Australia Health Minister Approved Abortion Drug for Non-Abortion Trials

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 7, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Australia Health Minister Approved Abortion Drug for Non-Abortion Trials Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 7, 2005

Sydney, Australia ( — As Australia debates whether or not to legalize the dangerous abortion drug RU 486, new reports indicate federal Minister for Health Tony Abbott, who won’t allow the abortion drugs, approved a clinical trial that is experimenting with it in a non-abortion manner.

Sydney researchers are conducting a clinical trial on whether the abortion drug, used n small doses, can help women prevent irregular bleeding associated with the use of a contraceptive drug.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports the researchers had to get approval from Abbot, even though the drugs were not used in the normal abortion manner.

The 500-woman trial involves those who use the contraceptive implant Implanon and the women involved are either given a 25 milligram dose of RU 486, not enough to cause an abortion, a combination of RU 486 and one of three other drugs, or a placebo.

Ian Fraser, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Sydney, one of the leaders of the study, told the Morning Herald that RU 486 is "a drug that potentially has a number of applications over and above medical abortion."

He said the ban on the dangerous abortion pills, which have killed women worldwide, "hasn’t prevented us from doing this research."

"It’s just that as a controversial drug it has to go to the minister’s desk for even a clinical trial, rather than scientific approval by the [Therapeutic Goods Administration]," he told the Sydney newspaper.

Health officials audited the trial protocols before the request was submitted to Abbot.

Fraser said the RU 486 abortion drug is used in a one-eighth dose because it blocks the body’s response to the hormone progesterone, which is normally for helping a woman’s body support a pregnancy.