RU-486: Give us liberty

By S. Boyd



Salon Staff
September 21, 2000 11:10PM (UTC)

Read the story

S. Boyd writes a powerful and persuasive argument for the unhindered safe distribution of RU-486. Despite its impending approval by the FDA, the restrictions that might be imposed on its distribution seem ludicrously excessive and in some cases would defeat many of the possible advantages of medical abortion. For instance, one important advantage is that any doctor could prescribe this drug. With rates of trained and licensed abortionists on the decline, that could be a godsend to women in rural areas who do not have access to a licensed abortionist. Yet the FDA, by restricting distribution to those already licensed to perform surgical abortions, would erase that possibility. There is no reason for such restrictions, other than to limit the power women have over their bodies. I applaud her courage in admitting how empowered she was.

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-- E. More

As a happy mother of three beautiful daughters, and as a woman who has exercised her right to choose not bring an unplanned pregnancy to term, I would like to send a public thanks to those who have struggled against the political current to bring RU-486 to the United States.

I truly adore my daughters. To me, the most important issue in the abortion debate is that NO ONE has the right to tell these beautiful, intelligent, thoughtful young women that they have to bear children before they are ready. I cannot, in good conscience, support parental notification laws or any other restriction on their rights to choose their own destinies.

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Women are neither cattle nor chattel. We think, engage in discourse and share opinions with other thinking adults. And we VOTE!

-- J.S. White

I have been pro-choice my entire life, and I have lobbied for the acceptance of RU-486 in America for a very long time. But the tone of the article deeming the use of the drug as "empowering" really offended me. NOBODY is "in favor" of abortion. We just want it available as an option in desperate circumstances. Please don't make it a "badge of honor" to opt to terminate a pregnancy.

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-- Bonnie Squires

It's funny, S. Boyd's article only served to make me more likely to vote this fall for candidates who oppose RU-486. Her comment that RU-486 made her abortion "almost enjoyable" is EXACTLY the reason so many people oppose the approval of the drug.

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To some "mothers who think," abortion is indeed about morality. "Mothers who think" don't necessarily all think that abortion is OK. Some of us think that it's not a right -- it's a wrong. As Boyd's article so clearly explained, RU-486 makes it easier, more "enjoyable," and more of a "self-esteem boost" to choose abortion. From the perspective of the pro-life mother who thinks, RU-486 just makes it easier for a woman to make the wrong choice.

Even pro-choice politicians say they'd like to see abortions kept to a minimum. I fail to see how Boyd's praise for the drug is supposed to convince any of its opponents -- pro-choice or pro-life -- of its worth.

As ambivalent as I am about this year's candidates, I was thinking of not voting. Now, after reading Boyd's story, I think I'll be heading to the polls in November and voting my conscience. Thanks for the inspiring article.

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-- Karen Rhodes


Salon Staff

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