The availability of mifepristone and misoprostol on the PBS for use in termination of pregnancies up to 49 days of gestation is a welcome addition to women’s health care. Appropriately trained GPs who have access to emergency services can provide this care.
The combination of mifepristone (previously known as RU486) and misoprostol for medication termination of pregnancy (MTOP) was first used commercially in France in 1988. The procedure is cost-effective and safe. Millions of MTOPs have been performed worldwide and they account for around 16% of abortions in the USA and 48% of abortions in England and Wales. In South Australia and Western Australia, the only Australian states or territories to publish public abortion figures, 13% and 11.8%, respectively, of abortions performed in 2010 were MTOPs.