13 February 2006

RU486 - Time to write to Annette, Bob, or Gary

| johnboy
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Some of you might have noticed a lot of media noise over something called RU486.

There is a lot of heat and smoke, but not much light on this subject but in essence it boils down pretty simply.

There is one drug in all the world which the Minister for Health approves rather than the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). This drug is RU486 and one of its uses is to make terminating a pregnancy a less painful and dangerous for women.

Last night, in the Senate, a Bill was passed which will do nothing more than make the approval of this drug a matter for the TGA. The lawfulness of the procedures it might be put to is a matter for the States, the fitness of the drug for use would then be for the experts in this field, and its specific use a matter for doctors.

Unusually in Australia, this Bill is subject to a conscience vote, so for once what voters think about an issue will bear upon our representatives.

UPDATED: Over on Crazybrave, local blogger Zoe has some worthwhile things to say on the issue.

A startling number of sadists in our community want abortion to be as painful and humiliating as possible in the hope of enforcing their own personal moral codes on others.

(Don’t get me wrong, I can see both sides of the abortion debate. This here debate is about whether government chooses to make abortions more dangerous, painful and humiliating than they need to be.)

Those sadists are putting ferocious amounts of pressure on members of Parliament and now that the Bill is out of the insulated Senate and into the Representatives who are individually accountable to constituents that pressure is going to go sky high.

Already we have cardboard coffins and pictures of foetuses filling Parliament House, incredibly misleading and offensive full page ads in the newspapers, and a whirlwind of media releases from an alphabet soup of previously unknown organisations.

When the crazies roam the land the moderates need to get active.

Just yesterday, in the Senate, the ACT’s Gary Humphries voted for painful abortions (by way of ministerial veto) while our Senator Lundy voted to allow professionals to explore alternatives.

Our local members are going to be hearing in the next week from any number of the crazies threatening thousands of votes lost to them if they vote to normalise the RU486 approval process.

So if you’re one of the sensible centre who don’t believe in punishing women who feel the need to terminate a pregnancy, now is a good time to write to your local member.

So here are the addresses, remember folks a hand written letter is worth a hundred emails, you’ll need to get them off today to have any effect:

Annette Ellis MP
205 Anketell Street
Tuggeranong ACT 2900

Bob McMullan MP
GPO Box 1947
ACT 2601

Gary Nairn MP
Shop 16, Citylink Plaza
24-36 Morisset St
Queanbeyan NSW 2620

Here’s a simple enough form of words:

Dear [insert name]

I am a voter in your electorate and I support the normalisation of the approval process for RU486.


[Sign here]
[Print name]

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the bill has been Passed


CAn’t make a link not L33t enough 🙁

Hey lookie!!

Congrats to Mael indeed. Just wait until number three gets going and you wonder how you’ll do given that two is already more than enough.

Congrats Mael. When last we spoke, you were trying. Glad you succeeded! Your life will never be the same, and you’ll be glad of it.

As the father of ‘one in the oven’, I often have conflicting thoughts on the matter. One minute I am anti-abortion, the next, pro.

Uppermostly, I reserve the right of the parents to make that decision to take the life of their unborn child, for it is they who have to encompass the entire process, of caring for that child until it is of legal age.

If they are not ready to do that, then no matter what rights the child has, they have the right as the creators of the child, to end it.

It is an unfortunate decision, and sounds more akin to young soldiers actions in Townsville that makes the RSPCA cringe, but it boils down to the fact that human society has come from the animal kingdom. Survival of the fittest applies, and as in the instance of a lioness sacrificing the weakest pup to let it’s siblings live, humans make the subconcious decision as to whether or not the child will survive.

I feel for the parents who make that decision, for it is a hard one to make. The last thing they need is some christian fundamental telling them off, trying to protect the life of the unborn child, that decision has already been factored in at that stage.

I still think that there are some people that should be forcibly not allowed to procreate. The introduction of a simple fitness and intelligence test should rule out most of them.

They don’t have much faith in people…. do they?

Faith in “god”, but not faith in people.

Although I know some people who aren’t religous that are against abortion, so it isn’t just bible bashers.

I get the sense that the people opposed to RU486 think that because abortion may in some way become safer, the numbers of people doing it will skyrocket.

This is the same kind of logic behind opposition to the decriminalisation/legalisation of drugs.

What do the people against RU486 have to fear?

