FDA Approves Abortion Pill
(CNSNews.com) - The Food and Drug Administration Thursday approved RU-486, the controversial drug combination that causes women to spontaneously abort their babies in the early stages of pregnancies.
The pill, which will not replace surgical abortion, is expected to be available in this country within a month, said Gloria Feldt, president of Planned Parenthood. She told CNN, "We certainly intend to do everything we can do to make it available to American women."
But pro-life groups say they'll do all they can to educate women about the pill's dangers, both physical and psychological.
The process of pharmaceutically causing the body to expel a baby is complicated, requiring at least three separate visits to the doctor. The bleeding is said to start some six hours after the second trip to the doctor for the second dosage of medication.
The drug's release in the United States has implications for the presidential race, because it puts abortion - and issue not discussed much on the campaign trail -- back in the headlines.
Republican George W. Bush opposes RU-486 (in fact, his father banned it from the country).
But Democrat Al Gore said Tuesday, "I think that it ought to be available, provided of course that it is safe." He added, "I think that what is wrong is to hold it off the market for some kind of political reason. I'm totally against that."
The Wall Street Journal reported Sept. 5 that Danco, the New York-based marketer of RU-486, has contracted with a manufacturing plant in China to produce the drug, since no U.S. drug company is willing to tangle with America's strong pro-life movement.
Pro-life groups say they are deeply disappointed with the FDA's approval of RU-486, and they plan to launch efforts to educate women on two fronts: First, by explaning the development of a baby - that a baby's heart would most likely be beating by the time a women takes RU-486; and second, by explaining that the drug causes heavy bleeding, leaving women alone to face the consequences of what is happening.
"Certainly we will step up our educational efforts so that women are fully aware of the dangers that are related to the use of this drug," said Laura Echevarria of the National Right to Life Committee.
"It's a wonderful day," said Eleanor Smeal, president of the group Feminist Majority. "This is a very effective drug."
"Medicine trumped politics, Smeal said, echoing Planned Parenthood's Gloria Feldt, who told CNN she's "glad that the scientific process finally triumphed over the political process."
Heather Cirmo, a spokesperson from the Family Research Council, told CNSNews.com, "We think that it's sad many women will be deceived in into believing that it is a good option for them."
She said those who support RU-486 will package the abortion drug as attractive - that "they can take this drug and have an abortion in the privacy of their own home."
"Few people are talking about the frightening and lonely aspects of that," said Cirmo, noting that this is the first time women will have to face abortion on their own.
"We don't think any women should do this," said Cirmo. "It has always been destructive for the child, and now it will even be more destructive for the mother."
"It is one step downhill, in our whole process of devaluing human life."