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AVAILABLE EXPERTS - "Abortion Pill" approved by Health Canada

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Queen’s University experts Ashley Waddington and Udo Schuklenk are available to comment on today’s approval from Health Canada of RU-486 (the "Abortion Pill").

As the drug becomes available in Canada, family planning expert Dr. Waddington sees this as a step in the right direction for Health Canada and Canadian women.

"25 years after its approval and use for women in other countries, and ten years after the WHO endorsed it on its list of Essential Medicines that all countries should have available, Health Canada has approved Mifespristone for use for early pregnancy termination for Canadian women. To be clear, medical abortion has been available in Canada for decades. However, Canadian women have had to rely on less effective, less safe medications for this purpose," she says. "This is a step in the right direction towards ensuring Canadian women have access to legal first trimester abortion care that is as safe and accessible as it is in other parts of the world."

Dr. Schuklenk, an expert in health ethics, agrees that the drug is a positive thing for Canadian women to have access to, and believes that this ruling is long overdue.

"When it comes to reviewing drugs that hand people control over their lives, Health Canada is extremely slow," he says. "Another example is that it still prosecutes folks for selling HIV self-tests in the country that have been approved for use in the US as well as Europe. Canadians are actually hurting because of Health Canada's decisions." 

Please note - Dr. Waddington is available only by phone until 4:30 pm EST, after which point she is available for TV.

To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer Anne Craig at 613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

Follow Queen’s News and Media Services on Twitter: http://twitter.com/QueensuMedia.

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