Fear that this drug may cause death, or pain to the women who choose to take it?
Is that really it? I doubt it……

Woman are not going to get pregnant just to take this drug. We are not reckless and blase about pregnancy.
Repeat, We are not reckless and blase about pregnancy.
We want choice, we want equal rights and WE want to make the decision. All factors considered.

I’m sure all women have feared an unwanted pregnancy at some point in their lives. But the fear of not having a choice to terminate, the safest, less invasive way possible is very scary, unfair and prehistoric.

Why restrict our choices or try to put fear into people’s minds about a drug that needs a fair trial first.

The USA, the Internet and the Church Thumper…

Anybody who has the blind faith to believe in an etheral spirit force that is hinted at within a book written by a few arabs several thousand years ago, by their own subset of rules and regulations within their specific church group can be just as deadly as the Internet or the US.

I suppose though it’s irrefutable proof that being dumb and stupid is contagious.

Wow, thanks for the spectacularly irrelevant link to drugs regulation IN AMERICA. You don’t think, perhaps, you might want to try using sources from a local juristiction first, rather than just blindly copying your work from the US?

Drugs are Bad, God Botherers are worse….

For anyone interested, a good case in point regards the ineffective regulation of drugs is found in the whole area of antidepressants for children. You can listen online here: http://www.health.voiceamerica.com/cms.php?CMSLink=ez/index.php/plain/health/list_broadcasts/(show)/4818

Bodhichitta you are quite right. Aspirin is readlitly available at any supermarket, service station etc that wants to sell it and have some seriour effects on asthmatics, for example.
Panadol is in the same boat. Both are available for people who wish to knock themselves and there would be more deaths from those than anything else.

Any group has to be funded from somewhere, be it industry or government. Therefore could always be seen to be pushing someones agenda. The only way around something like this would be have agriculture fund the TGA and the drug companies fund fisheries and the like so that the funding body has no interest in the outcomes. Not a practical solution though.

Vittens, do you have some stats on deaths performed during backyard or surgical abortions? The show on ABC last night made reference to a large number of surgical abortions in the 1950’s ending in deaths.

One of the points being made throughout the thread is that any drug is less invasive and less risky than surgery.

“a drug which has caused deaths ”
Asprin also causes deaths, why dont you lobby to have that handled by an independant rather than the TGA? What about Iburoprofen, that is freely available? Name a drug and the chances are someone has died taking it.
What is the rate of deaths with RU486? 1 in 100,000? hmmm

Vittens, there are plenty of government agencies that are funded by industry to regulate the industry. Quarantine springs to mind. That doesn’t make them beholden to industry. They still have to justify decisions to parliament through the senate estimates process and general parliamentary oversight.

Government has to let go at some stage. Are you suggesting that the TGA monitors everyone taking every drug they have ever approved on the off-chance that they might have an adverse reaction?

Why is the health minister so much less vulnerable to the influence of industry? I’d say drug companies donate substantially to party funds on both sides of politics, and they’re well funded to lobby heavily.

I’d say TGA are less vulnerable to the influence of industry than the minister. At least there are some internal checks and balances on the TGA, and at the end of a drug assessment, you can read how the TGA boffins came to their descision.

Yes – the minister is accountable too, but given the current government’s record on ministerial accountability, how accountable is anybody’s guess.

So why aren’t you arguing this in relation to all drugs? You’re not running a campaign saying “every drug is possibly unsafe”, now, are you? You’re saying “this particular drug that does something that I find morally objectionable is unsafe”. Which is why, frankly, it’s hard to believe you don’t have a hidden agenda.

Maeliner, these are claims considered at legnth by the Senate report (see section 1.109).
The fact that the TGA is dependent on the industry it is charged with regulating for its operating costs raises the issues of whether or not the TGA must not only be independent but be seen to be independent. The TGA risks the perception that it may exhibit a bias towards the drug industry, rather than serving the Australian community which contributes little to its budget. Given the controversial nature of RU486, Women’s Forum Australia believes that the risk of this perception is a further reason why it would be inappropriate for the TGA to be responsible for approving this drug.

The person or group responsible for RU486 must be independent and seen to be independent. This cannot be said of the TGA, which is in the financial clutches of the industry and depends on money from pharmaceutical companies.

