Australia Vote on Dangerous RU 486 Abortion Drug Set for February

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 20, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Australia Vote on Dangerous RU 486 Abortion Drug Set for February Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 20, 2006

Canberra, Australia ( — A vote in the Australian parliament on a private members bill to legalize the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug has been set for February 9. That means abortion practitioners could begin dispensing the drug, which has caused numerous deaths, in a matter of weeks.

Abortion advocates have pressed for a vote on a measure to take the decision on approving the drug away from pro-life Health Minister Tony Abbott, who ruled against it last year after consulting with the nation’s top doctor.

A Senate committee is examining the bill and is slated to give its report to parliament the day before the vote.

The committee has already heard from more than 4,000 people and most all of the letters have been against the abortion drug. However, some on the committee want to throw out 1,500 of the pro-life letters because they were form letters generated by a pro-life group.

Just 100 people have written in supporting approval of the abortion pills.

Pro-life Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce says he wants the committee to have more time to investigate the response in the letters and the committee will decide on Monday whether to extend its look at the bill. That decision could push back the February 9 vote.

However, Australian Democrats leader Lyn Allison, the leading pro-abortion lawmakers behind the RU 486 bill, says now that a vote date has been set in parliament, an extension is unlikely.

Women using the abortion drug have died in the United States, Canada, Sweden and elsewhere.

The abortion drug has been responsible for the deaths of four California women and caused sometimes severe health problems for more than 600 women.

In addition to the deaths, the FDA reports included 237 cases of hemorrhage that were either life-threatening (42 cases) or extremely serious (168 cases). Some 71 women required blood transfusions. Another 513 of the reports indicated women required surgery to repair damage resulting from the abortion, including nearly half under emergency conditions.

Women suffered from severe bleeding, infection, unsuccessful abortions, and fetal malformations that appeared after failed abortion attempts.