Ethics 101 StienfeldDeliberation Brief RU- 486″Mifepristone, The French Abortion Pill, The “anti-pregnancy” pill, Mifeprex, Abortion by Pill, RU- 486, ru 486, mifegyne, M&M, RU-486, Miracle Pill, The Abortion Pill, non-surgical abortion, the “easy” abortion, Makes-the-baby-go-away pill, Un pregnancy, Contra gestion Chemical Abortion, RU-28486, Medical Abortion, Mf.” (RU 486: The Pill, The Process, and The Problems).
Call if what you want, but on September 28, 2000 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a drug known as RU-486, which will now be known by trade name as Mifeprex. Basically, what this drug does is cease early pregnancy. A woman may take this drug 49 days or less from the beginning of the last menstrual period.
By using this method, three steps need to be taken. The first step includes a dose of three 200 milligrams of Mifepristone orally. The next step occurs two days later taking two 200 micrograms of Misoprostol orally. After completing those two dosages the woman has to go back to the doctor for a “follow-up” visit about 14 days later, to make sure that the procedure was successful, and the pregnancy was indeed terminated.
Even though the procedure sounds easy, there are many set backs that make the drug not “the easy way” out. A woman will experience about 9-16 days of bleeding or spotting, other side effects may be nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and painful cramping. Unlike an abortion the procedure is indeed a process, it isn’t a wham-bam-thank-you-ma ” am type of ordeal. There are very serious and cautious steps a woman needs to take in order for the abortion pill to complete itself.
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Looking back at the history of RU-486, we need to take a trip to Europe back in 1980, which is when it was invented. Years later it was approved in France in 1988, and manufactured by a French industry called Roussel-Ucla f, hence the name RU. The 486 came from the shortened version of the first compound number the pill had, or 38486. After the drug started to spread throughout Europe, many other non-Europe countries such as Russia, United Kingdom, China, Israel, and South Africa approved the pill as well. Although the drug was becoming “popular” across seas, the United States delayed permission to allow the drug. The main reason for this delay was that President George Bush was a strong pro-life advocate, but that all changed in 1993 when President Bill Clinton came into office.
In 1996, tests were being done with the FDA to approve the RU-486 pill. Four years later, of course on September 28, 2000, the FDA did indeed approve the pill and it’s use. Although the pill is approved, minor details are still being put into place, for example the cost. An article on the ABC news website says that the pill will possibly come out in November and will cost about the same as a surgical abortion, so between $300-$550 (Associated Press).
Also, the drug will only be offered at the doctors’ office, not the pharmacy. The pill is expected to reduce the numbers of abortions by one third in the United States (Associated Press).
Overall, the approval of this drug is going to raise much awareness and concern with the pro-life and pro-choice citizens of the United States. Now, some say that this method isn’t, and shouldn’t be considered abortion. But, that simply taking the RU-486 pill just brings upon a natural miscarriage. Dr. Bernard Gore, who is in charge of one of seven RU-486 test sites in the country, agrees. He also says that going with the decision of using the pill is a process.
It’s not just an hour and a half session, and then everything is back to normal. “Dr. Gore, clinic medical director and professor at the University of California-San Francisco, said, ‘The real advantage to this whole concept is simplicity, effectiveness and a cheap price, but more importantly, it’s going to protect a patient from being targeted (by anti-abortion protesters) at clinics.’ Gore noted that 28 states do not have abortion providers and that family-care practitioners can provide the RU-486 clone. The procedure is considered 96 to 98 percent effective and has been used by some 200, 000 women in Europe and Asia worldwide” (The San Francisco Examiner).
... There is no denying that the pills destroy an unborn life. This is the first drug approved by FDA that is intended to kill ... in America has a personal opinion on abortion rights, abortion remains an issue between a woman, her creator and her physician. As ... as RU-486, provides women with a medical alternative to surgical abortion. Mifepristone is an anti progesterone drug that blocks receptors of ...
Gore’s point shows not only that this pill is simple, effective, and cheap, but also it is in deep concern for woman’s status and reputation. Another argument why the RU-486 is efficient is because it is a known fact that abortion around the country has become increasingly unpopular with all people including, doctors, women, and the majority of the population.
This method of abortion, or whatever anyone calls it, is private and personal. Even though the woman needs to be ready for an emergency and / or serious conditions, it still isn’t very likely, considering the effective percentage is extremely high. Plus, the women also have the choice to be around people that she loves and care about her. Say that she is a teenager going though this with her mother, or a couple going through this together. The point is that, although abortion isn’t always considered the right thing to do, the woman doesn’t have to go through it alone if she doesn’t want to.
Yes, she is going to be going through a lot of pain, but at the same time she can feel the love that surrounds her. According to The Potentiality Principle that Edward Langerak adopted in his article titled, “Abortion: Listening to the Middle” suggested about abortion that, “If in the normal course of (an embryo’s) development, a being will acquire a person’s claim to life, then by virtue of that fact it already has some claim to life” (Langerak).
In other words, if in a pregnancy, a being has potentiality to become a person, then technically they are a person, and no one has any rights to say anything about this person’s being? Should this theory pertain to those of the RU-486 drug? It would only make sense to combine theories in the abortion method and the pill method of ceasing pregnancy. A woman who aborts her baby is a killer and that if all beings have rights to live than why shouldn’t babies inside a mother’s womb have any? Most radical pro-life advocates agree that this pill will only bring upon trouble and controversy.
