Abortion Pill






Analysis of the FDA Approved Abortion Pill


RU-486 now known as Mifepristone, the abortion pill, first entered the clinical trials in Geneva in 1981, and France approved the pill in 1988. Due to America’s political stance on abortion, the French manufacturer, Roussel-Uclaf, announced that the pill would not be distributed in the United States in fear of boycotts and threats.(Newsweek, “The Abortion Pill”, pg29) A year after that President George Bush banned any imports of the pill in the U.S. Later in 1993 President Clinton lifted the ban, which allowed the non-profit Population Council, who was granted U.S. distribution rights by the French manufacturer to research the pill for its effectiveness and safety. After six years of strenuous researching, on September 28, 2000 the Food and Drug Administration gave its approval to Mifepristone. This was an important event in America’s battle on abortion, and was illustrated on the front cover Newsweek, CNN Health, and the New York Times.
Newsweek, a very reliable and resourceful magazine had a lengthy and descriptive article on the approval of Mifepristone, titled “The Abortion Pill” by Pat Wingert and Heather Won Tesorieoro. The writers began their article with a woman explaining her experience of an unplanned pregnancy and how she had wished that the pills were available then. Then the writers explored the political side with Al Gore’s comment of how he welcomed the FDA’s decision and George W. Bush called the approval “a mistake”. (Newsweek, “The Abortion Pill”, pg 28) They told of the pill being introduced in Geneva in 1981 and being approved in 1988, but due to America’s constant battle on the issue of abortion it was not being offered in the United States just yet. Four years later, President Clinton lifted the ban that President George Bush had initiated, thus leaving the doors open for the non-profit, Population Council to research the pill in depth with the end result hopefully being approval by the FDA and made available in the United States. Since the distribution rights were given to the Population Council 10,000 women have participated in the FDA trials of Mifepristone. They then describe how the drug works. The doctor will give the patient, as long it is before 49 days from her last menstrual cycle, three Mifepristone which will block the progesterone, a natural hormone needed to sustain a pregnancy. 48 hours later she will take two dosages of another drug called Misoprostol, which causes contractions that lead to a miscarriage usually within four hours. Studies show that this procedure is 92-97% effective. They give colored illustration of the female reproductive system demonstrating how the pill works and the process in which it goes through, provided by Dunco Laboratories. They end their very informative article by stating that the pill will be offered in late October and already over 1,800 physicians that do not practice abortions have attended official training sessions, then purposing the question of the pill making abortions too accessible. Their sources included Richard Merrill, a former chief counsel for the FDA, Danco Laboratories, who will market Mifepristone and statistical from the FDA research, however some ratios and information did not have any indication of what source it came from. In my impression this article was strictly informative to the reader, gave the reader vital information on the process of the pill and the pro’s and con’s of the pill as well.
The next article dealing with the newly approved pill was found in CNNhealth.com. CNN, which is most know for providing the public with the most current up to date new had an article titled “FDA Approves Abortion Pill,” written by Jessica Reaves on September 29, 2000. She starts her article by explaining the difference between the Morning After Pill, which you can take up to 72 hours of unprotected sex, versus Mifepristrone which can be taken 50 days after your last menstrual cycle. Then the writer gives quotes from the Pro-Choice side, which claimed it to be “an advancement in women’s health,” and the Pro-Life said “it was a sad day for women”. The history of the pill was given next, explaining how European women have had access to this pill for 12 years while it was inaccessible to women in America due to the threat of boycotts. After a