Uber for birth control is sparking outrage in conservative states: Pro-life activists are trying to block the app from delivering the morning-after pill to women
- Nurx operates in 15 states, offering females over the age of 12 access to the pill, the ring, Plan B and Ella
- The morning-after pill is already available over-the-counter nationwide
- However, pro-life activists are trying to push lawmakers to block Nurx from providing the contraception via mail
“But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints” (Ephesians 5:3).
The birth control app which delivers the morning-after pill to your door is expanding in conservative states – to the ire of pro-life activists and lawmakers.
Nurx, a Silicon Valley start-up which launched in 2015, operates in 15 states, offering females over the age of 12 access to the pill, the ring, Plan B and Ella.
Its aim is to ‘break down obstacles’ to getting birth control. While the morning-after pill is already available over-the-counter nationwide (out-of-pocket), women paying for it with insurance need to go to their doctor, which can be complicated in states which are pushing to limit contraception use.
But although the drug – designed to prevent a sperm fertilizing an egg after unprotected sex – is already available over-the-counter, the concept of obtaining it by mail has enraged anti-contraception groups.
Activists in North Carolina and Texas, for example, are pushing lawmakers to create legislation that would hamstring the app, as they claim the morning-after pill is akin to the abortion pill.
‘There’s a lot of misinformation about what pregnancy is,’ Nurx CEO Hans Gangeskar told Daily Mail Online. ‘If you’re actually pregnant, Plan B isn’t going to work.’
While the abortion pill RU 486 aborts pregnancies (after the egg is fertilized), the morning-after pill prevents pregnancies (i.e. the sperm does not fertilize the egg).
This apparent confusion over how conception works also cropped up in President Trump’s proposal for new rules on birth control, which would allow businesses to opt out of covering the medication on insurance for employees.
Brook Randal, a doctor with Whole Women’s Health in Texas, who works for Nurx, explained that there is a history to this confusion, dating back to when birth control was first approved.
‘In the 60s, when [birth control pills] first came out, there was some confusion about how they worked. And when it was first approved by the FDA, the regulators hedged themselves by saying “nobody understands precisely how drugs work, even penicillin”. Not longer after, it became clear that we do know how these drugs work. But conservative groups who are opposed to even condoms have used that phrasing to defend their views.’
They also insist that the app has more screening measures than pharmacies, with users obliged to answer medical questions, before receiving personal follow-up consultations with one of the app’s medical officers.
But the activists are unconvinced by both arguments, and continue to rally against Nurx.
John Seago, legislative director for Texas Right for Life, and Susan Klein, executive director of Missouri Right to Life, both told Stat News their organizations views the morning-after pill as an equivalent to the abortion pill RU 486, despite being classed as a contraceptive.
While their argument is not scientifically supported, their protestations are causing a stir ahead of legislative sessions next year.
Other activists point to the fact that the service does not have an age limit.
However, each Nurx patient goes through a diligent medical screening, and each state’s laws still apply in terms of age limits. source