From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Pro Life? or Anti Abortion?

July 23, 2003 11:02 AM

Tomorrow the "drug reimportation" bill will hit the House floor. This bill will allow consumers to buy cheaper prescription drugs from Canada. Seems like a no-brainer, right?

Not if you're against abortion. The pharmaceutical companies, whispering sweet nothings to the religious right, let them know this would increase the likelihood of RU-486 entering the country. Now the anti-abortion groups are holding their representatives hostage, saying a vote to make prescription drugs cheaper is actually a vote for abortion. Never mind that making drugs affordable is critical to keeping many people alive.

So what is it folks? Are you pro-life, or just anti-abortion?

More from the archive in Legislation.

Pro Life? or Anti Abortion? (07.23.2003)

Next Entry: Desperately Seeking: 1 Smoking Gun (07.23.2003)
Previous Entry: You were warned! (07.22.2003)

Read the 8 comments.

Paul in OC:

Also, "Pro-lifers" are usually not supporters of animal rights, so it would be more accurate to call them "pro-fetus".

Wed Jul 23 2003 4:14 PM


dhermesc:

So if you are an American drug company any product you develope is subject to YEARS od testing by the FDA, but if you move your production facility to another country all you need is a truck to deliver your drugs to the local Walgreens? Screw that idea, if I want to buy Mexican produced chemo drugs I'll go to Mexico. I don't want my Blue Cross policy making me buy drugs that got made in a bathtub.

As for RU-486, isn't it already available as a perscription? Refering to Paul's comment above, how can you be for humane treatment of animals and against humane treatment of humans?

Thu Jul 24 2003 7:24 AM


ms. haplopia:

dhermesc -
You missed Paul's point completely. The word pro-life implies all life, not just that of the human fetus. The pro-life movement should be called the anti-abortion movement just for the sake of accuracy and clarity. It is especially amusing to run across a pro-lifer who supports the death penalty. All politics and morals aside, you have to admit that the label pro-life is asinine.
Mifepristone (RU-486) was approved by the FDA in 2000, but it is just about as difficult to get as a surgical abortion. For the most part, an abortion clinic is the only place to get mifepristone at this time.
Unfortunately, many of the same obstacles to obtaining a surgical abortion exist with mifepristone, such as cost, distance of clinics, lack of providers, and anti-abortion laws and policies. Often because of misconceptions about mifepristone and pressure from anti-choice groups, many doctors, clinics, and college health centers that are qualified to provide medical abortions, do not offer mifepristone. The FDA requires that mifepristone be administered by a doctor who can accurately date a pregnancy, diagnose an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, and provide surgical intervention or a surgical referral if the medical abortion fails. http://www.feministcampus.org/prescribechoice/mifepristone.asp
I'm not sure I understand how the debate about importing prescription drugs has anything at all to do with mifepristone. It just sounds like more anti-abortion nonsense to me.
Here's an interesting little statistic regarding abortion:
There is no evidence that the availability of mifepristone for medical abortions increases a nation's rate of abortion. In France, where mifepristone has been available in health centers since 1989, the abortion rate has declined (Henshaw et al., 1999). http://www.plannedparenthood.org/library/ABORTION/Mif_fact.html

Fri Jul 25 2003 1:28 PM


dhermesc:

Actually I find it amusing that many pro-death supporters, excuse me, pro-choice supporters are against the death penalty.

I will be crude but it might get the point across, a man can't get a drug induced erection in this country without a prescription why should a woman be able to get an abortion without a prescription? In your own post the FDA limits the prescription so that standard medical procedures may be followed to insure the health of the woman as do apparently, the French. Are you hoping to promote a medical procedure that will result in women's deaths and injuries? Once again hoping to move abortions out of doctors offices to back rooms and alleys where a woman is expected to "take care of it"?

Countries such as India and China that administer RU-486 like aspirin (due to limited health services) have experienced a marked rate of complications. Women have died and experienced complications ranging from excessive bleeding to infertility, not to mention serious birth defects when the drug didn't "take".