Further, while manufacturers and distributors of registered medicines must report evidence of adverse events, medical professional and pharmacists are not required to do so. Yet, in the case of RU486, it is the medical professionals and pharmacists who are likely to be made aware of adverse effects. Experience in the USA demonstrates that it is essential that reporting of adverse effects of RU486, a drug which has caused deaths, must be mandatory and that whoever approves the use of RU486 must able to require such reporting regardless of whom becomes aware of adverse events. Since the imposition of such a requirement is beyond the scope of the TGA, it is more appropriate that the Minister approve the drug.


You are talking out of your arse, the TGA is not fully funded by drug companies.

I’ve seen their work in considering a host of drugs and have been very impressed by their rigour and impatiality.

Vittens, please justify your claim that there are serous concerns with the TGA’s ability to properly monitor drug safety.

Oh that’s right, you made that up. Or at least that’s what your Pastor, Cleric, Padre or whatever told you didn’t they…

I suspect you are the kind of person who’s head moves when they are watching StarWars during the Tie Fighter scene.

That’s a statement about who actually has the blinkers on, in case it went over your head.

Not so Vittens, I think you are finally on track with this discussion. You state a number of sources for independant oversight and the like.

I have not read them so I will have to take your word for it.
How anyone can report that 1-10% of adverse drug reactions are reported is beyond me. They have to report to make a statistic about it. And as we all know most statistics can be skewed depending on what the researcher wants to gather. Its all in the question phrasing.

If the TGA is unable to enforce guidelines then it is up to the government to make those guidelines enforceable. Maybe this is something they should be looking at instead of whether the drug is an option.

What you then have to realise is that Doctors are supposed to be ethical. It is up to them to follow the guidelines set by the TGA. I believe some magazine regularly releases the top 10 most trusted professions and Doctors are on it.

I am totally for that Johnboy. I am sick off the drug companies serving up crap to us and of so called ‘expert’ and ‘independant’ oversight (if you want more info on this the following texts are a good place to start: Breggin & Cohen (1999). Your drug may be your problem. Perseus;. Whitaker (2002). Mad in America. Perseus; Valenstein (1998). Blaming the brain. Free Press. Angell (2004). The truth about the drug companies. Random House.)

I do not think the evidence supports your assumption that RU486 makes the the issue of unwanted pregnancy safer and less complicated. I could go on but its not worth it as it is plainly evidient that this is not a place for reasoned discussion.

Well Vittens that’s an argument for increasing funding to the TGA.

but you’re not for that either really, are you?

your moral and intellectual bankruptcy makes me nauseous.

Vic Bitterman8:29 pm 12 Feb 06

Hey vittens, Woolies has alfoil on special from Monday. Perfect for crafting next week’s tinfoil hat.

Bring on RU486.

There are serious concerns with the TGA’s inability to properly monitor drug safety once a drug has been approved . To add weight to this view the recent Medical Director of the TGA Dr John McKeown said on Four Corners last year “his hands are tied as his office does not receive public funding and is dependent on the results of drug company trials and scientific studies”. Dr McEwen claimed “his office is currently powerless to review a drug once it has been given market approval”.

Also the TGA branch that approves new drugs receives no nett government funding – IT IS FULLY INDUSTRY FUNDED. Any guidelines set by the TGA eg counselling or age limits for teenage girls being given RU486 are NOT ENFORCEABLE .

TGA process for registration of a new drug is “commercial in -confidence” and “third party” doctors , scientists and the public are unable to contribute to the analysis of new drugs and won’t know about these drugs until they are registered. Recent government audits( ANAO) of the TGA highlighted a major problem of very low levels of reporting and monitoring of adverse drug reactions by the TGA. Pharmacists and doctors are not required to report adverse drug reactions. Expert doctors described how in many RU486 abortion experiences (overseas) teenage girls or women didn’t tell family or friends or report serious adverse effects they had. In the US the FDA admits as few as 1-10% adverse drug reactions are reported.

Given all these concerns it seems unlikely that the TGA would be able to excercise its authority over RU486 once it is registered, in line with community expectations.

I agree that the best birth control method is to keep the pants on and that most people manage to get by without unwanted pregnancies.
RU486 is an option for those that havn’t taken the right precautions and wish to terminate. For whatever reasons they came to that decision be it a one night stand, not the right timing in a relationship, stupid 16 year old, or rape victim.
That is their decision, and ultimately the only person to make that final decision is the pregnant female.
VG, If RU486 becomes a clean up drug it will probably save you a whole bunch of time and paperwork in about 10 years time.

