According to a new study, mifepristone can be used beyond the 49-day gestational limit approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A multi-center trial of 2,295 women, conducted by Dr. Eric Schaff of the University of Rochester in Minnesota, found that the pill could be taken within 56 days of intercourse with a success rate of 96 to 98 percent. European experience shows that mifepristone’s efficacy remains as strong at 63 days, the current limit in the United Kingdom.
The study also showed that the three doctor’s visits required by the FDA are unnecessary. Currently, a woman must visit a doctor’s office once to pin point the date of conception, a second time to administer Mifeprex, and a third time to receive misoprostol. Sometimes a fourth visit is required to assure the abortion is complete. The study suggests misoprostol can be taken up to three days after taking Mifeprex, and still be 96 to 98 percent effective. The study also showed that self-administration of misoprostol at home could cut down on the number of doctor’s visits and the cost of receiving a medical abortion.
While abortion rights advocates are fighting to make RU 486 affordable and accessible, universities in Florida have decided not to offer the pill through on-campus health centers. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the University of Central Florida, University of Florida and Florida State University decided they would not offer the pill for medical or religious reasons.