The abortion pill – known during its time of development as RU486 is a self-administered pill to induce a miscarriage when a fetus is less than 9 weeks gestation (Betts, 2009). It provides women with a medical alternative to the commonly practiced surgical procedure (Joffe & Weitz, 2003). The drug RU486 together with Misoprostol, leads to a complete termination in 93 to 98 percent of the time (C. De Costa, 2007). It is currently an illegal drug for practioners in Australia to prescribe, however currently it is being discussed in parliament. It has been used for over 20 years in many countries (C. De Costa, 2007). At present only one hospital in Melbourne and another fourteen across Australia are allowed to provide this means of termination (Betts, 2009). At this time the patient must satisfy the medical staff that this option is a better option for them compared with the regularly practiced surgical alternative (Parrish, 2011).
When discussing whether RU486 should be readily available for both an unwanted or unplanned pregnancies, one must first recognize the difference between the two. An unplanned pregnancy may be the result of a family with children already, unplanned does not equal unloved (Parrish, 2011). It is the direct result of sexual activity that is recognized within Australian society as an acceptable behavior between and man and a woman (C. M. De Costa, 2005). In fact the hardest part of the decision to terminate an unplanned pregnancy can be the embarrassment and shame they feel when going to the physician’s clinic to begin with (Makenzius, Tydén, Darj, & Larsson, 2012).
An unwanted pregnancy not only carries the possibility of stress on the couple involved, but can have significant health and financial costs to society (Lucke, 2011). An emphasis on the education and availability of contraception to avoid these instances needs to be considered. A pharmacist may be the only health care practitioner within many kilometres that a person considering a termination has access too. Many doctors around the country have lengthy waiting times and charge high consultation fees (Lucke, 2011). Nursing care is exhausted when a patient has only the surgical option to utilize. The costs of anesthesia, the procedure and medical staff required can be of a considerable burden to ones finances (Lucke, 2011). The safe to use and cost effective to produce RU486 not only is a less evasive options women should have access to, but the substantial financial saving that it comes with may assist in their decision (C. M. De Costa, 2005).
The principle ethic of autonomy encompasses the fundamental protection and...