Swiss women will now have the option of medical abortion. The office of Medicine Control (OICM) has authorized the use of the “abortion pill,” RU 486, which is also called mifepristone, in Switzerland. Women will be able to choose between taking the pill and having a surgical abortion procedure.
In addition, RU 486 may be approved in Canada as early as January 2000. A spokeswoman from Exelgyn, the company which holds the world rights to RU 486, said, “As soon as RU 486 is launched on the U.S. market, we will apply for registration, but not before. It would be very difficult to have it in Canada and not in the United States.” Women in Canada, as well as Switzerland, have been protesting for the right to use this drug for almost a decade.
RU 486 can be used to medically terminate abortions up to nine weeks of pregnancy. So far, more than 500,000 women have used this safe and effective, non-surgical form of abortion.
The drug, which has been used in France, Great Britain, and Sweden for about 10 years, has recently been authorized in several other European nations, including: Germany, Austria, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, and Greece have recently begun marketing RU 486.