Morning-After Pills: Domestic and International Links

Steven Mosher
PRI Weekly Briefing
2 April 2004
Vol. 6 / No. 13
Reproduced with Permission

U.S. taxpayers should not be surprised that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has been actively involved in promoting and distributing morning-after pills (MAP) to poor, often traumatized, women and girls in developing nations, long before the abortion-inducing chemical ever became famous in America. Norplant, a chemical with the same active ingredient as MAP, has been discontinued in the U.S., but USAID continues to flood developing nations with tens of thousands of units of it.

Long before the FDA approved MAP by prescription only, USAID was routinely funding events designed to expand global access to MAP, and groups which actively import the dangerous drug.1

In Uganda, for example, USAID initiated a new Commercial Market Strategies project (CMS) to introduce MAPs into the general population. With the help of Population Services International (PSI), and Pathfinder International, social marketing campaigns were launched. PSI led focus groups among African women to increase MAP use.2

Ignoring serious risks, USAID distributed a Fact Sheet to all of its overseas missions declaring that morning-after pills are safe and effective, do not cause abortion, and "constitute an integral part of the voluntary service delivery mix that USAID supports."3

With an air of imperialistic immunity, USAID promotion of MAPs persisted despite it being illegal to do so according to the sovereign laws of foreign nations. In Peru, for example, a USAID official lobbied for the legalization of MAP, despite Peru's pro-life laws which prohibit MAP.4 USAID's support of MAP use in Peru continued. USAID-funded groups actively took part in efforts to overthrow Peru's pro-life Health Minister, Dr. Fernando Carbone, because of his efforts to oppose MAPs. USAID support of MAPs has been widespread throughout Latin America. USAID-funded Family Health International, despite El Salvadorian law which defines life as beginning at fertilization, launched massive efforts to promote MAP to girls as young as 10 years of age.5

USAID's pro-MAP ideology comes directly from the U.N and the World Health Organization (WHO), and not the FDA. In fact, USAID claims to be able to distribute abortion-inducing chemicals and contraceptives overseas, even when they are not FDA approved, by following WHO policies.

The Political Origins of MAP

On the heels of the 1994 UN International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, the pro-abortion international community convened in 1995 in Bellagio Italy to discuss and promote MAPs under the auspices of women's health and rights. At Bellagio, pro-aborts sought ways to incorporate MAPs into international population control programs. At Bellagio, Dr. Sharon Camp the founder of FDA applicant for OTC/MAP, Women's Capital Corporation was volunteer coordinator for ongoing working groups charged with global MAP promotion. Each region of the world was designated with its own working group, to promote MAPs. Regions collaborated by sharing challenges and success stories via the international consortium.6

A consensus statement was drafted, calling for increasing worldwide awareness of and demand for MAPs, and increasing worldwide access to MAPs among women and teens. Directives to target adolescent populations were specifically given.7 Less than a year later, an International Consortium at which USAID participated succeeded in securing the manufacture of MAP for social marketing worldwide.

In 1996, USAID began to promote MAPs full-force, through its favored non-governmental organization Family Health International (FHI), which published a plan of action for changing attitudes of women and teens towards MAPs. Studies targeted adolescents, in order to promote MAPs as a solution to rape.8

A year later, in 1997, armed largely with data secured through international field studies undertaken outside the view of U.S. public scrutiny, the American Society for Emergency Contraception (ASEC) began efforts to promote MAPs for domestic use under the same guise as a solution to rape.9

The same year, in collaboration with five Planned Parenthood affiliates, Dr. Sharon Camp who was key at the Bellagio conference in efforts to promote MAPs to teens globally founded Women's Capital Corporation (WCC), a privately-held for-profit corporation whose shareholders are mainly private foundations. WCC's corporate mission is to purchase existing or orphaned contraceptive technology avoided by mainstream pharmaceuticals due to fears of bad publicity.10

Through WCC, the ideologies of special-interest groups were masked and MAP-related issues were framed as science, medicine and women's health issues.

The same year, FDA declared MAPs to be safe and effective, without an application from the drug's manufacturer. This move was regarded as highly unusual, even by some in the international abortion-camp, because the FDA rarely sanctions a drug's use for new medical indications without an application from the drug's manufacturer.11

In 1999, FDA approved Plan B for prescription.12

In 2002, during a new Bush Administration, the FDA issued a Warning Letter to FDA applicant for Women's Capital Corporation concerning its unproven advertising and marketing claims designed to generate public support for and use of MAP.13

One year later, Women's Capital Corporation filed for OTC status with FDA for Plan B.14

Very recently, WCC Founder Dr. Sharon Camp became Chief Executive Officer of Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI), after negotiating sale of Women's Capital Corporation to Barr Laboratories for $24 million.15

AGI promotes abortion globally. FDA's current consideration of the OTC/MAP application represents the final step in a worldwide campaign launched by international abortion advocacy/population control organizations a decade ago.

Dr. Camp, and the pro-abortion industry of which she is part, has millions more to gain.

USAID's heavy-handed tactics around the world are being mimicked by the FDA here at home. The unwanted abortion-inducing chemicals previously foisted upon developing nations have undergone an image-makeover for U.S. consumption. It is time to end the FDA's charade that it is acting in the interests of women and girls. The FDA must refuse to promote the ideological special interests of abortion advocacy and international population control organizations.

American women have everything to lose. Let the FDA know you oppose this proposal to make MAP available OTC. See FDA contact information above.


1 "Expanding Global Access to Emergency Contraception: A Collaborative Approach to Meeting Women's Needs;" see: link titled Expaning-Global-Access-to EC.rtf. [Back]

2 The Emergency Contraceptive Newsletter, Spring 1999, Vol. 4, No. 1. [Back]

3 Emergency Contraception Update Highlights: October, 1996 to October 1997; USAID Promotes Vital Choice for Women. [Back]

4 May 17, 2002 letter to Peruvian Minister of Health Fernando Carbone, from 21 pro-abortion activists, including signature of Maria Angelica Borneck of USAID/Peru. [Back]

5 USAID El Salvador, Family Planning Guidelines, July 1999. [Back]

6 Available at: The original seven international abortion advocacy/population control groups were: The Concept Foundation; International Planned Parenthood Federation; Pacific Institute for Women's Health; Pathfinder International; PATH (Program for Appropriate Technology in Health); Population Council; World Health Organization's Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction. Membership was later expanded but remains comprised predominantly of abortion advocacy and population control groups. [Back]

7 Consensus Statement on Emergency Contraception, Contraception, 1996; 52:211-212. The Consensus Statement (in an incomplete version) is available at [Back]

8 OCs Provide Emergency Contraception Option, Family Health International, Network, Summer 1996, Vol. 16 No. 4. Available at: [Back]

9 American Society for Emergency Contraception. Available at [Back]

10 Daily Reproductive Health Report: Contraception and Family Planning, Barr Laboratories Acquires Emergency Contraceptive Plan B, Kaiser Daily Network Reports. October 6, 2003. Available at [Back]

11 International Consortium for Emergency Contraception, Emergency Contraception Highlights Update: 10/96 to 10/97. Available at: ICEC stated, On February 25, 1997, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration pronounced six U.S. brands of combined oral contraceptives safe and effective for use as emergency contraceptives and urged the pharmaceutical industry to apply for approval of new dedicated products. [Back]

12 Transcript, Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee in Joint Session with the Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs Meeting, Food & Drug Administration, December 16, 2003, P. 21. Available at: [Back]

13 Copy of Warning Letter available at: [Back]

14 Women's Capital Corporation. Available at: [Back]

15 Press Release, The Alan Guttmacher Institute. Available at: [Back]