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September 28, 2000

Statement of Cardinal Bevilacqua on
U.S. Food and Drug Administration Approval of RU486-Mifeprex

Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia, issued the following statement on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the use of the drug RU486-Mifeprex:

"I am dismayed that today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for use the drug RU486- Mifeprex (mifepristone) for use in combination with the drug misoprostal, as a form of drug induced abortion. Not only are we looking at another method of taking innocent human life, but these drugs have the potential to be harmful to the health of the mother. When taken in the 5th to 7th week of pregnancy, RU486-Mifeprex blocks the action of the progesterone hormone, causing the lining of the uterus to disintegrate, thereby starving the unborn baby to death. Misoprostal, an artificial prostaglandin, initiates uterine contractions thereby leading to the embryonic baby being expelled from the uterus.

The FDA has proposed a number of restrictions, such as: it can only be prescribed by a physician trained to assess the gestational age of the baby and to diagnose ectopic pregnancies. In spite of these restrictions, this drug remains detrimental to the health of women. RU486-Mifeprex poses risks to women from incomplete abortion, infection and excessive bleeding. The use of RU486-Mifeprex has been debated for the last nine years and has created an enormous amount of controversy among drug companies and physicians. It is morally wrong to take the life of an unborn child and it is ethically wrong for controversial and harmful drugs to be administered to women who are pregnant.

Today, with the approval of RU486-Mifeprex, another assault begins on unborn babies and possibly the mothers. Life is a gift from God and we must as a nation protect and respect this life from conception to a natural death."

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Marie Kelly
Associate Director

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