Professor challenged over RU 486 contraceptive pill claims
25 September 2000
Professor challenged over RU-486 "contraceptive" pill claims Glasgow, 25 September 2000--The Scottish region of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC Scotland) has challenged Professor David Baird of Edinburgh University to come clean over his calls for the RU-486 abortion drug to be promoted as a 'contraceptive'. 50 women in Edinburgh and 40 women in Shanghai, China, have taken part in a trial involving regular use of RU-486 as a method of birth control. The drug is prescribed to induce abortions in the first and second trimesters of pregnancy. Professor Baird has announced that the trial has proved successful and that the drug should now undergo larger scale trials with a view to being marketed as a 'contraceptive'. John Crabbe, manager of SPUC Scotland, commented: "Professor Baird has said that the drug is largely successful in preventing ovulation, and 100% successful in preventing pregnancy. These two facts don't add up. If it allows ovulation to occur in some - perhaps many - cases, it means that conception can occur. If this is the case, this drug can only be described as abortifacient." Mr Crabbe continued: "If RU-486 does work as an abortifacient when used regularly, to present it as a contraceptive pill would be misleading. It would also be an insult to women and an attack on society as a whole." Mr Crabbe pointed out that opposition to RU-486 around the world was considerable. Britain, France, Sweden and China are among the very few countries which have authorised the drug for use in abortions, and currently its possible authorisation in the USA is a subject of much controversy and heated political debate. Mr Crabbe continued: "Opposition to RU-486 comes from many surprising quarters, including from members of feminist movements who observe that the drug's developers and manufacturers have been using women as guinea-pigs. No-one knows the long-term effects this drug will have on women's bodies."