I agree that accidents can happen to the best of us, but they happen far more regularly to people who put themselves in the position to let them happen.

What I was trying to say is this drug will primarily be used by people for matters of convenience rather than what something like this is intended for, for people with a genuine need to terminate a pregnancy. It will be used to ‘clean up’ avoidable accidents that people could have sorted by taking a bit more responsibility or keeping in their pants as I said before.

Having said all of that it is unusual that there’s only 1 drug that the Health minister has veto power over, and thats a bit strange. If it gets through the house of Reps on the conscience vote then the debate will die and we can all move on.

Let the TGA do their job

No worries G, I saw the abortion debate going somewhere new for me so I decided to chase it. I’ll stop.

As for the drug, exactly what JB said, it’s about the competent bodies examining the drug. Anything else is wasteful, desperate and generally stupid.

Thanks G,

It’s the logical approach that nutters are attempting to scupper with bullying tactics.

If not for their aggression and lack of fair play I wouldn’t have felt the need to speak out about it.

Vittens has illustrated that point very nicely.

I think that the thread has moved a little off topic.

Vittens was off topic from the start. The debate is not about abortion. The people who are looking at this have already decided that they are going to have an abortion regardless of what the right to lifers say.
Its now a matter of choice on how it is going to be performed; surgery, drug, coathanger.
The TGA are the experts in the field and should be responsible as per their mandate.

Thanks Konrad, the argument in and of itself makes sense, but I’m still not sure if only consciousness is enough to define a human.

In a situation of doubt, I have to give the benefit of the doubt to the decision that preserves life.

This Caverject thing reminds me of a small business story I heard about from the states.

The local funeral parlour in a fairly straight shooting town put up a sign that said – “Our staff will stuff your stiff”

The next day, the local brothel had a sign up “Our stuff will stiff your staff”

Have a good weekend y’all

accidents happen to the best of us VG.

Chemical solution or surgical solution seems irrelevant to me.

Fundamentalists on both sides mind you

Well I reckon this topic has been buried since the fundamentalists decided a shouting match on Riotact was going to change anyone’s mind

Ahh..and I just spotted Ari’s earlier post.

Apologies to all from being misleading.

Okay – calling Caverject “extract of dead guy” was probably a bit much; but the synthesised drug was initally derived from a corpse. That’s what I heard, anyhoo.

So yes, a stiff was actually used to give you…

Yeah Konrad it was a fantastic argument, I should make an effort to keep it in mind…in there’s any room left in my poor, tired mind.

That’s a shame that Caverject isn’t the extract of a dead guy… Imagine the irony of the extract from an actual stiff being used to assist erectile disfunction…

I dread ever finding myself in a situation where these issues are something I would have to consider, yet I know in my heart that the more information and the more options (from EITHER side of the debate) that are available to me – well, the easier I would find it to deal with.

If I was ever in that situation, I would be terrified. Utterly, utterly terrified. Yet at the same time, I would be determined to make what I felt was the right decision for my own situation.

A woman would already be wrestling with the moral and emotional consequences of her final decision as it is. She shouldn’t have to wrestle with the availability of viable medical options at the same time.

Another chemical solution for people to lazy to take responsibility.

Yes, I am all for a womans right to choose whatever they like for their own body, and there will always be exceptions such as rape victims and the like but the reality is this.

The majority of the users of this drug will be bogans who lacked the foresight for regular old birth control, or lacked the ability to keep it in their pants at the proper time.

Walk through Belconnen Mall and you’ll see what I mean. The parade of 17-20yo girls pushing around prams is constant.

The TGA is probably the best place to decide (which was the point of this thread at the start wasn’t it?) but how many more end game solutions like this will there be?

I managed to not get anyone pregnant until the time was right as myself and other partners took responsibility for ourselves. Maybe I was just lucky but most if not all of my friends and associates are in the same position.

Some people (but not all) need to learn exactly what it means to bring a child into the world, and the responsibility that entails rather than shag willy nilly and hope for the best.

Yes again I know that there will be genuine medical and moral uses for RU486, but the reality is those people will be in the minority

Hey Mr Shab, I’m not taking issue with your stance, but Caverject is not cadaverine (i.e. extract of dead guy) its actually alprostadil

Thanks GuruJ…

Just a small addition to the coma discussion – a friend of mine went into a (short) coma near the end of last year (bit over a week) when his liver packed in – he said it was like the longest, strangest dream of his life and he was lucky that an Arab in the dream led him out (at which point he woke up)

So I’d say you’d want to look at the difference between consciousness and brain activity.

abortion will occur whether we approve or not, whether its legal or not.

should it be a safe procedure or dangerous ?

id vote safe.

