THE availability in this country of the controversial abortion pill RU486 will lead to a return to back street abortions, says Life.
This assertion follows reports that the French Government, which owns 48 per cent of Roussel Uclaf, the company manufacturing the pill, has ordered that production continue — despite the firm's earlier decision to bow to pressure from Catholic lobbies and pro-life agencies, and cease making RU486 Under existing legislation in England RU486, which induces miscarriage up to the tenth week of pregnancy, will only be available from registered abortion clinics, not over the counter.
"There is a danger that a black market will be set up", said Keith Davies, National Campaign Coordinator of Life. "This will mean a return to the days of back street abortion, with dirty knitting needles being replaced by pharmaceutical poison".
"Getting an abortion through the use of RU486 would be cheaper and easier than going to a clinic. The pregnant woman would have no wait, no form filling, and would be able to bypass the doctor.Without medical supervision the pill is
dangerous. It leads to excessive bleeding and nausea", said Mr Davies.
Family planning agencies in France and England have criticised Catholic pressure groups protesting against RU486 for seeking to impose their religious beliefs on others. "We don't impress our beliefs on anybody", said Mgr Michael Connelly of the Committee for Bioethical Issues of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales. "We do express what our beliefs are, however, namely that we believe in the sanctity of human life."