Thursday, September 28, 2000, the Federal Drug and Food Administration approved the use of mifepristone, the abortion pill known as RU-486. This pill makes it dramatically easier for a woman to have an abortion. If pregnancy is detected within seven weeks of conception, this simple pill can abort the baby, making it unnecessary to go through with abortion surgery. I believe that the FDA’s approval of RU-486 was wrong and the pill should be banned. This pill is one of the worst things to come out of modern technology in recent years.
This pill contributes to the lessening of the value of life. Pro-choice activists claim that removing a fetus is not wrong because it is not a living, breathing human being. While some women that just discovered they were pregnant might shy away from having abortion surgery because of the procedure, this pill is a new way to destroy a life. It is also far easier to just swallow a few pills than it is to have the fetus removed through a tube. The process is simple. First, three Mifeprex (mifepristone) pills are taken which go directly into the system. They block receptors of progesterone, a hormone needed to maintain pregnancy. It then softens and opens up the cervix.
Prices start at $12
Prices start at $11
Prices start at $12
As a result, the fertilized egg is prevented from clinging to the wall. Then the fetus is expelled from the mother. Two days after the first three tablets are taken, the woman takes two misoprostol tables unless the doctor can confirm that the pregnancy has been completely terminated through ultrasound or a clinical exam. This procedure is incredibly easy compared to the inhumane process of surgery that removes the brain of the fetus. It takes away from life’s value because now any woman who wishes to have it done and falls within the correct time frame can walk into a clinic, swallow three pills, and be done within a week. This is a simple, carefree process of destroying human life.
The pill should also be banned because it has a very high risk of serious side effects. Some of these side effects include excessive bleeding, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, and fainting. It may also include back pain, fatigue, fever, viral infection, anemia, insomnia, or anxiety. I believe that the FDA’s approval of this pill was wrong. I not only disagree with it morally but with a list of as many serious side effects as these, I can only wonder why they did pass it. It seems like a big risk to take for any person. Over 10,000 women have participated in FDA trials of mifepristone. A third of all these women have experienced one or more of these side effects. Comparatively, the risk is just too much to take.
The pill will have a negative impact on our society. It will do this morally because people will see it as an excuse to have sex or to cover up an unplanned pregnancy. Any woman could get pregnant, take the pill, abort the baby, and not even her closest friends or partner would know about it. It is a way to dismiss the burden and responsibility of having a child. It shoves it away for a later date when both parties are more mature and ready to handle the seriousness of parenthood. FDA Commissioner Jane Henney claims that the FDA “uses science to ground [their] decisions.” Former President George Bush has once stated that the abortion pill is a “human pesticide” and a “chemical coat hanger.”
There are already petitions and protests aimed at banning RU-486, but for now, it is mostly up to the states. Newsweek shows that 13 states have mandatory waiting periods, and 31 require parental notification. State legislatures could decide who can dispense the drug and under what conditions without violating the constitutional right to abortion because other methods are available. There are many people already angered at the FDA’s decision. And as the pill becomes more easily accessible, there will be more protests and more arguments. It has already created a media frenzy, and not a week has passed since its approval.
Some people might argue that it is the mother’s choice. They might also say that the pill should be embraced as an alternative to the cruel procedure of abortion surgery. Also, that it is okay because the egg has not even begun to develop.
However, the pill is not okay because once an egg is fertilized, it becomes a zygote, the earliest stage in a human being. Choosing to either have an abortion, or carry the baby through pregnancy is the mother’s choice, but I feel that there should not be a choice. Also, because this alternative is so easy, it is clear to see that it will become an acceptable and easy way to reject having a baby. This is not good for our society because it lets us do what we want and get away without facing any consequences.
The FDA should not have approved the abortion pill RU-486. It is morally wrong, dangerous for mothers, and has already had a negative impact on society and our morals. This pill was put up for review in 1993 by the Clinton Administration. They felt that something had to be done about violence towards abortion clinics and abortion doctors. This pill should not have been the option.
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