OTTAWA – Health Canada confirmed yesterday that RU-486 has been approved for use in Canada. It is a two drug combination that causes an abortion and is used during the first trimester of pregnancy.
“No drug is without risk, but the risks associated with RU-486 are well known,” says Dr. Laura Lewis, an Ontario family physician and a Canadian Physicians for Life board member. “The 2011 FDA report on RU-486 reported that 14 women died since the drug’s introduction in the United States. It also noted 339 women experienced blood loss requiring transfusions and 256 women experienced infections.”
The drug has been touted as increasing abortion access, notably in remote areas where abortion access has been limited.
“When we consider this will make abortion more accessible to women living in remote areas, we need to remember that due to the drug’s possible adverse effects, women using this drug will still need proper medical follow-up. Surgical care should be available in their community as surgical intervention may be required,” states Lewis.
Further, it should be questioned whether additional abortion access is what Canadian women need most. Canada currently has no abortion legislation, and women can self-refer to an abortion clinic or hospital throughout their pregnancy.
“Is this drug addressing the right problem?” questions Lewis. “In this nation we treat abortion as a solution to unplanned pregnancy. But women don’t necessarily need more abortion access. What many do need, and have difficulty accessing, are practical supports, community resources and compassionate care. Our response as a country should address women’s deepest concerns, in these cases it is often fear and worry, not simply offering them more abortion access.”
Dr. Thomas Bouchard and Dr. Laura Lewis, CPL Board Members, are available for comment through the contact information noted below.
For more information or an interview, please contact
Faye Sonier, Executive Director
Canadian Physicians for Life
Canadian Physicians for Life is the national association of pro-life physicians in Canada. Founded in 1975, Canadian Physicians for Life seeks to promote public awareness of and professional adherence to the time-honoured Hippocratic medical tradition, which affirms the inviolability of every human life. For more information, please visit our website at www.physiciansforlife.ca.