Intended for healthcare professionals


Abortion pill is approved for sale in United States

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 07 October 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:854
  1. Scott Gottlieb
  1. New York

    Amid bitter opposition from antiabortion groups, federal authorities announced that the abortion pill RU-486 has been approved for sale in the United States. The pill should be available in there within four to six weeks, according to Planned Parenthood.

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved RU-486 (mifepristone) for the termination of early pregnancy, defined as 49 days or less, counting from the beginning of the last menstrual period. The administration said it based its approval of mifepristone on data about safety and effectiveness from clinical trials in the United States and France. It is estimated that more than half a million women in Europe have used mifepristone since its debut in France 12 years ago.

    Supporters lauded the approval as a milestone, making abortion more private and improving access for women living in areas where surgical abortions are not available. Antiabortion organisations, which have fought since 1988 to keep RU-486 out of the United States, assert that the pill carries health risks for women. The FDA's announcement prompted …

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