Findings from a small study done on women in the United Kingdom and China have found that mifepristone, also known as the abortion pill, has the potential to be used as an oral contraceptive. A study released this month in the January issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that among the 50 women surveyed in Edinburgh and the 40 women surveyed in Shanghai, the majority did not ovulate when taking low daily doses of the anti-progesterone mifepristone.
Mifepristone, when taken with misprostol, can be used to induce an early,non-surgical abortion. It was approved for use in abortion by the FDA in 2000. Scientific evidence has long shown that mifepristone may have multiple indications for women’s health beyond abortion, as the UK/China study demonstrates. However, anti-abortion politics have long blocked any significant research on mifepristone’s potential impact on women’s health, including its potential indications for endometriosis, fibroid and uterine tumors, meningiomas, and some types of breast, uterine, ovarian cancers, to name a few.
The Feminist Majority Foundation is leading a campaign to encourage further study of the medical uses of mifepristone.