If a Texas lawsuit prevails, mifepristone will no longer be available anywhere in the nation, even in states where abortion is legal.
By Sue Halpern, The New Yorker
March 9, 2023
In 1987, Ms. magazine asked me to write about RU-486, a new medication that caused the uterus to expel a fertilized egg before it could gestate. It wasn’t a contraceptive, but it wasn’t what most people considered an abortion, either. At the time, anti-abortion campaigners were brandishing ultrasound images that purported to show fetuses crying out in pain as they were being surgically removed. RU-486, which was developed in France but not yet available in the United States, threatened to stymie this tactic: there would be no fetal development to flaunt. Even the president of the National Right to Life Committee acknowledged that there was little P.R. value in images of what appeared to be menstruating women. This disarming of the pro-life movement, and the drug’s seemingly benign effect, I wrote, “may serve to decimate the ranks of abortion foes.” Étienne-Émile Baulieu, the primary developer of RU-486, which is better known as mifepristone, was even more hopeful. With this drug, he declared, abortion “should more or less disappear as a concept, as a fact, as a word in the future.”