Australia Abortion Practitioner Will Limit RU 486 Due to Women’s Deaths

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 6, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Australia Abortion Practitioner Will Limit RU 486 Due to Women’s Deaths Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 6, 2006

Canberra, Australia ( — One day after another Australia abortion practitioner said she would be the first to sell the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug there, a second abortion practitioner announced he will not sell it at all of his abortion facilities.

David Grundmann indicated he did not want to expose Australian women to the mifepristone abortion drug until American government agencies complete their investigation of the recent deaths of six women.

In January, Grundmann told The Age newspaper that he intended to submit an application to Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration for approval to sell the abortion drug, marketed as Mifeprex.

But, yesterday, he told the newspaper that, while he still thinks the drug is safe overall, he wants to wait until U.S. agencies determine why it killed the six women by exposing them to a lethal bacteria.

"I’m sure that it is safe to use, in light of its use in 20 years in Europe and America, but because of a very faint shadow of doubt, I would prefer to wait before I progress my interest in this treatment any further," he said.

Grundmann also said he didn’t think that the abortion drug should be used in rural medical facilities, like his in Townsville and Rockhampton, because it requires medical supervision.

In addition to the six deaths, some 950 women in the U.S. alone have been injured by the abortion drug and many of them required emergency hospitalization to complete failed abortions, for blood transfusions or to treat other problems.

"We are only present one day either a week or a fortnight. That’s not an appropriate situation to use that drug," he told The Age. "I felt under the circumstances, in Townsville and Rockhampton at least, it would not be appropriate for me to use this drug under the current circumstances in which my facilities operate."

Grundmann said his facilities in Newcastle and Brisbane would provide women with adequate medical supervision. He also does abortions at a business in Melbourne, which he told The Age is planning to apply on its own to distribute the abortion drug.

The newspaper indicated several rural abortion practitioners have submitted applications as well, but didn’t name them or their locations.

Caroline de Costa, an abortion practitioner in Cairns, submitted the first application to sell the abortion drug and she will begin giving it to women next month.