Pageviews last month

Monday, 9 October 2006

Pushing an Abortion Drug on Third World mothers

NPR's Morning Edition ran an interesting story this morning. Quoting a new study just published in The Lancet, Brenda Wilson reports that "a drug originally developed to treat ulcers," Misoprostol, could "save thousands of lives of women in developing countries" by controlling post-partum bleeding--a condition, by the way, presently treated with Pitocin, a synthetic oxytocin. The study, conducted in India, was funded by the Global Network for Women's and Children's Health research, a partnership between the US National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

What the three-minute report is careful not to say is that while Misoprostol was originally developed as an ulcer treatment, its primary use for the last decade has been as an abortifacent--one that, as it turns out, often causes extensive bleeding when administered to pregnant women. Yes, that's right--Misoprostol is a constituent drug of the medical abortion procedure.

NPR's Wilson predicts that the extremely low cost and user-friendly nature of Misoprostol will result in it being used by uncertified birth attendants throughout the Third World. Unspoken is the implication that it could make abortion as easy a matter as a trip to the nearest pharmacy.

This is news. Too bad it's not being reported.

No comments:

Post a Comment

One comment per viewer, please--unless participating in a dialogue.