Should this abortion pill be legal in Canada?

by Will Raymond on February 2, 2014 - 10:08pm

In the article “Abortion debate may return as Health Canada weighs RU-486 approval” written by Laura Payton the author demonstrates the reasons why and why not abortion should or shouldn’t be legalized.  The focus of the article is on a drug called mifepristone (RU-486) that when taken will terminate pregnancies within 9 weeks. The drug has not been approved yet but has already caught the attention of anti-abortion protesters who want to contest the drug and make sure it doesn’t end up in pharmacies across Canada.

                As for the debate, people in favour of the drug are saying Canada should approve this drug because it can and will help a lot of woman in rural communities who do not have access to surgical abortion. For some woman it can take a day or two to get to the nearest abortion center from their community. An example of a rural community would be “Prince Edward Island who has no facilities that terminate pregnancies” (Payton, 2014). Mifepristone supporters also suggest that approving this drug will not increase the number of abortions but instead it will reduce the demand for surgical abortions which can save a lot of woman time and money. Lastly, the author explains how the drug has already been safely used in 57 countries on millions of woman and yielded great results. Mifepristone supports are basing their arguments on moral claims revolving around the idea that people should act in their own best interest. The supporters also believe that one should always do that which leads to the most overall happiness                   

                On the other side of the debate, the author demonstrates how the anti-abortion protesters lead by Mary Ellen Douglas (“National organizer for the anti-abortion Campaign Life Coalition” (Payton, 2014)) are concerned of the various side effects of mifepristone. One of which is called Sepsis which is the presence of harmful bacteria in human tissues, often trough the infection of a wound. The anti-abortion protesters have brought a variety of case files where woman who have used the drug ended up with a fatal case of sepsis. The main reason the protesters are against the drug is because "It is pregnancy termination. It is abortion ... and of course we wouldn't want it for that reason" (Payton, 2014). The anti-abortion protesters are basing most of their arguments on moral claims regarding how it is always wrong to act in any way that will harm another person (unborn baby).

                In my opinion, Mifepristone should be legalized in Canada due to the fact that the positive arguments outweigh the negatives. The drug has been used for years in countries in the European area and had had great results, there is no reason why Canada would have any different results. Also if some areas of Canada don’t have the option of a surgical abortion then there must be alternative, no human should be forced into doing something they do not want to do. I also believe in the idea that people should act in their own interest and have the freedom to decide what’s best for them. What do you think, Should we approve Mifepristone or should it never get into our Canadian pharmacies?

Payton, Laura. "Abortion Debate May Return as Health Canada Weighs RU-486 Approval."CBCnews. CBC/Radio Canada, 28 Jan. 2014. Web. 02 Feb. 2014. <


Alright, so I read your debate post because I never heard of this drug before in my life and was extremely interested on the effects and how it worked. I completely agree with your point of view because for one, abortion is legalized already. Two, there is already a pill called the Day After Pill which is basically the same thing. And third, I think that if a person does not want to have a baby at all then they shouldn't because they will most likely end up neglecting their child anyways. Although there are many sides to this debate I am on your side. But of course, it's hard to get pregnant these days anyway because there are condoms and there is birth control, so really, people who do not want to have a baby shouldn't have a reason to get pregnant because of all the different kinds of protection these days. I find it is hard to have a mistaken pregnancy these days. But if it happens, it happens, and if a person does not want the baby they should have the right not too. I personally thinks that a women should have individual freedom of their body and if having a baby is not what they want then they shouldn't have made that mistake but they also should be allowed to fix the mistake and learn from it. I think the Mifepristone pill should be legalized in Canada because it turns out to be a successful pill, it's faster for people who have no way to get to an abortion clinic and it's a women's freedom. If people are against it, then think of this, would you rather have someone give birth to a child and neglect it than not have a child at all?

I decided to respond to this summary article because I work in a pharmacy in the lab as a technician and anything related to public health and medication catches my attention.

After reading your post, I agree with your concluding statement that RU-486 (mifepristone) should be legalize to offer a more diverse range of options to women who can no longer take the morning-after-pill. Some women, due to the time span being too great, miss on the narrow alternative such as Plan-B or Next-Choice to be effective towards ending the fertilizing process (take pill max 72h, more effective within 48h after intercourse).

Of course, possible side effects will be acknowledge with the consumption of any drug. Although, that is why as all possible outcomes are warned by the pharmacist as well as in the intructions. As you mentioned, this medication is already available in 57 countries and therefore can be concluded to have passed the numerous testing regards its concentration and absorption in the body.

It is certain that this fetus, after nine weeks, has evolved which arise the attention of anti-abortion individuals. Although, in such short time in the first trimester, his/her features are not completed as its overall development is still undergoing physical change. I understand that they do not want a baby being harmed, but it is too soon in the pregnancy to characterise right from wrong without primarily paying attention to the one carrying it.

Therefore, providing another possibility to women to cease their pregnancy within nine weeks could be quite a relief for a woman undergoing negative thoughts about her pregnancy as undersired newborn is in play. Within nine weeks, many things can change. The presence of this option could be very useful to any women because having a baby takes a great amount of responsibilities and if she chose to abort the pregnancy, she should have the right.

Why should a women hold a baby for six more months if she no longer wants to proceed with the pregnancy ?

"Week 9." KidsHealth - the Web's most visited site about children's health. The Nemours Foundation, n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.

Since December 2012 this topic has been discussed in Canada. Although this article was written in 2014 there still no decision made in present day. This article caught my eyes because I know the US has it but I didn't know about this ongoing debate in Canada. The pill should be available in Canada because its more concerning for the majority of women who don't have ready access to the clinic. The abortion clinics are usually in Big cities and its hard for people to travel there. I would recommend that regulations regarding the screening of potential patients be standarized across the country. Patients should also be aware of any and all health risks however minor. I believe women should have the choice and freedom to do what they want. Some places in Canada like PEI and NB don't have nearby facilities there for this would be good for women who live there. Since abortion is already legal in Canada why not have abortion pill as another option?

N.B the link was expired but I found it.