New York cardinal warns against expanding use of termination drugs

The expanded use of an abortion-inducing drug in America will pave the way for the “destruction of even more innocent lives” say pro-life advocates.

The new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines, announced on 30 March, allow women to use RU-486, known generically as mifepristone and by its brand name Mifeprex – later into their pregnancy and with fewer visits to a doctor. There is also concern that the loosened guidelines will allow non-physicians to dispense and prescribe the drug.

The FDA has lifted the upper limit for the use of mifepristone from seven weeks to up to 10 weeks into pregnancy. It claims the drug is safe and that women will benefit from having more time to decide whether to continue with their pregnancy.

But pro-lifers insist the drug is dangerous and that its extended use is motivated by financial and political gain. Some claim it is linked to the current presidential and congressional election campaigns as Republican and Democrat candidates seek support from women.

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, chairman of the US bishops’ pro-life committee, has described the FDA’s decision as irresponsible.

“The unofficial, off-label use of RU-486 is now the new normal, paving the way for the destruction of even more innocent lives, and putting women and girls at risk of all the life-changing effects of abortion,” he said in a statement on 1 April.

“Far from wanting abortion to be ‘rare’, abortion advocates are celebrating this expanded use as opening an ever-widening door to abortion,” he said.

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