Mifepristone is a safe and effective abortion pill that has been used to induce non-surgical abortions in other countries. Health Canada is now being urged to approve its use in the country.
Dr. Richard U. Hausknecht OB/GYN, Medical Director of Danco Labratories, speaks at a press conference called by Danco Labratories in New York, September 28, 2000. The press conference followed the Federal Drug Administration's (FDA) approval of the drug Mifeprex (Mifepristone), the early option abortion pill for women. Danco Labratories, under the direction of Dr. Hausknecht, has been granted exclusive license from the Population Council to manufacture, market and distribute Mifeprex in the United States REUTERS/Mike Segar

The National Abortion Federation Canada is advocating the legalisation of abortion pills in the country as statistics reveal that one out of three Canadian women is likely to have an abortion in her lifetime. The problem, the agency says, is that these women will not have access to safe and effectual abortion pills. The medical group is now working to urge Health Canada to approve the use of abortion pills, particularly the drug mifepristone, which has been used legally since 2000 in several other countries, including Britain, France, and the United States to conduct safe, nonsurgical abortions.

According to the NAFC, Health Canada has been withholding approval for this drug since October 2012 despite being included in the Model List of the World Health Organisation's essential medicines. Normally, the review process for this type of recommendation only takes up to 300 days, but approval for mifepristo - the drug that has long been considered one of the gold standards in conducting medical abortions-has been pending since then. A decision regarding its approval is expected to come out this January, but the reason for the extended resolution time is unknown. Toronto's York University professor, Dr. Joel Lexchin, suggested that, "Clearly this limit has passed."

Although the Society Of Obstetricians and Gynecologist in Canada believe that the approval of this drug would make no significant difference on the number of women in the country who choose to have an abortion, their CEO, Dr Jennifer Blake, says that it would at least help make this "intensely personal issue" a more private matter between the woman and her physician.

A 2013 commentary from the Canadian medical Association Journal claimed that. "Millions of women worldwide have used mifepristone safely and effectively." Adding that using this drug will "constitute a significant medical and public health gain."

Mifepristone is an orally ingested drug that works by simulating a miscarriage during the earliest stages of the pregnancy. Some of the benefits for the strides that were outlined included its ability to safely terminate a pregnancy, the elimination of the need to travel to an abortion facility since the procedure can be done safely at home, is nonsurgical, and is readily available so that an abortion is not delayed. Statistics show that the use of mifepristone accounts for nearly 20 per cent of abortions in the United States and over 60 per cent across Europe.

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