The Food and Drug Administration yesterday released an updated approved regiment for Mifeprex. The drug, once known as RU-486, is prescribed to medically induce abortions. The guidelines reduce the recommended dosage from 600 to 200 milligrams, thereby reducing the number of doctor visits a woman must make to complete the regiment. The drug may also be used up to the 10th week of pregnancy. The previous guidelines cut off the drug’s use at seven weeks. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), in a news release, say they are pleased with the FDA’s action.
According to the ACOG, the drug has been in use for 15 years and is proven safe and effective. “ACOG is pleased that the updated FDA-approved regimen for mifepristone reflects the current available scientific evidence and best practices,” the professional organization writes. By extending the approved use to 70 days, women will have more time to weigh options when faced with a problematic pregnancy. Additionally, removing the requirement of an in-person follow-up will increase access to medical abortions for women who live in underserved and rural areas, the ACOG says.
“The evidence-based regimen for medication abortion has been shown to improve efficacy, reduce adverse effects, and even lower the cost of medication abortion.” — American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
The National Right to Life organization calls the FDA action a move that solely benefits the abortion industry. Randall O’Bannon, The NRL Director of Education and Research, claims the FDA change in protocol came at the request of drug’s U.S. distributor. In a Wednesday press release, O’Bannon questioned how the modified labeling improves safety to women, and added — “Certainly, none of the modifications is of any benefit to the unborn child.”
According to the Guttmacher Institute, 1.06 million abortions were performed in the United States in 2011. Twenty-three percent of these were medical abortions. Half the women who had abortions say they became pregnant while using contraceptives. Three-quarters say they choose abortion because they were already caring for others and could not take on the responsibility of a new baby.