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The Mifeprex "Abortion Pill" (RU486)

The RU-486 abortion pill, known in the United States as mifepristone (and sold by Danco Laboratories under the brand name Mifeprex) is dangerous for both women and their unborn children. Mifeprex is not just a "pill", it requires a process involving at least 3 doctor visits within a two-week time period. At the second visit to the doctor, another drug (Cytotec, also known as Misoprostol) must also be administered to the woman, so that she will begin having contractions to expel the baby. Contrary to the impression given by pro-abortion advocates, more time is involved in a drug-induced abortion than in a surgical abortion.

Five weeks after conception, the baby is about half an inch long and already has a recognizable face, arms, and legs. But this baby can be legally killed by the Mifeprex abortion pill. (Some abortion advocates deceptively say that the fetus is just a mass of cells about the size of a grain of rice at this stage.)


Mifeprex kills a baby whose body has already been formed, whose heart is already beating. In most situations, by the time a woman has realized that her period is late, her baby's heart has already begun to function. This is not just a "blob of tissue" which is being "flushed out."


Women who choose to abort a baby by using Mifeprex will likely experience more emotional trauma than women who have their babies aborted surgically, because of the amount of time required for the abortion to be completed. In addition, it is much more likely that the woman will actually see her dead baby after it has been expelled from her body. According to the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute (the research arm of Planned Parenthood), one of the primary disadvantages of Mifeprex is "not knowing when the abortion will actually take place."


According to Danco Laboratories, the U.S. manufacturer of Mifeprex, "nearly all of the women who receive Mifeprex and misoprostol will report adverse reactions, and many can be expected to report more than one such reaction."2 Mifeprex usually causes abdominal pain to the women who take it, and excessive bleeding, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are common side-effects.1, 2 Women may also have an allergic reaction, including allergic shock.3 About 1 out of every 100 women who are subjected to a Mifeprex abortion will need to be hospitalized due to complications, and about 2 out of every 100 women will need surgery because of excessive bleeding. According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, this long period of bleeding may extend for up to six weeks.1 Some women have experienced heart attacks or have died as a result of using this drug. An Iowa woman almost bled to death because of this drug when it was being tested.

Dr. Bernard Nathanson warns that the long-term effects of using Mifeprex have not been tested, and he suspects that it could be a chemical time-bomb similar to DES.

Because of the life-threatening nature of the side-effects a woman may experience from taking Mifeprex, the abortionist is supposed to have a counselor who ensures that women who take the abortion pill have an "adequate support system" to get them to the emergency room if necessary.1


When doctors administer Misoprostol to a pregnant woman as part of a drug-induced abortion, they are violating the manufacturer's instructions for the use of the drug, which is intended to be taken for ulcers. The FDA has received at least 30 reports of uterine rupture in connection with the use of this drug. In a letter dated August 23, 2000, the manufacturer warned health care practitioners: "Serious adverse events reported following off-label use of Cytotec in pregnant women include maternal or fetal death, uterine hyperstimulation, rupture or perforation requiring...surgical repair, hysterectomy or [other treatment]...severe vaginal bleeding...and shock."


It is not uncommon for a dead unborn baby to remain inside a woman after she attempts a drug-induced abortion. In about 8% of the cases, women who undergo Mifeprex abortions must follow up the process with a surgical abortion. Infection, sterility, and death can result from an undiagnosed incomplete abortion.3
It is also possible that the baby may remain alive and intact after an attempted Mifeprex abortion. Women who experience this situation should immediately seek competent medical assistance from a physician who will seek to protect the woman's own health, while attempting to protect the child's life and health.
Notorious abortionist Warren Hern, director of the Boulder Abortion Clinic in Colorado notes that many abortion advocates deny complications like incomplete abortions. "People have a way of denying these problems with the drug and saying it's a magic bullet. It's not," Hern said. 4
Melissa Grant of Greater Iowa Planned Parenthood said "there's a certain myth out there still that this is a magic pill and will make everything go away. Once a woman is pregnant, there is no easy and comfortable way to have that change."5 "There are a lot more problems with using that (drug) than the public's been led to believe," said Dr. Terry Winegar, president of the San Diego Academy of Family Physicians.5


Aborting a baby by Mifeprex is typically much more expensive than a surgical abortion. For example, the Family Planning Associates chain of abortion centers charges $500 for a Mifeprex abortion and $290 for a surgical abortion. 6
Of course, these costs pale in comparison to the toll this pill will take on the life of a woman and her baby.


In spite of the pro-abortion propaganda which has been used to promote drug-induced abortions, Mifeprex abortions are clearly dangerous. Even if the value of the baby is not considered, Mifeprex should be rejected on the basis of women's health concerns alone.
Some abortionists, such as those associated with Family Planning Associates, have decided to cut corners in their procedures for administering Mifeprex. Instead of administering three pills, the dosage specified by the pill's manufacturer7 and the FDA, these abortionists administer only one pill. They also violate the manufacturer's and FDA specifications by subjecting women who are up to nine weeks pregnant to this dangerous drug. Apparently, violating the rules in this manner allows these abortionists to triple their profits, and if such practices put their patients' lives at further risk, this is evidently a price these abortionists are willing to pay. Would you really trust your reproductive health to someone like this, who just sees you as an opportunity to improve his profit margin?


If you are considering a Mifeprex abortion, or any other method for ending the life of your preborn child, please contact us so that we can help you to make the right choice for yourself and for your baby. You can reach us by phone anytime on the HOPE Hotline 800-620-HOPE (4673), or click here for more contact information.

1 Family Planning Perspectives, Volume 31, No. 1, January/February 1999

2 Danco Laboratories "Early Option Pill" Web site,, "ADVERSE REACTIONS."

3 Journal of the American Medical Women's Association

4 Pro-Life Infonet #2264, Sept 30, 2000

5 San Diego Union Tribune, May 6, 2001

6 Family Planning Associates Medical Group, Inc., Web site, as viewed on 8/25/2001.

7 Danco Laboratories "Early Option Pill" Web site,

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