Australia Abortion Practitioner Will Start Selling RU 486 Drug Next Month

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 5, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Australia Abortion Practitioner Will Start Selling RU 486 Drug Next Month Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 5, 2006

Canberra, Australia ( — The dangerous abortion drug RU 486 will make its debut in Australia next month and women considering abortions who live in the state of Queensland will be the first to use it.

Caroline de Costa, an abortion practitioner based in Cairns, was the first to receive approval from a federal agency to sell the abortion drug.

De Costa indicated she will receive the first shipment of abortion drugs from a New Zealand supplier and that she expected them to arrive in a few days. The New Zealand company has a contract with the French maker of the drug, Exelgyn.

Women wanting to have an abortion using the dangerous drug will be able to do so starting in July, she told the Courier Mail newspaper. However, the drug won’t be sold on a large-scale basis because she is only importing 40 abortion pills.

"We are not going to be able to do this on a large scale under the authorized prescriber legislation," she told the newspaper.

The RU 486 abortion drug, known as mifepristone and sold under the name Mifeprex, has already been responsible for the deaths of twelve women worldwide and has injured more than 950 women in the United States alone.

Despite the deaths and injuries, many of which required hospitalization and some women needing blood transfusions, de Costa called selling the abortion pills "a safe and reasonable thing to do."

She indicated the abortion drug would be given at a private facility and doctors would refer women to it.

The drug will be "substantially cheaper" than the costs of a surgical abortion, de Costa told the Courier Mail.

"A woman using this treatment will be at the most a couple of hundred dollars out of pocket," she said. The drug will only cost de Costa $60 per pill to purchase.

The abortion drug became legal in Australia after the nation’s parliament stripped Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott of the regulatory authority over the drug. It gave oversight to the Therapeutic Goods Administration, which approved de Costa’s request to sell the drug.

The TGA gave de Costa an approval to sell the abortion pills for three months, but the decision is renewable at the end of the time period.

De Costa told the newspaper that she knows of an overseas drug company wanting to apply for approval to license and sell the drug there on a wide-scale basis making it "just like any other drug."