Australia Doctors Unwilling to Sell Dangerous RU 486 Abortion Drug

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 20, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Australia Doctors Unwilling to Sell Dangerous RU 486 Abortion Drug Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 20
, 2006

Canberra, Australia ( — Doctors in Australia are unwilling to join a Cairns abortion practitioner who is the only licensed physician in the nation to sell the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug. They won’t sell the mifepristone pills because they fear opposition from pro-life advocates concerned that the drug will kill more women.

Australian Medical Association SA president Dr. Chris Cain told The Advertiser newspaper that there is "certainly some reluctance of people to embark on it."

"There is some concern (among GPs) about whether they will be accepted and what ramifications will apply," Cain said, referring to Cairns abortion practitioner Caroline de Costa, who has come under fire for selling it. "It has made others reluctant."

He said the hesitancy to sell the abortion drug wouldn’t change until a drug company comes to Australia and obtains a licensed to sell it nationwide.

"I am not aware of anybody considering it in the short term," Cain told the newspaper. "Many people here will probably sit back and see how it goes nationally."

He said he thought it likely that a company would do that in the next six to 12 months.

The abortion drug has already killed 12 women in the United States, Canada, France, England and Sweden.

Meanwhile, de Costa yesterday told the newspaper that one Sydney doctor and two doctors in Victoria have sent in applications to the Therapeutic Goods Administration to sell the abortion pills.

The TGA has authority over abortion drugs in Australia following a vote by the nation’s parliament to strip pro-life Health Minister Tony Abbot of his authority over the drug. He has prohibited sales of it.

The comments followed a report showing that 10 Australian women had purchased the abortion drug over the Internet.

The parliamentary secretary for health, Christopher Pyne, said the Commonwealth could prosecute anyone caught bringing the drug into the country without permission.