The Ontario Coalition of Abortion Clinics (OCAC) is petitioning Health Canada to make RU-486 available in Canada.
Sign the petition at Health Canada approve RU-486 now!
RU-486 or Mifepristone, better known as “the abortion pill”, is a safe and effective non-surgical option for terminating early pregnancy. The drug was developed in France and became available in 1988. It used by women in 60 countries, including the US, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. In many countries where RU-486 is available, approximately 50% of women choose this option.
In countries where abortion is legal or decriminalized, medical abortion is an alternative to surgical procedures in the early stages of pregnancy. Medical abortion requires a visit to an accredited clinic or hospital, where an ultrasound determines the gestational age of the fetus. Medical abortion is currently available in Canada up to 7 weeks of gestation, using a combination of methotrexate and misoprostol. RU-486, however, is faster and more effective than the two-pill regime, and can be used up to 9 weeks gestation.
There are no legal restrictions to abortion in Canada but access varies greatly in each province and territory. Approval of RU-486 would provide greater access to abortion in rural and remote parts of Canada, where travel for surgical abortion can be time-consuming, expensive, and can compromise confidentiality. In PEI, one must travel off-island to access abortion. There is only one hospital in Nunavut that performs abortion. RU-486 would also reduce lengthy wait times for surgical abortion in areas of the country where it is available.
Even though it usually takes 9 months for pharmaceuticals to go through Health Canada’s approval process, RU-486 has inexplicably been under review since December 2012. Health Canada has said that it will not be ready to announce its results until Fall 2015.
OCAC is urging Health Canada and Minister of Health Rona Ambrose to approve RU-486 and improve abortion access for women living in Canada. We are also urging federal party leaders to address RU-486 as a wedge issue that affects all Canadians in the lead up to 2015 federal election. Finally, OCAC encourages Liberal leader Justin Trudeau to continue advocating for abortion rights by drawing public attention to how Health Canada is blocking Canadian women’s rightful access to medical abortion.
You can make a difference by signing this petition and tweeting #RU486now to Minister of Health Rona Ambrose @MinRonaAmbrose and federal party leaders in the lead-up to the 2015 federal election: @PMHarper, @JustinTrudeau, @ThomasMulcair, @ElizabethMay.
Take action: Sign the petition Health Canada approve RU-486 now!
#RU486now Tweet: @MinRonaAmbrose, @PMHarper, @JustinTrudeau, @ThomasMulcair, @ElizabethMay