Tuesday 3 December 2013

R U able to buy RU486 in Canada? Why not?*

Medical or chemical abortion is back in the news. We've written about it here often, most recently here.

It's a mystery why prochoice Canada has not approved RU-486 or Mifepristone.

The Canadian Medical Association is on the case.
Health Canada is being urged to approve a drug that is considered the “gold standard” of medical abortion and is already available in most other developed countries.

The drug mifepristone, commonly known as RU-486, is not available in Canada despite being the best known option for abortion, says a commentary published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

“This is the choice that many women actually want to have,” said one of the authors, Dr. Sheila Dunn of Women’s College Hospital in Toronto. “Canadian women don’t have it, and it’s unacceptable that we don’t.”

Medical abortion uses drugs rather than surgery to induce an early abortion, similar to a miscarriage. Mifepristone is taken orally and ends a pregnancy within one or two days.

Women in 57 countries have access to the drug, according to Dunn. It has been available in France since 1988, in Britain since 1991 and in the United States since 2000.
As we've noted here before, the fetus fetishists really really really hate medical abortion. It's private, safe, and cheap(er). It allows women to act quickly on an unwanted pregnancy. Any doctor can prescribe the pills, so one doesn't have to go to a clinic targetted by screaming nutbars.

So, here they are again with a petition against approving it.

The petition cites old data, now largely irrelevant because of changed protocols, but we really like this Godwinism.
And whereas RU-486 has ties to the Nazi death camps of WWII, given it was designed by the same company (Hoechst AG, formerly IG Farben) which supplied Hitler with the Zyklon-B gas used to kill millions of Jews, Poles and others in the gas chambers of Auschwitz;
Yep. They went there.

(The petition has a whopping 862 signatures at the moment.)

As we've said before, the government of Canada has a duty to provide top-drawer medical choices to patients. But it also has a duty to try to keep costs down. Which is exactly what bulk buying of RU-486 would achieve.

Look at Australian PM Julia Gillard's last act as prime minister.

Julia Gillard's last act as prime minister included signing off on cabinet approval for slashing the cost of abortion pill RU486 to as little as $12.

Listing the abortion drug on the taxpayer-funded Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) will see the price of a medical abortion in Australia drop from up to $800 to just $12 for concession card holders from August 1.

Women not eligible for concessions will pay around $70 under the PBS.
Safe, effective, private, cheap.

What's not to like?

So, will Health Canada do the sensible and responsible thing? Or will Rona Ambrose stick a base-appeasing spaniard in the works?

*Title taken from a comment by Alison suggesting a bumper sticker here.


Jacqui said...

I don't understand why this is a political decision. It is a medical option, endorsed by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, and yet is still not available. It does make you wonder what criteria Health Canada uses to approve (or delay) such meds, particularly when the side effects seem worse for the current drug regimen used for abortions.

As a side note, and sorry for being a nitpicker, but did you mean "spanner" (British term for wrench) instead of spaniard?

fern hill said...

Hi, Jacqui,
Spaniard in the works is old family joke.

e. a. f. said...

Rona likes her new job with the driver, perks, higher salary. the women of Canada be dammed. As long as the Cons/teabaggers north are the majority in parliament, health canada will not do what is best for women, only what is best for the cons and their base and their ability to collect money for the party

Beijing York said...

I remember when RU486 was first released in Europe and the controversy it caused among the pearl clutchers in N. America. We were working on a radio science show circa late 80s when we did covered the "abortion pill" controversy. It might have been before the 1988 Supreme Court ruling.

Can't believe that over 20 years later we still don't have this available. Maybe we can convince the anti-women zealots that RU486 is only banned because the evil abortionists have the market cornered and they don't want to give up their highly lucrative business to a cheap, effective pill. For pity sake, think of the taxpayer you all CAP wenches :-)

fern hill said...

@BY: I like the way you think. :D

Scotian said...

There is no good excuse for this, only political partisan ones, and those don't count in my books when we are talking about medical issues like this one is. I can understand wanting to be cautious during the initial development period, but that was over well before we ever got the Harper government and then some. Just no good excuse.

Alison said...

Vellacott wants to look into 'legal protection' of 'children before birth' once again.
Bidding now begins on who will be the first to introduce a further M-484

Alison said...

Oops, forgot link

fern hill said...

Thanks for that, Alison. I plan to blog on it, if I get a few minutes.

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