The Role of Chemistry in History

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The Politics of RU-486 in the United States

April 29th, 2008 · No Comments ·

|What is RU-486? | The Discovery | The Chemistry |

|The Global Use | RU-486 in US Politics |

| Cultural Controversy in the US | References |

Political injunctions and partisan interests have become an overwhelmingly influential factor in limiting not only its availability but also its use throughout the United States as seen below.

Under Republican Presidential Administrations: 1981 – 1993


  • A number of American organizations including the American College of Obstetricians, the National Organization for Women and the Planned Parenthood Federation pressured Roussel Uclaf to bring RU-486 to the American market with no success.


  • The lack of initiative on the part of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to bring RU-486 to the US reflects the Republican interests of the current presidential administrations.
  • Under funding towards further researching birth control and developing pro-choice programs severely undercuts progress in these areas.
  • The resignation of a liberal-minded Supreme Court Justice leads to the seating of a conservative one during the Bush administration leaving many pro-choice supporters to fear the potential further restriction of a woman’s access to obtain an abortion.


  • Under court rulings, physicians are not allowed to advise a woman to obtain an abortion and a mandatory waiting period is imposed upon minors requiring them to inform their parents with their intention to have an abortion.
  • Anti-abortion violence begins to escalate against abortion clinics across the United States.

Under a Democratic Presidential Administration: 1993 – 2001



  • Under President Clinton’s administration, the Bush’s ban on the importation of RU-486 was lifted.
  • The Population Council was given drug rights to the drug and a series of clinical tests were performed to ensure its effectiveness and safety.
  • The FDA approved RU-486 in 2000 after the Danco Group was selected to mass produce the drug throughout the US.

Tags: RU-486