome by different biological effects.

This is important to note, as abortion lobbyists will, either out of ignorance or dishonesty, try to deny the moral gravity of morning after pills on the basis that they are “contraceptives, not abortifacients”. This ignores the third contragestive effect they have the potential to cause.

Certain MAPs, such as EllaOne, are ‘anti-progestins’. They work by reducing the development of the hormone progesterone. These are meant to be ‘emergency contraceptives’, but again, as RTL has explained before, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and even the Family Planning Association (FPA) (whilst trying to clarify that the MAP is not abortifacient), both agree that they can also prevent implantation by retarding the womb lining (which requires progesterone to develop), and are thus potential contragestives.

Other MAPs such as Levonelle are ‘progestins’, which are themselves synthetic forms of progesterone. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ACOG) reports that progestins can have contragestive effects, as again does the U.S. FDA, though this is very much debated more widely.

Boots’ policy is not perfect – they will still make and sell these drugs – but it is at least less inhumane than those of other pharmacy chains.

Please write to them supporting their decision, and consider opposing the abortion lobby boycott of them by rewarding them with your custom.

Thanks again, as ever, for all your activism and support in defence of the dignity and right to life of the most vulnerable members of the human family.