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Facts About RU-486



It isn't a contraceptive. Used at 5 to 7 weeks, RU 486 kills an unborn baby whose heart has already begun to beat.


What is RU486?


RU 486 is a chemical compound that, taken in pill form, can induce abortion in women up to nine weeks pregnant.


RU486 is also known by its generic name, mifepristone, and by Mifegyne, the name under which RU486 is marketed in Europe. "Mifeprex," is the name under which it is to be sold in the United States, though it will also be marketed as the "Early Option" pill.


The FDA declared RU486 "safe" and "effective." Is it really?


It certainly isn't safe for the baby who suffocates or starves to death. And it strains credulity to label a drug that puts perfectly healthy women in the hospital and may not work nearly a quarter of the time "safe" or "effective."


What other physical side effects are common?


Nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and painful cramping are quite often part of the package, and sometimes in clinical trials were themselves severe enough to put women in the hospital. Less frequent, but potentially more serious, are side effects such as infection or heart palpitations.


It isn't safe or easy.

Heavy bleeding, nausea, vomiting, and painful uterine contractions are common features of a process TIME magazine calls "A painful, messy, and protracted." About 2% hemorrhage and more than 1 in a 100 require hospitalization. An Iowa woman took RU486 and lost nearly 3/4 of her blood and likely would have died without emergency surgery.

 
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