OTTAWA, January 9, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Health Canada has apologized to a parliamentary health committee for giving it misinformation in a November meeting that no application to approve the controversial abortion drug RU-486 (Mifepristone) existed.
“Since my appearance, it has come to my attention that I did not have the correct information”, stated Health Canada’s Deputy Minister George Da Pont to Ben Lobb, chair on the Standing Committee on Health in a January 08 letter obtained by LifeSiteNews.com.
Da Pont had told the health committee in the November 25 meeting that there was no pending application to have RU-486 approved in Canada – on the very same day that the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) published an article stating that such an application existed.
“To date, no company has applied to market the product in Canada”, Da Pont told NDP MP Libby Davies (Vancouver East, BC) when she asked why Health Canada had not yet approved the abortion pill, a drug that she said “provides very safe access for a medical abortion, particularly for women in rural and remote countries.”
“I apologize for having misinformed committee members. This was not my intention”, stated Da Pont in the letter.
Health Canada would not give LifeSiteNews information about the name of the pharmaceutical company submitting the RU-486 application, nor the commercial name of the Mifepristone pill it seeks to bring into Canada.
LifeSiteNews.com has yet to obtain the results of a freedom of information request regarding this information filed in December.
Health Canada did say 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.
Da Pont told the health committee back in the above mentioned November meeting that if an application were received, it would “go faster than normal applications” given what he called the drug’s “widespread use, [and] given lots of data from other countries”.
Pro-life groups across the country, including a group of doctors, have condemned the abortion drug for the harm it causes to women — including numerous accounts of death — and for the slow painful death it inflicts on unborn children.
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.
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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 the chemical abortion of her child. A 2011 U.S. Food and Drug Administration report found that 14 U.S. women died after taking RU-486.
Campaign Life Coalition, the country’s political arm of the pro-life movement, has launched an online petition to keep the drug out of Canada that will be submitted to the country’s health minister Rona Ambrose. It has been signed by 1831 people as of this writing.
Sign CLC’s anti-RU-486 petition here.