Early medical abortion — available and safe

Caroline M de Costa and Michael Carrette
Med J Aust 2012; 197 (5): 257-258. || doi: 10.5694/mja12.10877

Early medical abortion using mifepristone should be safely available to all Australian women

Mifepristone, in conjunction with misoprostol, is extremely effective for medical abortion at any gestation and is now widely used throughout much of the world for this purpose.1-3 However, the history of the drug in Australia has been controversial. For 10 years from 1996, it was the object of federal legislation that allowed its use in Australia only with the special permission of the federal Minister for Health. Although this legislation was overturned in parliament in February 2006, mifepristone did not immediately become available in Australia — a drug company must receive approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to import and market it.4 To date, this has not happened.

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  • Caroline M de Costa1
  • Michael Carrette2

  • 1 School of Medicine, James Cook University, Cairns, QLD.
  • 2 Cairns Private Hospital, Cairns, QLD.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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  • 10. Goldstone P, Michelson J, Williamson E. Early medical abortion using low-dose mifepristone followed by buccal misoprostol: a large Australian observational study. Med J Aust 2012; 197: 282-286.


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