Intended for healthcare professionals


Health minister is stripped of his right to veto use of abortion pill

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 23 February 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:441
  1. Christopher Zinn
  1. Sydney

    The abortion pill mifepristone (known as RU486) is to become available for the first time in Australia after a contentious parliamentary debate that saw the federal health minister stripped of his power to veto the use of the drug.

    In a rare conscience vote after three days of heated argument, MPs in the House of Representatives voted in favour of a bill giving the drug regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, the power of approval.

    The prime minister, John Howard, opposed the move, saying: “To suggest that this drug RU486 is just another drug is patently absurd, …

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