Australia Hospital In Melbourne Wants to Sell Dangerous Abortion Drug

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 11, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Australia Hospital In Melbourne Wants to Sell Dangerous Abortion Drug Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 11
, 2006

Melbourne, Australia ( — The Royal Women’s Hospital has filed an application with the federal government to sell the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug to women. The facility is asking the Therapeutic Goods Administration to allow 10 physicians to sell the mifepristone pills, responsible for the deaths of thirteen women worldwide.

It could take several months before the RWH application is approved.

If approved, hospital officials said they would only use the abortion drug in limited circumstances such as when a woman has fibroids — tumors in her womb — that prevent a surgical abortion.

Thirteen women from the United States, Canada, England, France and Sweden have died after using the abortion drug. In several cases in the U.S. women contracted a lethal bacterial virus shortly after using it.

FDA figures show that, in the United States alone, more than 1,050 women have had medical problems after using the abortion drug. In addition to the deaths there have been nine life-threatening incidents, 116 blood transfusions, and 232 hospitalizations

According to The Age newspaper, the hospital plans to continue using surgical abortions at the primary abortion method but the percentage of abortions involving the RU 486 drug may increase following its approval.

The newspaper said Royal Women’s Hospital first considered applying for the right to sell the dangerous abortion drug in February when the Australia parliament took authority over the drug from pro-life Health Minister Tony Abbott and gave it to the TGA agency.

Since then it has been consulting with the Austin hospital and Monash Medical Centre about selling the abortion drug along with them.

An Austin spokesman told The Age that it will join RWH in submitting a mifepristone application earlier next year for three of its physicians.

Currently, the only person licensed to sell the abortion drug is Cairns obstetrician Caroline De Costa. No company has come forward to submit an application to sell RU 486 nationwide, making it so local physicians and hospitals are considering their own sales applications.

Royal Women’s Hospital chief executive Dale Fisher told the newspaper that she thinks a company will eventually step forward but the hospital wanted to sell the drug now.

"In the interim, we felt strongly that it was appropriate for the Women’s, as Australia’s first women’s hospital, to lead the introduction of this important health service for women," she said.