Abortion activists campaigning to have Health Canada approve a foreign-made abortion drug that allows a pregnant mother to kill and then expel her pre-born child are disappointed that a decision has been put off until sometime next fall.
The National Abortion Federation, an umbrella group representing abortion facilities in the U.S. and Canada, leaked to CBC News that Health Canada has requested additional information from Linepharma International, the France-based drug company submitting the application. This means the decision, expected to have come mid-January, will be many months from now.
Linepharma manufactures only mifespristone and misoprostol, a two-drug combination that allows a pregnant mother to abort. The company’s mission statement is: “To make high-quality medical abortion products available and to provide related services to all women worldwide.”
Jack Fonseca of Campaign Life Coalition said he was pleased that the decision has been pushed back, adding that he hopes the move means that Health Canada scientists are “demanding more data from the manufacturer because they have safety concerns about the dangerous drug.”
Health Canada dropped an application to approve mifespristone, also known as RU-486, in 2001 after clinical trials ended in the death of a woman from British Columbia. Despite RU-486 being touted by its advocates as “safe,” practically every country that has approved the drug has had women die as a result of complications arising from taking it.
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“Realistically, Health Canada shouldn't want to touch this drug again with a 30-foot pole,” Fonseca said. “There's no logical reason for them to lift the existing ban… other than political pressure. Why on earth would the agency want to revisit a drug that's a known killer, which it has already banned for killing someone not so long ago?”
Health Canada will give no hint at what its ultimate decision might be, telling reporters that all drug decisions are “based on a detailed scientific review.”
The timing of the delay is noteworthy. Making a decision prior to the upcoming federal election could have drastic consequences for the reigning Conservatives. An approval of the drug could potentially result in the party alienating itself from its natural base of people who respect life and think it wrong for a mother to end the life of her pre-born child. Denying the drug, however, could potentially give left-leaning institutions, politicians, and especially mainstream media added firepower to accuse it of being against ‘reproductive rights,’ and ultimately against women.
Despite the delay, the National Abortion Federation says it remains optimistic about the final outcome.
“[We believe] that at the end of the day, Health Canada will approve mifepristone as a safe and effective method of early abortion, and that Canadian women will then be able to use it with confidence that there has been a very thorough review of the medication, its safety and efficacy,” NAF President Vicki Saporta told CBC.
Fonseca said that the only reason the drug has been frequently in the news recently is because abortion advocates have “deliberately orchestrated” a media frenzy to pressure Health Canada into giving approval.
“They're trying to bring intolerable pressure to bear on the people at Health Canada. The goal here is to get the folks inside the Health Canada buildings sweating. Get them flustered, stressed out, so that emotional distress clouds their judgement and they choose to put politics ahead of science and the safety of women,” he said.
Campaign Life Coalition is asking concerned citizens to contact Health Canada and urge it to reject the drug.
“I believe that if pro-lifers don't do something to counter-balance the pressure tactics of the abortion lobby/mainstream media, then Health Canada will probably cave,” Fonseca said.
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