Australia Hospital Becomes First to Sell Dangerous RU 486 Abortion Drug

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 24, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Australia Hospital Becomes First to Sell Dangerous RU 486 Abortion Drug Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 24,

Melbourne, Australia ( — Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne received permission from the nation’s drug regulatory agency yesterday to give women the dangerous abortion drug RU 486. The hospital filed an application in December to become the second place to sell the abortion drug after a Cairnes-based abortion practitioner.

The facility asked the Therapeutic Goods Administration to allow 10 physicians to sell the mifepristone pills, responsible for the deaths of thirteen women worldwide.

Now that the TGA has approved the application, Royal Women’s Hospital could have the abortion pills on hand within weeks.

The hospital has said it will only give women the abortion drug in limited circumstances, such as when it is "medically necessary" — though abortions routinely cause women medical and other problems.

According to a report in The Age newspaper, women who can’t have surgical abortions will qualify to use mifepristone. Women with fibroids — tumors in the womb — would qualify, RWH said.

Chris Bayly, the hospital’s associate director of women’s services, said the drug would not be available to women who would simply prefer it to a surgical abortion.

"It should be clear that this approval will not make mifepristone available to women who will prefer it. That’s still going to require an application from a drug company to go through the routine process of the TGA," she told The Age.

Thirteen women from the United States, Canada, England, France and Sweden have died after using the abortion drug mifepristone. 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.

Cairns abortion practitioner Caroline de Costa became the first to be able to sell the abortion drug last April.

No drug company has applied to sell the drug nationally, so individual abortion practitioners and facilities must apply to sell the drug locally.

The abortion drug was allowed in Australia when the Australia parliament took authority over the drug from pro-life Health Minister Tony Abbott and gave it to the TGA agency.

ACTION: You can express your opposition to selling the abortion drug by contacting Royal Women’s Hospital at 132 Grattan St, Carlton VIC 3053, AUSTRALIA, call (613) 9344 2000, fax 613-9348-1840.