RU-486 OK'd by FDA, not
still do not administer recently approved 'morning after' abortion pill
Less than a few months after its approval
by the Food and Drug Administration, universities have been hesitant to
stock the RU-486 abortion-inducing pill in on-campus clinics. Some have
carried the "morning after" drug, some are debating whether or not to and
some, like the UH health center, have even refused to allow its disbursement.
"It will not be available in our pharmacy,"
UH Chief Physician Dr. James Gray said. Gray didn't specify why the clinic
won't supply the drug.
Mifepristone, more widely known as RU-486,
was invented in France by Dr. Etienne-Emile Baulieu and is intended to
terminate unwanted pregnancies without physical surgical procedures.
American Life League, the nation's largest
pro-life educational organization, surveyed eastern college campuses regarding
RU-486 usage. Results so far show many universities are not allowing RU-486
treatment on their campuses.
"It's going to be a real battleground in
the next few months, since the release of this pill," Gray said.
Although the pill has been in existence
for 20 years, the FDA approved it Sept. 28, making it the first legal alternative
to surgical abortion in the United States.
With the controversy surrounding RU-486,
student health centers across the country are trying to determine how to
deal with its use.
Approved clinics in the United States will
offer the pill, but recipients are only eligible for the drug within the
first seven weeks after their last menstrual period. Women seeking RU-486
are required to take a physical exam and pregnancy test screenings.
"I think it's a good thing, but don't feel
that colleges should be the ones to authorize the dispensing of this particular
drug to students," Tracy Robbins, a UH master in business administration
Women who take RU-486 are actually taking
two drugs: three pills of mifepristone on the initial treatment day and
two tablets of misoprostol two days later. Two weeks later, patients must
return to their doctor's office to ensure a complete abortion. RU-486's
side effects include heavy bleeding, cramping, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
According to studies, RU-486 is 95.5 percent
effective and is considered to be less physically invasive in comparison
to the normal surgical procedure.
"When you think about the risk of infection
and damage to the cervix that a woman encounters with a normal abortion,
it's hard not to think this is better," Robbins added.
Currently, Canada does not allow the use
of RU-486, but China has started to use it.
Additional reporting by Brandon Moeller.