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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 17, 2000

CONTACT

Communications Department
202-667-5881

Mifepristone (RU-486) to Be Available to American Women Next Week

National Abortion Federation Hotline already receiving increased calls from women seeking this safe early abortion option

Washington, DC - The National Abortion Federation (NAF) announced today it is working with member providers to facilitate mifepristone's availability for American women by early next week. "Women across the country will soon be able to choose mifepristone to end a very early pregnancy," said Vicki Saporta, Executive Director of NAF. "The FDA's approval of mifepristone on September 28 brought with it the promise of a new medical breakthrough in early abortion care for American women. That promise can now be realized."

"We know from a recent survey of our members that close to 2/3rds of them, or about 240 health care facilities, will be offering mifepristone to their patients. Our members will be able to obtain mifepristone through NAF's Group Purchasing program," continued Saporta. "The distributor has indicated that they will send the first shipments of mifepristone next week, so women could potentially have this option available to them before Thanksgiving."

"Our national toll-free Hotline is the only one in the country that women can call to speak with a trained operator and receive a referral to a qualified abortion provider. The Hotline has experienced a dramatic increase in calls from women seeking information about mifepristone since September," said Saporta. "Now that mifepristone is available, we expect to receive even more calls from women who want referrals to providers who are offering mifepristone in their area." Saporta added that NAF has added more operators to the Hotline, and expanded its hours to include Saturdays.

Saporta continued, "To ensure that women are able to access mifepristone, we have developed a public service campaign that offers information about this option, and provides NAF's Hotline number and the address of our web site on medical abortion. We want to ensure that women facing an unintended pregnancy have all of the resources they need to make the decision that's right for them." The campaign will run in on-line media, national magazines, and on college campuses around the country.

"We are also continuing to educate health care providers in the provision of this method. We have now educated over 2,000 health care professionals, and our medical education series will soon be available through our web site. The series includes an accredited CD-ROM and self-study guide, an educational video series, and patient education materials in English and Spanish. Any health care provider who wants to add the early option pill to the services they offer will have all the information they need to do so safely and effectively," said Saporta.

"American women deserve access to the same safe reproductive health care options as women around the world," said Saporta. "Next week, with the availability of mifepristone, we will finally reach that goal."

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The National Abortion Federation is the professional association of abortion providers in the U.S. and Canada dedicated to ensuring that abortion remains safe, legal and accessible.
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