Ella is covered under the new HHS mandate for insurance as a so-called emergency contraceptive. So Catholic dioceses and agencies will have have to pay for plans that include this coverage. Ella is a progesterone modulator that is called ulipristal acetate. It could be described as a weaker formula of the drug mifepristone popularly known as the abortion drug, RU-486.
Of course, the promoters of the drug argue it stops ovulation while acknowledging that it is a selective progesterone receptor modulator. The problem with that argument is that the science behind the drug completely contradicts their claim. Their claims are purely political, not scientific. If the drug blocks progesterone production, it can act to prevent implantation of an embryo.
The chart to the right, which one can find almost anywhere, clearly shows that progesterone levels certainly do not rise much prior to ovulation, but after ovulation there is a notable increase. The chart also shows how the endometrial lining which can support the embryo develops under the influence of progesterone after ovulation has occurred.
Apparently, Ella makers and the FDA claim that blocking progesterone production in turn blocks ovulation and nothing more. That is absurd as any scientific chart similar to the one shown here will demonstrate. In the body, following upon ovulation, progesterone is produced by the corpus luteum, which is what remains of the ovarian follicle after ovulation occurs. To suggest that a progesterone blocker such as Ella only prevents ovulation is nothing short of a deliberate falsehood and a political hoax of the worst kind.
Progesterone acts to prepare the endometrium, the lining of the uterus, to sustain the developing embryo that is formed at conception. No progesterone, no continuation of pregnancy. In other words, if a woman is ovulating around the time of taking Ella, after intercourse, the consequence of ingesting the drug will be the ejection of the young embryo from the womb of the mother. This is quite clearly an abortion.
On the basis of experience with RU-486, those who testified before the FDA against approval of the drug warned of the serious adverse effects for women who would use the Ella drug. RU-486 was linked directly to deaths and numerous hospitalizations. Much like the science behind the drug itself, this testimony was completely ignored.
It should be clear to all concerned what is at stake here for the Church. The Church cannot follow the mandate because the Church herself would be implicated in the direct killing of innocent human life which she condemns with the most severe of remedial penalties. According to the universal law of the Church, the penalty for deliberately aborting is automatic excommunication. Abortion includes the ejection or destruction of the embryo between conception and implantation. Ella does exactly that. Ella is also potentially dangerous to women. The use of the drug can only be rejected.