Well done Konrad,

Best even-handed demolition of the ‘life at conception’ argument I’ve ever seen.

Yup. Remember, Viagra was a heart medication with too many side effects till the boffins at Pfizer found out that it woke up Mr Winky.

It’s still dangerous as hell compared to a lot of medications out there but it’s more palatable than the alternatives; those being cadaverine/Caverject (extract of dead guy) injected direct to the base of the penis (yeah, that makes me flinch too), or going without.

RandomGit, if you lapse into a coma you’re a fully concious human being lapsing into a coma. You’re already what I’d consider to be fully aware. The coma is a blip in your awareness. Your awareness has already begun. An embryo has NEVER been aware. It has and has always had the same awareness as a brick or a nail or a plastic bag.

Your comments regarding potential are strange and unclear. Potential is potential whether a process has begun or not. If the process has begun it is still only potential. Once the process is complete, ie once that embryo has become a conscious entity, that’s where I place the marker point of the beginnings of an individual. Where that conciousness begins is a very hard thing to define but its certainly a long, long way down the line from conception.

Really ?

I got this sudden image of all the zealots raising their hands over their ears and saying “LALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALA”

While we’re on the subject of the safety of RU486 – which one side of the debate posits as a risk to women’s health – did anyone else hear the stats about it being substantially safer than Viagra. Oh, yeah…and Aspirin.

I find the silence is deafening when you mention that one…

Human life is about consciousness


Life beginning at conception is an argument I’ve had trouble finding an adequate counter-argument for. Scuse me for a moment while I pick at your statements because they have come the closest.


If I lapse into a coma, do I retain consciousness? If not (I think it’s definitely not isn’t it?) do I get the plug pulled, even though I have the potential to wake up?

Further on potential, surely potential doesn’t exist if the process to realise the potential has not begun? Otherwise every human being in the world should go to gaol for pre-mediated murder, on potential alone. Therefore, saying an embryo has potential to form into a human is not the same as saying your skin cells do to.

Simto, that would be an interesting way to accumulate donkey votes into a substantial statistic. In effect, a right not to vote. (until they put somebody worth voting for in front of you)

Well, there’s a minor prerequisite for being a member of parliament – it’s called getting enough votes.

Sadly enough, some Australian electorates haven’t yet proved that they’re willing to put a great deal of thought into who they send into parliament. I’d be interested to see how many votes “none of the above” would get if it were an option, actually – if we were allowed to decide none of the existing candidates were suitable, could we get a chance to have a re-election?

I think that the decision on abortion should be made by the parents of the child, as there are several significant considerations, not only of the child, that must be taken into account when considering bringing a child into this world.

I certainly don’t think that a minister for health should have the right to deny a means of fulfilling an authorised abortion, regardless of it’s success rate, unless it was by ingestion of an illegal drug such as cocaine or something. (which would have it’s own seperate illegal agenda).

The fact of the matter is, if a couple agree to terminate their pregnancy, they’re going to do it either with assistance or without, and it’s the without that concerns me more than some silly little argument over the validity of a pill in a fundamentalists hands.

Consider this; the Feds have argued that the rosary Abbot is responsible. Yes he is responsible, to the bunch of nutcases who voted him in, and let’s take a 10 second moment of reflection to consider just who they are eh ?

The TGA are also a responsible organistion, they are responsible for the provision of drugs to the whole of Australia, and the people at the head of that organisation assume that mantle with a lot more empathy for the position than some backyard hick who got voted in by his local church support group network.

They also have to prove they are qualified to assume their respective position, last time I checked there was no prerequisite for becoming a Minister of Parliament.

As they are responsible for the provision of drugs to the entireity of Australia, they consider the implications amoungst all of the different social groups that make up our fine land, last time I checked, the rosary Abbot only had to answer to his constituency (to be frank, as they are the only people with the power to move him on).

I don’t really see this issue as an intellectual debate, the pollies may want to tell you that it is, but it seems more like a case of fighting for toys in a sandpit, than an intellectual discussion.

