Australia Abortion Practitioner Wants RU 486 Available Nationwide

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 6, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Australia Abortion Practitioner Wants RU 486 Available Nationwide Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 6,

Canberra, Australia ( — An abortion practitioner who is the only one licensed in the nation to distribute the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug is upset that it is still not yet available nationwide. The nation’s parliament has voted to allow its drug agency to approve sales of the drug nationwide but no business has applied for a permit yet.

Caroline de Costa, an abortion practitioner based in Cairns, Australia, published an article in the latest issue of the Medical Journal of Australia saying she wants the abortion drug available nationwide.

In order for a business to import and sell the abortion drug nationwide, they need Authorized Prescriber status from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

De Costa and a colleague have been granted permission to sell the abortion drug, but they only do so in a limited basis in Cairns.

But she complained that the TGA has turned down a request from four others to sell the drug — the agency requested more information in each case.

She writes that "from the evidence provided that the drug is sufficiently safe and effective to be available for at least some Australian women.”

"There is an urgent need for a more proactive approach from individual doctors, professional bodies, and health departments, at both state and federal levels, to make mifepristone widely used and accessible to every Australian woman faced with making the difficult decision about abortion for herself," she added.

However, the drug has been responsible for the deaths of at least 12 women worldwide and caused medical problems for at least 1,100 women in the United States alone.

According to FDA reports as of December, there have now been eight known deaths associated with RU 486 in the U.S., nine life-threatening incidents, 116 blood transfusions, and 232 hospitalizations. In total, more than 1,100 women have had medical problems after using the drug.

The first victim of RU 486 was a Tennessee woman who died after using the abortion drug. She had an undetected ectopic pregnancy, and the drug is not supposed to be used in such situations.

Following her death, four California women died from using the abortion drug and the FDA announced last year that a Colorado woman had died as well.

Women have died from using the abortion drug in Canada, England, France and Sweden.