The day before a hearing to consider approval of the controversial “morning-after pill,” both sides of the abortion issue gathered to wage another battle in their ongoing fight over reproductive freedom.
Each side made the same claim, that the other was using politics rather than facts to influence a medical issue.
The Food and Drug Administration hears testimony today from supporters and opponents of RU-486, or mifepristone, an anti-progesterone drug which can induce a spontaneous abortion immediately after conception.
Anticipating the hearing, the National Right-to-Life organization held an early morning news conference Thursday to warn against the health risks associated with the drug.
Later in the day, representatives from Planned Parenthood and other abortion rights groups countered with their own event, declaring the drug safe and calling for its immediate approval.
Their statements sounded strangely similar.
“We are particularly outraged that the Clinton administration has substituted politics for science by transforming the FDA’s mission of objective drug analysis into overt abortion advocacy,” said Richard D. Glasow, a consultant with the Life Issues Institute which opposes abortion.
Said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation: “Rather than decisions being based on pure science and medicine, politics have blocked or slowed the distribution of mifepristone. If the medical well-being of women were the only issue, mifepristone would have been approved eight years ago.”