Sorry LurkerGal… I tried to paragraph it up more… I’ll bear that in mind in future 🙂

As I have stated before the drug can also be used and has been successful in treating types of brain tumors. Vittens, what do you suggest these people do if they cannot access the drug?

Konrad, I like your posts, but could you please use paragraphs? I just can’t read them!

Human life is about consciousness. Conciousness doesn’t exist without a central nervous system. A fertilized egg which hasn’t developed a central nervous system is therefore not concious and has never been concious. This is quite a simple thing to understand. The notion that a fertilized egg is a potentially concious human being is fine except that every sperm and every ovum is a potentially concious human life as well, not to mention that now with cloning every cell in my body is a potentially concious human life. The strange notion that an individual begins at conception must get a little rocked by the simple fact that you can divide up the cells in a developing embryo and create twins, triplets an so on. In fact you could create hundreds of individual lives, an entire army of foetuses, just by dividing the cells of a developing embryo. So where does this leave the notion that an individual human life begins at conception?
The really wierd thing is that most right to lifers have a totally different view of animal suffering which is strange when you consider that a cow or a dog is fully concious but a developing embryo isn’t. In america its even wierder, the right to lifers are generally in favour of the death penalty. Fortunately in Australia we don’t have to worry about such strangely tangled up ethics…
At least Spike Milligan was consistant in his ethics, he was a rampant right to lifer, he was also vegetarian and he was anti the death penalty. Although I can’t agree with his stance regarding abortion, at least he was consistant and logical. And Spike was mad. Even in his madness he could be consisant on an issue. I know there’d be some other right to lifers who are consistant also but the rest, well they’re a lot madder than Spike…
People should just leave women alone in regards to abortion, its not about human life, its about control of fertility. Does the state control fertillity or can a woman choose…

Absent Diane2:30 pm 10 Feb 06

those anti-abortion are theoretically are pro back-yard abortion….

It’s more that they never would have existed. An for all those who say life begins at conception, try telling that to the 17 and a half year old who just got bounced from the pub.

I don’t think they’d have any idea Kimba. That’s what “dead” means. Anyway, I think some of the contributors on this site prove beyond a doubt that abortion should sometimes be considered….

nothing, we’d be dead

The current legislation is indefensible, a shut-him-up-amendment to get Brian Harradine’s support.

I don’t think it got wide media scrutiny at the time. Since the politicians didn’t want to outright say:

“We don’t want women to have access to abortion drugs.”

They added a clause in the legislation saying:

“Restricted goods can only be approved for use by the Health Minister.”

and then defined “restricted goods” at the start of the bill as meaning “any drug that induces abortion in women”. Seriously.

Just another reason to read legal documents closely … people can be very sneaky in what apparently harmless terms mean.

Ayes and Noes are at the bottom of this page for those compiling a book of grudges one way or another.

I wonder how all those for abortion would feel if they had been aborted.

Nobody’s saying that abortion’s a panacea. We’re saying it’s a reality.

So, given it’s legal, how do you propose we go about it? Complicated, dangerous surgery? Or a less dangerous method?

If you want the more dangerous method, why? Any reason apart from “Abortion is immoral, yadda yadda”?

Plenty of ALP names on the against roll too, most notably Stephen Conroy.

Growling Ferret1:34 pm 10 Feb 06

Julia Gillard stated on Lateline last night 27 of the 30 females who voted were supportive of the TGA making the decision. The loud opponents within Parliament are Scabbott, Howard, dickheads like Heffernan (who should be more worried about his implication over wheat in Iraq) – all old conservative types…

I agree with everything you have written here JB – but also believe that the need for separation of Church and State has not been more evident in Australian parliament in recent years than over this decision…

panacea of abortion

Who said it was a panacea?

It’s a dreadful tragic thing. It’s also inevitable.

You’re campaigning to make it worse.

Your confidence in the panacea of abortion again shows your naivety.

C’mon GF, I think the vote yesterday showed this isn’t so much a left v. right issue.

But any sane person will listen to the TGA’s clinical opinions before they listen to nutbag fundamentalist groups throwing selective data at them.

Hey, maybe after all this the TGA will reject it.

I don’t care.

I just want it dealt with properly and without discrimination simply because Vittens and his/her ilk don’t like ONE of its potential uses.

Growling Ferret1:23 pm 10 Feb 06

Having a god bothering wanker like Tony Scabbott making this decision is more than enough reason to hand over responsibility to the TGA.

