RU 486/Mifepristone - A factual guide to the issues (30-page booklet)

January 2006
Produced in collaboration with Reproductive Choice Australia to articulate arguments in favour of giving regulatory oversight of RU486 to the Therapeutic Goods Adminsitration (Parliament subsequently voted in favour of this proposal). The Guide documents the scientific and medical community's support for access to the drug in Australia and counters a range of misrepresentations of the drug's uses, effects and safety record.

RU 486 (Mifepristone)

October 2005
Studies performed in other countries have indicated that “the safety, efficacy, and acceptability of the regimen combining 200 mg mifepristone and the option of home administration of Misopristol used suggests that is should be considered further in more developed and less-developed countries”

Abortion in Australia

November 2004
It is difficult to estimate accurately the number of abortions performed in Australia. Reliable data is only available from South Australia and Western Australia where terminations are notifiable by law and reported annually.

Australia and the ICPD

September 2005
Australia has not yet developed a population policy. The issue of an Australian population policy has evolved into a contentious debate amongst different sections of the community. Some environmentalists have suggested that Australia should aim for a population size of 6 – 12 million people. Others (many with an economic interest) have suggested that Australia should aim to increase its population by at least 25 million, both sides would like to see this achieved in the next 50 years.

Gains and Gaps for the ICPD

September 2005
More women are in power – roughly 80% of countries have seen an increase in the
share of parliamentary seats held by women. However in 2003 women still represented only 15% of the world’s parliamentarians.

Legal Status of Abortion in Australia

November 2004
Abortion appears to be the only widely practiced medical procedure in Australia that is criminalised. Termination of pregnancy is contained under the Criminal Act in every state and territory except the ACT.

Maternal Mortality and Abortion

November 2004
National Health and Medical Research Council figures indicate that mortality associated with abortions has declined since 1971 where legal changes occurred in a number of states providing some protection for abortion providers.

Medicare Rebate: Cost and Access

November 2004
Access and equity are generally measured through aspects such as cost, appropriateness, eligibility criteria, location, timeliness and quality of services.


October 2005
In some countries, such as the United States, the drug Mifepristone, also known as RU-486, can be lawfully administered to women by their doctors under an approved treatment regime.

Pregnancy and Abortion Among Young People

November 2004
Compared to other OECD countries Australias teenage fertility rate (TnFR) lies in the middle to upper range. In the late 1990s the teenage fertility rate ranged from 2.9 in Korea to 52.1 in the United States.

Psychological Effects of Abortion

November 2004
The Newcastle Institute of Public Health conducted a review of clinical studies reports published in Australia and internationally over the past 30 years looking at te psychological consequences of the termination of pregnancy on women.

Reducing the Abortion Rate

November 2004
Unwanted pregnancy is linked to a range of social, cultural, economic and psychological factors. There are no simple solutions or single factor interventions that will reduce the rate of abortions.

Reproductive Health in Our Region

November 2005
The Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR), in PNG, The Solomon Islands, and Timor
Leste are among the highest in the world. The Total Fertility Rates (TFR) in the
Pacific is also high. In 2000 the TFR exceeded 4 in at least 12 Pacific countries.
In Timor Leste the TFR is 7.7, making it the highest in the world (DHS 2003).

Social Attitudes Towards Abortion

November 2004
Recent data from The Australian Survey of Social Attitudes 2003 show that 81.2% of Australians, regardless of gender or religion, agree that "women should have the right to choose an abortion".



Member of ACFID & Signatory to the ACFID Code of Conduct.
NGO Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations