Survey: Few Physicians Prescribe Abortion Pill

WASHINGTON, D.C., SEPT. 24, 2001 ( A year after the abortion pill RU-486 won government approval, only 6% of gynecologists and 1% of general practice physicians say they have utilized it, a survey found.

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Its proponents had hailed the pill as a way for women to get more-private abortions from their own doctor.

But the survey by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation shows RU-486 isn´t popular with private gynecologists. Even among gynecologists who do surgical abortions, 12% reported having provided the abortion drug, Kaiser reported today.

Forty percent of the 595 gynecologists surveyed said they didn´t offer the abortion pill, also called mifepristone or Mifeprex, because they personally oppose abortion.

Of those who don´t offer Mifeprex for other reasons, 62% said their patients simply hadn´t asked for it, and half also cited concerns about protests or violence from opponents of the drug.

The gynecologists´ survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points; the women´s survey has a margin of error of 3.

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