Let Doctors and professionals not blinded by Christian idealogy make the decision on medical and scientific reasons.

I don’t understand why the conservatives opinion on abortion is so so negative when they have sent thousands of troops overseas to kill (or support the killing of) other human beings…

I think the original argument was whether the people qualified to make the decision, ie. the TGA should do so, and not that twat Abbott.
I don’t think that any argument regarding the qualities of RU486 should even come into the debate, it’s just a matter of the appropriate process.

he polling, conducted by Quantum Market Research in late December 2005, surveyed over 500 Australian women from all States and Territories between the ages on 18 – 45. The RU486 regime requires at least 4 trips to a clinic or physician, 3 invasive internal vaginal examinations over an 8 to 14 day period.

That’s fucking bullshit. That was push polling in order to get the result that AARU486 wanted. It uses unproved, highly emotive (and factually untested) statements to push people. AARU486 paid for that poll and has refused, on a number of occasions, to give out the questions they asked. Any actual, fare, independent polling done has shown a majority of people (both male and female) support the handing of control to the TGA.

It is about abortion and the liars are those who try hoodwink us into thinking that it is not.

Again a crock, it’s about normalising the way in which it is approved be just like every other drug on the market. If it’s a dangerous as you claim, the TGA will just reject like they do other drugs they don’t support.

I don’t think we’re being ‘hoodwinked’, I’ve read numerous articles and opinion peices acknowledging that RU486 is not a ‘magic fix it pill’.

The parliamentary scrutiny of an executive veto? How reassuring.

Your argument is still that because you want to end abortion you want to cause more pain than necessary to women who have one.

You are a sadist.

Johnboy, correct. Abortion is the legal ending of a human life.

The fact of it being about abortion does not need to be made by proxy. It is about abortion and the liars are those who try hoodwink the public into thinking that it is just about a ‘magic fix it pill’. I for one think that matters relating to the manner in which we allow human lives to be ended should be kept very closely to those who can be held to account, not left with those who stand to make a huge profit out of it. Now it just so happens that our society currently allows for the legal ending of human life through abortion. Just because its legal does not mean that it suddenly should not have parliamentary accountability and scrutiny on it.

OK, so you’re against abortion, campaign against it at state level.

Better yet, don’t have one yourself.

But your current position is to do your best to bring pain and suffering to women who are already emotionally vulnerable and breaking no law.

That is disgusting.

It’s not very christian either for what it’s worth.

vittens, I’m sure doctors etc will inform women seeking the treatment of the procedures and risks, let the women then make their choice.

The fact of it being about abortion does not need to be made by proxy. It is about abortion and the liars are those who try hoodwink us into thinking that it is not. I for one think that matters relating to the manner in which we allow human lives to be ended should be kept very closely to those who can be held to account, not those who stand to make a profit (huge profit) out of it. Now it just so happens that our society allows for the legal ending of human life through abortion. Just because its legal does not meant that should less accountable. it is not just any other drug

Okay, all that’s true. But (and this is the important thing) if you’re going to get a conventional abortion, you need to go through fair chunk of those things anyway – plus you’ll definately need to go through an operation that’s far more invasive than a pelvic exam. So RU486 does reduce the dangers in having an abortion. No, it doesn’t eliminate them, but it reduces them.

The alternative to RU486 isn’t having the baby (which involves even more invasive pelvic examinations, by the by), it’s having a conventional abortion. Who gains by making more women have conventional abortions?

Vittens, abortion is legal.

Why block research into ways to make it less traumatic?

You’re making the point very well that this has become an abortion debate by proxy for liars too cowardly or dishonest to make their case openly.

You and they bring disgrace to your gods.

