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ALRANZ Welcomes Mifepristone Decision In US

"The Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand welcomes the RU486 decision within the United States on September 28th. For the last decade, ALRANZ has been working toward authorisation and distribution of RU486-mifepristone within New Zealand. In June 2000, an independent consortium of medical practitioners applied for authorisation within New Zealand. However, it will take until April 2000 when MedSafe reports back to the Minister of Health, Annette King." Mr Craig Young, ALRANZ Research Officer said today.

Mr Young noted that New Zealand anti-abortion groups seemed ill-informed about mifepristone: "We have had National SPUC saying that it will boycott the company that produces RU486. But Roussel-Uclaff and Hoechst, the original manufacturers, ceded rights to Excelgyn, which distributes only this product. What else can they boycott?"

He noted that Right to Life New Zealand had also said it would lobby against the introduction of mifepristone: "Exactly how does this one thousand or so member organisation propose to do this? It does not have the resources of National SPUC at its proposal. As far as I know, this radical anti-abortion group is restricted to Christchurch."

Mr. Young concluded that there was no foreseeable obstacle to the introduction of RU486 within New Zealand. Within specific medical guidelines, mifepristone and medical abortion were safe:

"ALRANZ has over a decade of clinical research to back up our case. If I were an anti-abortionist, I'd give up now."

Contact: Craig Young ALRANZ Research Officer 2/353 College St Palmerston North (06) 3569099 ext 7750

Dr Margaret Sparrow ALRANZ President (04) 4759886

ALRANZ PO Box 28008 Wellington

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