RU 486 kills a developing baby after his or her heart has begun to beat.

J.C. Willke
Reproduced with Permission
Life Issues Institute, Inc.

RU 486 (or Mifepristone) blocks a vital nutrient hormone, Progesterone. The embryonic baby, which implanted into the nutrient lining of the mother's womb at least two weeks earlier, can be compared to a grape on a vine. If the stem is pinched, preventing the nourishing sap from reaching the grape, it will wither, die and drop off. Just so, if this drug is used, it causes the embryonic baby to wither and die. A second drug, prostaglandin, is used to expel the dead baby from her womb.

Counting from the first day of her last normal menstrual period, it is effective only from the fifth through the seventh week. Some claim success, but with decreasing effectiveness, into the 9th week.

RU 486 alone is effective from 60 to 80% of the time. If Prostaglandin is added, the abortion rate rises to 95%.1

Who is responsible?

In 1994, Hoechst AG, the giant chemical firm in Frankfurt, Germany, gave permission to its subsidiary, Roussel Uclaf in Paris, to give the license to use RU 486 to the Population Council, a pro-abortion group in New York. It did the required testing and then gave rights to a drug firm. With approval from the Food and Drug Administration it will then be sold in the United States.2

Hoechst (now Hoechst, Marion, Roussel) was told clearly and repeatedly that, if it did this, pro-life groups in the U.S. would institute a massive boycott of all of Hoechst's products. It did give permission and the boycott was called.

In Hitler's Germany, I. G. Farben owned a company, Degesch, which made Zyklon-B, the poison gas used in the gas chambers.3 After the war, I. G. Farben was split into three companies. One was Hoechst AG. It owns 57% and controls Roussel Uclaf, the French company that developed and makes this new human pesticide.

Like father, like son.

The Procedure

First Visit: She must have a thorough history, physical exam and blood count. If she's anemic, has high blood pressure, kidney disease, smokes or is over 35, she is rejected. Finally, she needs an ultrasound exam to confirm the age of her baby and to rule out a tubal pregnancy.

She must sign permission and, in some states or nations, wait 1 or more days.4

Second Visit: She takes the pills.

Third Visit: She is given the prostaglandin drug (Cytotec or Misoprostol). This produces hard labor. Usually the baby parts are passed that day.

Fourth Visit: If she has not aborted or if there is still bleeding, she will need an ultrasound to determine if the uterus is empty. If not she needs a D&C. The French Ministry of Health requires that the abortion facility be equipped with an EKG, IV equipment, and a "crash cart" with a defibrillator in the event of a heart attack resulting from the drugs.5



Common to most cases is prolonged bleeding, averaging 9 to 30 days. In the controlled testing reported to date, one woman in a hundred bled so badly, she needed either a D&C surgical scraping out of her womb and/or a blood transfusion. In undeveloped countries, such treatment is often not available, and some of these women will bleed to death.6,7


Studies vary, but well over half of women need specific pain medication, with about one-third needing narcotics. There is nausea and vomiting in most cases.

Tubal Pregnancy

These drugs do not kill an embryo growing in her tube. A woman with a tubal pregnancy could take the drug, bleed, think she had passed everything and then suddenly rupture a tube. This is potentially fatal. The only preventive is to do an ultrasound exam on every woman, a test that costs as much as an entire surgical abortion.8

Incomplete Abortion

This necessitates surgical intervention and a D&C scraping out of the womb.

Psychological Upset

None other than Dr. Edwardo Sakiz, then president of Roussel Uclaf, said, "The woman must live with this for a full week, this is an appalling psychological ordeal."9

Sometimes she will pass parts of the baby at home. Firm instructions are that she must save whatever passes in a jar, and bring it to the doctor to see if everything is out. In a surgical abortion, she rarely sees the pieces. Here she will and she'll never forget.

Post-Abortion Syndrome

Many women getting abortions are very ambivalent. One defense mechanism for her is to say "I can't help it. I have no choice. Anyhow they are doing this to me." With RU 486, she swallows the pills and does it to herself.

More research needs to be done on this, but indications are that Post-Abortion Syndrome will be at least as common from this method as from surgery.


At least one woman has died. Another had a cardiac arrest, a third, ventricular fibrillation. Both would be dead except that the clinic had a defibrillator and shocked them back to life.10 Such equipment is rare in U. S. or Canadian doctors' offices. In France, severe cardiac complications occurred in 1 case in 20,000.11

In Iowa, one woman almost died from hemorrhage after an RU 486 abortion.12

In Third World countries, many women will probably die from bleeding.

Fetal Deformity

RU 486 and a prostaglandin will produce an abortion 95% of the time. The rest will be advised to have a surgical abortion. But there will be some who will refuse surgery and carry to term. These babies will have a significant possibility of fetal deformity.13 Why?

Two poisonous drugs were given when the heart, limbs etc. were being formed. This didn't quite kill, but the effect can be to cause severe structural deformities as a direct toxic effect, similar to those from Thalidomide.

In addition, the drugs can cause genetic damage to the developing baby and, if to the mother, damage to children she bears later, similar to the DES drug tragedy.

In the tightly controlled French experience, there has been one such tragedy. Under the far looser private care in North America, the number of deformed babies should be greater.


Abortion proponents claim that, compared with surgical abortion, it is:

More private & quicker?

No! A suction abortion takes one visit. With RU 486, 3 or 4 are needed.


No! A suction abortion costs about $250.00. With blood tests, multiple visits and ultrasound, this method will cost two or three times as much.


Probably not, time will tell.

Less pain?

No! Suction is very painful, but over quickly. With pills the pain lasts for hours.

Therapeutic Uses

To date, there are no proven uses of RU 486 to treat any human illness. Research is underway testing whether it will have any beneficial effect on one type of breast cancer14, on meningioma15 (brain tumor), Cushing's Syndrome16 or endometriosis. No serious research is projected for any other conditions.

Note that pro-life groups have never opposed research with RU 486 to find therapeutic uses. To date all studies of this drug were paid for by or associated with the manufacturer.

Morning After Pill?

Research is underway to determine if RU 486 can be used within a few days of intercourse to "prevent" pregnancy. So far nothing is proven. If it is effective, it will function as a chemical abortifacient, by preventing implantation of the one-week old human embryo.17

Boycott Card

A wallet-size card, listing drugs to boycott and possible alternatives to use is available from Life Issues Institute, 1721 W. Galbraith Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45239.


This injectable chemotherapeutic drug has been used for many years to treat cancer. It is a cellular poison. When used in the early weeks of pregnancy, it can kill the human embryo but can also kill the mother. Like RU 486, it can cause fetal deformity. It also needs the second prostaglandin drug (Cytotec). Both drugs are available on the market. Use is very limited and still experimental.