Pro-Lifers Claim Success In Cutting Demand For RU-486

July 7, 2008 - 8:03 PM

Charlotte, N.C. ( - The director of research for the National Right To Life Committee's Educational Trust Fund said Thursday the demand for the abortion pill "RU-486," also known as "mifepristone," has slowed because pro-lifers have been successful in educating the American people about the drug's harmful side effects.

"The reality's not selling. It's not been welcomed on college campuses. Princeton, Boston University, Michigan State University, University of Virginia, Vanderbilt, University of Oklahoma, Florida State University, UCLA, University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill don't offer it," said Dr. Randall O'Bannon during the NRLC's convention in Charlotte.

The reasons those universities don't offer RU-486 is because O'Bannon believes, "they don't have an ultrasound machine. They are saying 'we really need to have an ultrasound machine to make sure that we are safe.' They don't have the capacity to deal with the problems."

O'Bannon also thinks many women call abortion clinics inquiring about the drug, but in the end don't buy it.

"Most of the orders that are coming in from the drug (to the RU-486 marketers) are from clinics that already offer abortion," he said.

"But doctors are also showing some hesitation. Even among the doctors that are offering it, they are telling their patients that they consider surgical abortions quicker, less painful and fewer office visits," O'Bannon added.

He also quoted a San Diego, California doctor as saying "there are a lot more problems with using that drug than the public's been led to believe."

"We've (pro-lifers) been telling the truth about this all along. But there must be more education and information. It's still an abortion pill. A lot of people are forgetting that," O'Bannon said.

He added, "But ultimately, though, we are going to need to overturn Roe v. Wade. Because even if this gets pulled off the market, there will be another one. Until abortion itself is stopped, they will keep coming up with something else."

However, Kate Michelman, president of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights League, known as "NARAL," believes that RU-486 should continue to be available to American women, given its success both here in the U.S. and overseas.

"Mifepristone has been available to women in Europe for over a decade. It has been shown to be a safe and effective alternative to surgical abortion following extensive clinical trials in France, Great Britain, and Sweden," Michelman said in a statement on the NARAL website.

"A similar study in the U.S. found that, among women with pregnancies of 49 days or less, 92 percent had a successful termination using this method. Moreover, 95 percent of women participating in the clinical trial said they would recommend mifepristone to a friend or family member," she said.

Michelman added, "Mifepristone must be administered by a woman's doctor and requires three visits to a clinic or doctor's office.

"The drug also holds promise for the treatment of endometriosis, uterine fibroids, certain breast cancer tumors, meningiomas; and for decreasing the replication of HIV; reducing the symptoms of certain types of Cushing's syndrome; and accelerating the healing of wounds and burns," she said.

"The availability of mifepristone would greatly expand women's options and allow them to exercise their right to choose in privacy, making it more difficult for those who oppose abortion to single out women for harassment and intimidation," Michelman concluded.