... it merely impossible for women to achieve her goals and desires in life. In life and in this county women have always been treated ... or what kind of job a person will have. It should be up to a person's own will not the decisions ... . Women have always been treated like they are never good enough for careers outside of the home. The sex of a person ...
Trouble, for example, a woman goes into the doctor to get this pill, then two days later decides she isn’t going to go through with this anymore, for any reason. She doesn’t take the second dosage of the next drug, nor does she go into the doctor for her check up. At this time, what is it that the doctor’s do? Do they just sit there and think, “Oh, it’s just another patient missing their appointment.” No way. This is a woman, out on the streets, or sitting in her home debating to go through with the final steps of the process, and obviously unaware of the danger that she might be in. How serious do the doctors emphasize the procedures? How many questions do they ask before the pill is initially swallowed? We, the United States, are now taking responsibility into our own hands, and relying off of statistics that date back ten years. Well, we are taking the French statistics and making them our own.
Now 95-96% sounds like a great “success rate.” But, when you compare that, the French statistics, to the Americans, we have seen figures more in the range of, during the 5 th week, 92% effective, and in the 7 th week as low as 77% effective (RU-486: The Pill, The Process, The Problems).
Studies also show that these percentages are likely to go down. A good example of how tacticians might “curve” their results, is about a woman in Iowa who took the pill. She lost a good one half to two thirds of her blood volume. She would have died if she didn’t have emergency surgery. But, know that the press would flip if found out about this, and seeming that this drug was new and extremely close to being passed, they failed to mention any complications.
The press did indeed report “no complications.” No complications? Okay, there is nothing we can do about it now, I guess. But, we are supposed to trust these “accurate” percentages given to us by the French? There is no way to draw a line between right and wrong on this issue. Many have tried to in the courts and have gotten nowhere. You can’t say, “If this happened… Then you can use the pill,” and you can’t say, “If this happened…
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Then you can’t.” People have argued both radicals, if the child isn’t born yet; it’s not a child. On the other hand, if a sperm fertilizes an egg, that’s a being, and you can’t abort it. Is there some way that we can all agree? No, the whole world has tried and failed. Trying to stand in the middle of this controversial issue is virtually impossible.
Many people try very hard to not be pro-choice or pro- life, but when it all comes down to it, they really have no opinion at all. They have either never been in the situation where they have had to think about it, or they have never been close to someone who has had to weigh out options. After researching this topic thoroughly I have become more against this drug than ever before. At first, I didn’t really know what all was involved, but knowing the dangers involved, I don’t think that any woman should have to go through that.
It is an emotionally stressful process, it is a painful experience, and it is a dangerous procedure if it doesn’t go as planned. The most disturbing information I found that hit me the hardest was data from an article titled “RU-486: The pill, The Process, The Problems” from an anonymous author on the Internet. Get this, the earliest time a woman can take this pill the baby is developing very quickly. During the fifth week of pregnancy, the baby is about three weeks old, 2 mm long, and has developed a nervous system. Not only that, the baby also has started to form a heart, and will develop a strong heart beat at three and a half weeks. Only seven weeks into a pregnancy the baby will be about five weeks old and will have grown to 8 mm and they have developed a face, arms, and even legs.
Imagine that, why isn’t that a person? Some people who are walking around today don’t have these things, and we consider them people. Maybe we should reevaluate our thinking? To make matters even harsher, during the ninth week of the pregnancy, the seven-week-old child has ears and toes. Also, it has grown now to 18 mm. Just think that is like an inch tall and endless opportunities. When I read these facts on how much a baby changes in that amount of precious time, there is no way I could kill that thing, whatever it is. Maybe that’s not the strongest point in the world, but it’s enough for me, and it should be enough for anyone who has a heart.
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Abortion isn’t just a subject you throw around at the dinner table, or at a baseball game. A person that believes that life should not be wasted has a beautiful way of thinking, and a person who believes that a mother’s life should be more important is caring in some ways too. But, how can we go on with these important lives if we know somewhere out there, our life could have been different and with a beautiful child, and maybe for the better? No one will know. As a woman, I believe it would be harder to make the decision of having a baby. After talking to a male about the whole situation, it was very frustrating. Males don’t know what it is like to actually think you might be pregnant, and to be wishing for your period.
Looking into the future becomes the worst feeling in the world all of the sudden. There are so many questions, and options involved. Who is there to turn to? What options do I have? Who will / should benefit? Well, whatever this pill, RU-486, brings to the United States, which no one knows, it will strike hard, but be ready to deal with peoples’ feelings and emotions quickly because it is already raising awareness and controversy. After all, abortion in general is a matter that involves people, emotions, and life. Not all the same, different people, different emotions, and more than likely, many lives to come. Work Cited ” RU-486: The Pill, The Process, The Problems” web (1998).
Schorr, Melissa. “A Medical Milestone.” ABC news. 28 Sept. 2000. web Department of Health and Human Services. “FDA approves mifepristone for the termination of early pregnancy.” 28 Sept.