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Anti-abortion Forces Attempt Legislating Challenges to RU 486

Congressional opponents to the FDA approved abortion pill, Mifeprex, also known as RU 486, are threatening to introduce bills that would heavily restrict the availability of the pill. Rep. Tom Coburn (R-OK) has proposed restrictions that would chip away at the availability of the pill and would greatly limit the number of doctors who would be allowed to administer it. For the past three years, Coburn has unsuccessfully tried to pass Congressional legislation barring the FDA from approving Mifepristone. In July the House rejected the Coburn Amendment by a close vote of 187 to 182. Because the legislative session will soon come to a close and Republicans are trying to avoid making abortion an election issue, Congress is unlikely to act this year on Coburn’s proposal.

Anti-choice activists in some states are also attempting to immediately lump RU 486 into existing state laws that would require parental consent, a 24 hour waiting period, and would prevent public funding of abortions and counseling by state employees.

Sources:

Washington Post _ October 5, 2000; AP _ October 4, 2000; Feminist Majority Foundation