"I'm not sure I understand how the debate about importing prescription drugs has anything at all to do with mifepristone. It just sounds like more anti-abortion/pro-abortion nonsense to me". Agreed.

Fri Jul 25 2003 2:23 PM


ms. haplopia:

dhermesc -

I did not suggest in my post that a woman should take mifepristone without a prescription. I merely pointed out that it is nearly as difficult to get that prescription as it is to get a medical abortion. You pretty much have to go to an abortion clinic to get the prescription, rather than to a gynecologist’s office. What did I write that would suggest that I felt a woman should get mifepristone without a prescription?

I’m not sure I can respond to this, but I’ll try.

“Countries such as India and China that administer RU-486 like aspirin (due to limited health services) have experienced a marked rate of complications. Women have died and experienced complications ranging from excessive bleeding to infertility, not to mention serious birth defects when the drug didn't "take".”

It isn’t relevant to compare complications experienced in third world countries to those in first world countries. If you believe that mifepristone is more dangerous than child birth you’ll have to offer some statistics from a country with health care services comparable to the US or you would be comparing apples to oranges. Beyond that it is just an irrelevant argument. Child birth is far more dangerous than early term surgical abortion or the use of mifepristone.

What point were you trying to make with the comment about China? If your concern is with the health of the pregnant woman, then logically mifepristone is much safer than child birth. If your concern lies with the fetus then just say so rather than throwing out vague statements about women in China.

“Once again hoping to move abortions out of doctor’s offices to back rooms and alleys where a woman is expected to "take care of it"? Why would you say something so insensitive? Was that meant to be sarcasm or were you trying to make a point?

So back to the drug question. The House of Representatives approved a bill to make it easier for Americans to purchase U.S. brand-name drugs intended for sale in other countries. They did not approve a free for all sale of bathtub chemo drugs from Mexico. http://www.reutershealth.com/archive/2003/07/25/eline/links/20030725elin015.html

Had you even read anything about the bill before you commented on Jim's post. I’m curious to know why you think that the US would allow the importation of drugs not approved by the FDA.

Fri Jul 25 2003 9:52 PM


dhermesc:

Well I guess we agree on more then you let on. The availibility of RU486 has nothing to do this bill and that RU486 should be perscribed by a doctor. One of my points is that this bill will do little or nothing to lower the pricing of perscription drugs but will lower the FDA ensured quality of perscription drugs.

I was also responding to your post that one must go to a doctor to obtain mifepristone. My mistake was that I assumed (incorrectly) you where promoting the idea that it should be available without a perscription. On that assumption I compared its use to third world applications where (when available) it is used without the oversight of the medical profession.

What do you propose, a law requiring that doctors go against their conscious and beliefs and make all members of the medical profession abortion providers?

Mon Jul 28 2003 8:13 AM


Brek:

The point everyone seems to be missing is the fact that we live in the USA. maybe i've gone crazy and freedom is just an authoritarian government we force on other countries we think are inferior, but i hate to notice the rights of americans slipping away.
the fact of this matter is it is a choice, and as free individuals, that choice should be ours. take away all the "wrong" choices we can make and we end up where we are now, under the most contradictory union ever assembled; "democracy."

Wed Nov 5 2003 11:57 PM


Passby:

Statement from FDA regarding RU-486:

http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/infopage/mifepristone/default.htm

The Food and Drug Administration announces today important new safety changes to the Danco Laboratories, LLC's labeling of mifepristone (trade name Mifeprex, also known as RU-486). Mifeprex was approved in 2000 for the termination of early pregnancy, defined as 49 days or less. FDA and Danco Laboratories have received reports of serious bacterial infection, bleeding, ectopic pregnancies that have ruptured, and death, including another death from sepsis that was recently reported to FDA. These reports have led to the revision of the black box labeling. (11/15/2004)

RU-486 Safety Report from FDA

http://www.cwfa.org/articledisplay.asp?id=7282&department=CWA&categoryid=life

Mon Jun 13 2005 3:11 PM


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