Wednesday, July 20, 2005

RU-486, not so risky

This story about how 2 women have died from infections after taking the abortion pill RU-486 brings out the latest bit of dishonesty from the religious right (I was going to say idiocy, but let's not kid ourselves):
Wendy Wright, senior policy director for Concerned Women of America, a conservative women's group, said news of the latest death proved that label changes would not make the drug safe.

"Changing the label the last time clearly didn't help the latest woman who died," Ms. Wright said. "Sadly, people who support RU-486 apparently believe the risk of death is preferable to having a child."
Luckily for us, the article states elsewhere that
Still, the risks of death from infection for users of the pill is roughly one in 100,000 uses - similar to the risks of death from infection after surgical abortions or childbirth. [Emphasis added.]
So the question is, did Ms. Wright actually forget that women can still die from childbirth, or is she purposefully misusing the image of the "miracle of life" to draw a false dichotomy between childbirth and death and hide the fact that you are more likely to die from continuing on with the pregnancy than from taking RU-486? Three guesses, and the first two don't count.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that up here in Great White Canada, we still haven't approved RU-486. I mean, we're a country that legalizes all sorts of things.

And while abortion might be legal (and in some cases, free) in this country, it's not always easy to get. Less than a third of hospitals perform it, so God forbid you live anywhere remote (and there are a lot of people who do).

Having the drug would greatly increase access to abortion in this big country of ours...

7/24/2005 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Yes, that's a good point, although in some cases it doesn't work and you still have to go to the doctor to get a surgical abortion. You'd be in a bit of trouble if you lived in a remote area and used RU-486 only because you had no way to get to the abortion clinic, so I'm not sure that would be advisable. In the US, I believe RU-486 is dispensed by abortion clinics, not ordinary pharmacies. RU-486 is mainly preferable because it's easier, more private, and more comfortable than a surgical abortion.

I don't really understand why Canada doesn't allow RU-486 yet, as apparently chemical abortion using methotrexate is legal, and RU-486 actually works better.

7/24/2005 04:58:00 PM  
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