OTTAWA, January 6, 2014 ( – Health Canada has admitted that its deputy health minister misspoke when he told a parliament health committee in November that there is no pending application to have the controversial abortion drug RU-486 (mifepristone) approved in Canada. 

“An application has indeed been filed with Health Canada and is under review,” Health Canada’s Bureau of Metabolism, Oncology and Reproductive Sciences wrote on January 2 in an email obtained by 

“This was contrary to his [Deputy Minister George Da Pont's] initial understanding,” the email stated. 


Two abortion activists, Dr. Sheila Dunn and lawyer Rebecca Cook, urged Health Canada in a November Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) article, titled “Medical abortion in Canada: behind the times,” to approve a new application for RU-486. 

That same day, however, Deputy Minister Da Pont told a parliament Standing Committee on Health that “to date, no company has applied to market the product in Canada.” 

Health Canada refused to clarify the matter, despite numerous phone calls and emails from 

In the CMAJ article, the activists called RU-486 a “safe, effective and often preferred method” for a woman seeking to kill her unborn child. 

“Millions of women worldwide have used mifepristone safely and effectively,” they wrote, adding that it is “important that this submission not be allowed to fail.” 

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Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) condemned the new push for the drug, calling RU-486 a “human pesticide” that harms mothers and kills babies. 

A previous Canadian trial of RU-486 was shelved in 2001 after the death of a woman from toxic shock, brought on by a bacterial infection related to her chemical abortion. 

A 2011 U.S. Food and Drug Administration report found that 14 U.S. women died after taking RU-486. 

CLC launched a petition to have the country’s health minister Rona Ambrose “definitively reject” the chemical abortion pill. As of today, the petition has been signed by 1,675 people. 

The Canadian Physicians for Life urged Health Canada in a strongly worded statement to say ‘no’ to the drug because of the trail of suffering and death it has left behind in the countries where it is permitted. 

“This is death we are talking about, not just of the unborn babies but sometimes of the mothers themselves,” stated the pro-life doctors’ group. 

An RU-486 abortion involves a two-drug combination, usually offered to women less than nine weeks pregnant. Mifepristone, a synthetic steroid, blocks the hormone progesterone. This shuts down the woman’s pregnancy-sustaining mechanism with the result that the baby, deprived of necessary life-support, starves to death and detaches from the uterine wall. Misoprostol, given a day or so later, initiates powerful uterine contractions that cause the woman to expel her dead baby. 

Health Canada says that its scientists are currently conducting a “scientific review” of the abortion drug. If it meets the “requirements of the regulations, an authorization may be issued”. 

“All new drug applications are required to meet evidentiary standards demonstrating safety, effectiveness, and quality, including that the benefits outweigh any risks,” it stated. 

Health Canada did not respond to for comment by press time.

Sign CLC’s anti-RU-486 petition here

Download a paper version of the petition for church or social group here.


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