For release: Friday, February 1, 2013

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has called on the government not to subsidise the chemical abortion drug RU486.

It was confirmed this week that a meeting of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Commission in March would determine whether to publically fund RU486. This would make the drug available for around $12, much less than the current cost of $300.

The drug was approved in 2006, and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) last year approved the importation of the drug by MS Health, a subsidiary of Marie Stopes International, the group now pushing for public funding.

ACL’s spokesperson Wendy Francis is concerned that the government is ignoring the rights of the unborn, as well as the mental health consequences of abortion for women.

“RU 486 is just another way of aborting babies. Ms Plibersek’s comments welcoming public funding and a wider availability of this abortion-inducing drug are deeply concerning,” Ms Francis said.

“Last year, Ms Plibersek made a speech at an event held by the Parliamentary Group on Population and Development, a group holding extreme views about aborting the disabled to save money from the disability services budget,” Ms Francis said.

Not only is the ACL opposed to RU486 because it destroys an innocent life, it is also opposed on the grounds of its potential harm to women.

“Studies into the effects of the abortion pill show that it is a more dangerous option than a surgical abortion. Let’s not forget that in 2010, a Melbourne woman tragically died after taking RU486,” Ms Francis said.

In 2011, The Australian newspaper published an article focused on a study confirming the harmful effects of the drug. In addition, the TGA said in response to Senate Estimates questions that there had been over 800 “adverse events” since the approval of the drug, including nearly 600 which required surgery to remove the poisoned embryo after the drug had failed to induce a miscarriage.

“Women facing unwanted pregnancies should be offered real support – not a chemical which is harmful both to them and their unborn child,” Ms Francis said.