I am not a Catholic. I am not a man. I am not a right-to-lifer. But I oppose the abortion drug RU486. I am a long-time feminist and health activist who is committed to women's access to safe and legal abortion, and I am getting exasperated with the pro-choice movement's simplistic message about RU486. It is not safe and it will not expand women's choices.
A well-tried and simple abortion method exists: suction abortion. It is done in a doctor's surgery, and is over in minutes. If complications occur, emergency treatment is at hand. Compared with this, RU486 is messy and unpredictable. RU486 tablets and prostaglandin, taken two days later, can draw out the abortion process to two weeks or more, with bleeding, nausea, vomiting and painful contractions. One in ten women will then need a dilation and curettage to complete the abortion.
Chemical abortions are the cheap abortions. Surgical abortions are more labour intensive and efficient, and if something goes wrong, there are other people around to help.
With chemical abortions, you go home to your kids and your housework and you have an abortion, and if you expel a big blob of tissue, there isn't anyone there necessarily to hold your hand.
The reason they're around is because fewer doctors want to do abortions.