Johnboy I disagree with you. There is no question scientifically that this drug kills a human being and ends a life. This is not a question of religion, it is a question of science (ask the scientists and they will tell you). That puts the drug into a whole other category. Secondly, your confidence in the drug as making the issue of unwanted pregancy easier is naïve. A new study shows 60 per cent of Australian women are opposed to the introduction of the abortion pill RU486 when given information about it. The polling, conducted by Quantum Market Research in late December 2005, surveyed over 500 Australian women from all States and Territories between the ages on 18 – 45. The RU486 regime requires at least 4 trips to a clinic or physician, 3 invasive internal vaginal examinations over an 8 to 14 day period.
The entire regime must be taken under strict medical supervision and close to emergency medical assistance. Many of the researchers and physicians readily admit that RU486 is not safe enough to administer without close medical supervision. The RU486 process includes the following:
1) Initial consultation, physical examination and pregnancy test. Will include a pelvic exam and possible ultrasound. Woman should also be checked for contraindications (age, weight, medical history, medications, non-smoker). If contraindications are present, RU486 is not administered.
2) 24 hours later the initial drug is administered. The pill is taken in the presence of a nurse or doctor. In this initial period, most patients will bleed heavily. 1 in every 100 patients will require medical intervention to manage the blood loss.
3) 48 hours after the initial drug is administered, a prostaglandin is administered. This is again taken in the presence of the medical practitioner.
4) After the administration of the second drug, clinics often keep women prone for up to 3 or 4 hours in the hope that the embryo will be expelled before sending them home. Other women wait longer, hours, days, sometimes weeks.
Between 7 and 14 days later, a patient must return for another pelvic examination to confirm the abortion is complete.
5) If the abortion is incomplete, then a conventional abortion is performed. Between 2 and 13 per cent of women endure double abortion jeopardy.

When I consider this I fail to see how this is about liberating women. Lets face it, the drug companies are in it for profit and are not particularly concerned about those who suffer from the side effects. They have done the numbers and know that its a calculated risk to promote the drug. Feminism is yet to stand up to the drug companies in my opinion.

Yep vittens, no question the procedure needs to be carefully assessed by experts.

I just don’t see why this, and only this, drug stands alone in the law as being subject to a ministerial veto.

Actually I can think of one reason, to try and stifle innovation in the area. I think that is punitive and wrong.

Thumper, I hope you’re writing your letter to the MP’s who’re next on the block.

From what the poeple who make the drug say I think Rose might be correct. Pfizer, the company which manufactures Cytotec, the second drug used in an RU486 abortion to cause contractions to expel the dead baby, has warned that the drug is not endorsed for this purpose and its safety cannot be guaranteed.

In a letter to doctors the company has warned that Cytotec is not approved for the induction of labor or abortion. Serious adverse events reported following off-label use of Cytotec in pregnant women include maternal or fetal death; uterine hyperstimulation, rupture or perforation requiring uterine surgical repair, hysterectomy or salpingo-oophorectomy; amniotic fluid embolism; severe vaginal bleeding, retained placenta, shock, fetal bradycardia and pelvic pain.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists states that there has not been sufficient research on misoprostol use in this context to rule out low risks of serious adverse events.

Cytotec has been associated with fetal malformations including skull defects, cranial nerve palsies, facial malformations, and limb defects.

I don’t know how physically painful a surgical abortion is compared with an RU486, but apparently an RU486 abortion can be severely painful, requiring strong painkillers. I don’t suppose abortion could ever be pleasant. The TGA should decide.

I don’t have much time for things that don’t work, still less noisy things that don’t work.

But noisy things that don’t work which distract attention from things that do work?

That’s downright dangerous.

Go add a number to the Get Up petition by all means.

Just saying the written letter posted today is the best thing you can do and no online petition is its equal.

In my view the VSU campaign created a scheme far more harmful to students than an intelligent compromise would have, and was an utter failure by any measure (except possibly raising the emdia profile of some student leaders).

So why do you want to go back that way again?

It was a genuine enquiry JB, not an argumentative challenge.

Also remember GetUp are consciously modelling themselves on the “success” of the american “move on” website.

Last I checked W was still President so maybe you want to look at other models?

Yeah, ‘cos the VSU thing worked out so well.

Are you trying to give yourself a warm fuzzy or to actually achieve a goal?

ahh ok
how are they ineffectual?
The National Union of Students has used them for their VSU campaigns so I trusted their choice.
oh well, live and learn

Want to make a difference? spend the money on an envelope and a stamp.

Get Up are ineffectual wankers, I’d advise against using them as a proxy.

You want to reach your local member, not be part of a number quoted (if you’re lucky) on the ABC/

It’s not a Tony issue.

It’s a question of why this drug alone is within his, or any other Health Minister’s discretion.

Slinky the Shocker10:08 am 10 Feb 06

What, you don’t trust Tony in issues of birth-control and pregnancy?

and even if it WAS dangerous that judgment is a job for the TGA and the doctors.

Quick stat that I read yesterday – 11 recorded deaths of women from RU486 out of more than 12 Million uses.

Far safer than surgery.

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