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Abortion By RU486

Satisfactory Essays
Dangers inherent in this method of abortion are evident in precautions used in other countries, for example France. The Food and Drug Administration based its 1996 finding that drug-induced abortion using mifepristone and misoprostol ("M/M") was "safe and effective" on results involving a subgroup of women (1,681) in French trials. M/M abortions in France are performed at government-operated hospitals and clinics, typically with or adjacent to emergency room facilities. Women are screened for numerous medical conditions that rule out use of the two drugs. Ultrasound is used to determine gestational age and to rule out tubal pregnancy.

After women are given prostaglandin (e.g., misoprostol), they are monitored on site for approximately four hours so that allergic reactions, cardiopulmonary "events," hemorrhaging and the like can be treated promptly before they become life-threatening. A 1990 directive jointly signed by the French Republic's Director General of Health, Director of Hospitals and Director of Pharmacy and Medication, states that whenever prostaglandins are given "in association with RU 486" the "following technical conditions ... are indispensable and are to be followed: ... b) The doctor must ensure that diagnostic instruments and machines are close by, such as electrocardiogram equipment and particularly resuscitative cardiopulmonary equipment (including nitrous oxide and injectable calcium antagonists and a fibrillator). ... c) [C]linical observations and blood-pressure readings every half hour are indispensable for several hours following the administration of these drugs. d) Whenever there is chest pain, an electrocardiogram should be taken on the suspicion of rhythm troubles and in case of significant lowering of blood pressure" ("Letter").

In Sweden, women are "supervised by the midwife for 4 to 6 hours at the outpatient clinic" (Bygdeman).

In China "the emphasis on close medical supervision is well accepted. ... It is stressed that misoprostol should be taken in the clinic and followed by several hours of observation" (Wu). The long observation is one reason that staffs in some large hospitals in China are growing reluctant to prescribe the drug combination: "The number of medical abortions has decreased recently in some of the large hospitals. The staffs were too busy to handle the procedure (more counseling, more visits, and observation), and they also have to manage the referred cases with serious side effects and complications" (Wu 199).

Searle, which manufactures misoprostol under the brand name Cytotec, has consistently opposed the use of Cytotec for labor induction and for
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