By PHILIP GOLDSTONE
On Sunday 11 August, The Age published an opinion piece by Melinda Tankard Reist, entitled ‘RU486 is not the ‘safe’ DIY method for women it is claimed to be.’ Marie Stopes International is very concerned about the misleading information she provides in relation to medical abortion in Australia.
Ms Tankard Reist begins her opinion piece by stating that RU486 is promoted as ‘do-it-yourself’.
While for most women the abortion process is completed at home, it is by no means “do-ityourself”. The medications used in medical abortion, Mifepristone Linepharma and GyMiso® must be prescribed by a certified medical practitioner who has undergone an additional training course.
This training course is endorsed by the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG).
The prescribing doctor is responsible for the care of the patient, including initial assessment and suitability of the method. In line with the Therapeutic Goods Australia (TGA) approved Product Information governing the use of these medications, the prescribing doctor must ensure access to 24-hour emergency care if required and provide follow up 14- 21 days after treatment. In addition, all women prescribed Mifepristone Linepharma and GyMiso® have access to a 24-hour Nurse Aftercare service provided by MS Health. This is clearly not “do-it-yourself” as claimed by MsTankard Reist.