It is now almost five years since the first supplies of mifepristone (RU486) became available to Australian women under the Authorised Prescriber (AP) Scheme of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), to be used by approved doctors for the purpose of medical abortion.

There are now more than 100 doctors across Australia authorised to prescribe mifepristone, together with the drug misoprostol, for medical abortion. Such abortions may be early (up to nine weeks of pregnancy), in which case the actual abortion process usually takes place in the woman’s home, with an adult support person present, or late, when the process must take place in a hospital setting.