Yesterday, abortion enthusiasts gathered to demand an immediate lift of the import ban
of RU-486, the French "abortion pill."
To listen to these people, if only the U.S. government would allow it, every woman in
America could carry abortion pills around with her in a Pez dispenser, and every
unintended pregnancy would evaporate like the morning dew.
First of all, RU-486 is more complicated than that. The oral medication must be
followed up with another drug--prostaglandin--which has potentially deadly side-effects.
In fact, French guidelines for preventing RU-486 deaths include keeping the woman lying
quietly for several hours after administering the drug, checking the patient's blood
pressure regularly, having resuscitation equipment on hand, and performing an immediate
EKG on any patient reporting chest pain. So in addition to the Pez dispensers, it seems
women would have to carry cardiac defibrillators in their purses as well.
Of course, these safety measures won't be followed in the U.S., because RU-486 is a
first-trimester abortion technique, and Roe v. Wade prohibits even safety-related abortion
regulations for the first trimester. Every seedy two-bit quack who can't keep a regular
practice open will set up a fly-by-night RU-486 clinic, moving just fast enough to keep
ahead of the lawsuits. One can almost picture them cruising the highways in abort-mobiles
to avoid the search for office space and make interstate flight a cinch.
And the people happiest to see them roll into town will be undertakers, who have to
make a living, too.