Tenth Anniversary of FDA Approval of Mifepristone
Ten years ago today, the FDA approved the use of mifepristone as an alternative for terminating an early pregnancy. Mifepristone, also known as the “abortion pill,” Mifeprex, or RU-486, was first licensed in France in 1988, and has been used safely and effectively by millions of women worldwide. Since its FDA approval, usage in the U.S. has steadily increased, and more than 1.4 million women in this country have obtained a medical abortion.
The number of providers offering medical abortion care has also continued to increase. Some family practitioners and ob/gyns have integrated it into their practices and most Planned Parenthood family planning clinics are now offering medical abortion care. In fact, the decline in the number of U.S. abortion providers, slowed dramatically between 2000 and 2005, partly because of a surge in the number of providers that offer only medical abortion care.