Magazine article The Christian Century

Abortion Supporters, Foes Speak out on RU-486

Magazine article The Christian Century

Abortion Supporters, Foes Speak out on RU-486

Article excerpt

The Food and Drug Administration's approval of the drug RU-486, the so-called "abortion pill" to terminate early pregnancies, has drawn the expected reactions in a vigorous, suddenly renewed national debate.

"The approval of mifepristone is the result of the FDA's careful evaluation of the scientific evidence related to the safe and effective use of this drug," said FDA commissioner Jane E. Henney on September 28 in announcing the decision. The FDA approved the use of mifepristone in conjunction with another drug, misoprostol. The pill, to be distributed by Danco Laboratories, was expected to be available in the U.S. by early November. Proponents and critics promptly reacted in statements.

The government action was condemned as "the latest in a series of capitulations to abortion advocates" by Gail Quinn, executive director of the Secretariat of the Catholic Bishops' Committee for Pro-Life Activities. "Worst of all, approving chemical abortion will further numb our consciences to the violence of abortion and the taking of innocent human life," Quinn said.

On the other hand, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice called the FDA decision long overdue and a "victory for women as moral decision-makers." Marjorie Signer of the RCRC's Washington headquarters said the interfaith group is concerned about "the effect of the requirement for three separate [doctor] visits on the most underserved women--those who are low-income, women of color, and youth. …

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