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Little pill of "horrors"
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Medically approved
In the back alley

RU-486, or Mifepristone, is a drug administered in the first 70 days of a pregnancy to induce abortion; it is often used as a two-drug protocol alongside Misoprostol (which is also used to treat stomach ulcers) for this purpose, producing the colloquial nickname abortion pill(s) or Plan C.[1][2] The two-drug combination is also used to medically manage spontaneous miscarriages.[3][4] RU-486 can also be used to treat hypercortisolism (a hormone condition), symptomatic leiomyoma (uterine fibroids), and endometriosis.[5][6]

Because it is a drug, because it does not require sedation and the "horror show" that the "Right to Life" groups suggest abortion clinics are, and because it can be taken without anyone knowing, many people in the anti-abortion movements around the US and Europe feared that this drug would make abortion easy, and *gasp* then everyone would want one.

After France proved the drug was successful in inducing abortions both consistently and safely, and so approved it for distribution, German anti-abortion groups pressured the German company to cease distribution of the drug. Roussel-Uclaf blocked the sale of RU-486 until the French minister of health ordered that it be provided, saying, [from the moment government approval for the drug was granted] "RU-486 has become the moral property of women, not just the property of the pharmaceutical industry."[7] Following a crackdown on abortion in Poland, the state began testing the blood of women who experienced miscarriages in reportedly-successful attempts to find traces of abortion pills.[8]

Due to fears for the safety of employees as well as safety associated with the drug manufacturing plant and the risk of intentional tampering with the drug coming from the plant, the US Food and Drug Administration did not provide the name of the manufacturer given a license to make RU-486. The "pro-life" groups pose such a threat that even today, the plant does not list the city, let alone the address of its production line.[9]

External links[edit]


  1. Sarah McCammon (February 24, 2023). "Why an ulcer drug could be the last option for many abortion patients". Morning Edition. NPR.
  2. Eleanor J. Bader (September 28, 2021). "Plan C Is Making Abortion More Accessible Nationwide". The Progressive.
  3. Barnhart, Kurt (2020-09-12). "Medical management of miscarriage with mifepristone" (in English). The Lancet 396 (10253): 737–739. doiWikipedia:10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31789-X. ISSN 0140-6736. PMID 32853558. 
  4. Mara Gordon and Sarah McCammon (January 10, 2019). "A Drug That Eases Miscarriages Is Difficult For Women To Get". Health Shots. NPR.
  5. Sarah Jane Tribble (April 10, 2018). "How A Drugmaker Turned The Abortion Pill Into A Rare-Disease Profit Machine". The Washington Post and Kaiser Health News. (Archived).
  6. "Selective progesterone receptor modulators (SPRMs) for uterine fibroids". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2017 (4): CD010770. April 2017. doiWikipedia:10.1002/14651858.CD010770.pub2. PMID 28444736. 
  7. "Le RU 486 est devenu la propriété morale des femmes, pas seulement la propriété de la société pharmaceutique."
  8. Sushmitha Ramakrishnan (November 6, 2023). "Poland: A hunt for traces of abortion pills in women's blood". Deutsche Welle.
  9. See the Wikipedia article on Danco Laboratories. the maker of the drug in the US.