RU-486 under attack

The abortion pill RU-486 was approved for use in the United States in 2000 but a University of Oregon study, profiled in this Wired News article, Study: Abortion Pill Under Attack, finds that disinformation and political hurdles are hindering its use.

A study by University of Oregon researchers has found that access to the treatment is limited by anti-abortion campaigns, as well by legal roadblocks physicians must face in order to prescribe the drug.

"The basic issue is that the public lacks awareness of what medical abortion is and how effective and safe it is in early term pregnancies," [Maria] Harvey [director of research at the University of Oregon Center for the Study of Women in Society] said. "Women lack that info; therefore they can't be active consumers."

Harvey's paper finds that anti-abortion groups have perpetrated the notion that RU-486 is associated with serious health risks, and that it was rushed through FDA approval without sufficient study.

France approved RU-486 in 1989. England approved it in 1991. Over 200,000 European women have used RU-486 rather than surgical abortions to safely terminate pregnancies. It's outrageous that disinformation campaigns are keeping women from making informed decisions about their best course of treatment. Knowledge is power. Some people would prefer that women don't have any.