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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 24, 2001

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202-667-5881

One Year After FDA Approval of Mifepristone, Health Care Providers Are Offering and Patients Are Choosing This Safe Early Abortion Option

National Abortion Federation Public Education Campaign Results in Increased Calls from Women Seeking Accurate Information and Referrals to Providers of Quality Abortion Care

Washington, DC - One year after the FDA's approval of mifepristone and misoprostol for early abortion, the National Abortion Federation reports that half of its member facilities are currently offering this safe, early abortion option to women. "Since mifepristone became available last year, we have been flooded with calls from women seeking more information about this option," said Vicki Saporta, Executive Director of the National Abortion Federation (NAF). "Our providers have responded by adding this option to those reproductive health care services they already provide safely to women. About half of our members - 200 health care facilities - currently offer mifepristone to women, with more adding it to the services they provide on a continuing basis."

"In response to the interest of health care providers in offering this method, we are continuing to provide educational seminars and materials to a wide variety of clinicians," continued Saporta. Saporta stated that since January of 2000, NAF has educated more than 3,200 health care professionals in the administration of mifepristone at more than 25 regional seminars and at programs at major medical meetings. "We've also begun to advertise the availability of our educational materials in medical journals," said Saporta.

NAF launched a public education campaign about mifepristone beginning in July in response to the need women have for accurate information when making choices about an unintended pregnancy. The campaign, which is running through November, is appearing in 14 national magazines and is expected to reach 70% of women ages 18 to 49. "Our public education campaign has resulted in a steady increase in calls to our toll-free abortion Hotline. Currently, close to 40% of the calls to our Hotline are from women seeking more information about medical abortion."

"The response of health care providers and patients to the availability of mifepristone for early abortion has been very positive, and we have every indication that this trend will continue in the future," said Saporta. "NAF is pleased to be at the forefront of educating clinicians and patients about this safe method for early abortion."

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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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