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Update on Medication Abortion

Authors

  • Margaret W. Beal CNM, PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Margaret W. Beal is an Associate Professor and Director of the Graduate Entry Pre-specialty in Nursing at Yale University School of Nursing, where she teaches nursing and midwifery students. She serves on the Advisory Committee for Clinicians for Choice and as Division Chair of the ACNM Division of Education, and practices with Planned Parenthood of Connecticut.
      Margaret W. Beal, Yale University School of Nursing, 100 Church Street South, PO Box 9740, New Haven, CT 06536-0740. E-mail: margaret.beal@yale.edu
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Margaret W. Beal, Yale University School of Nursing, 100 Church Street South, PO Box 9740, New Haven, CT 06536-0740. E-mail: margaret.beal@yale.edu

Abstract

This article provides an overview of medication abortion in the United States 6 years after the approval of mifepristone (RU486; Mifeprex; Danco Laboratories, LLC, New York, NY) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The adoption of mifepristone is considered in the context of epidemiologic data on abortion, abortion access, and the safety of abortion. The risks of medication and aspiration abortion are discussed in the context of abortion-related mortality, recent experience with obstetric and gynecologic infection with Clostridium sordellii, and the limits of scientific knowledge on the incidence of this infection in women. Innovative protocols studied since FDA approval of mifepristone are presented, and implications for clinical practice are discussed.

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