Edmonton

Rona Ambrose denies role in RU-486 abortion pill approval

The federal health minister said she played no role in Health Canada's approval of the so-called abortion pill.

'The decision does not rest with me. It's out of my hands.'

Health Minister Rona Ambrose said she was not involved in the approval of the abortion pill. (CBC)

The federal health minister said she played no role in Health Canada's approval of the so-called abortion pill.

Rona Ambrose was announcing infrastructure grants in St. Albert, Alta., Thursday morning when reporters asked for her reaction.     

"You would have to speak with the officials at Health Canada and the scientists that actually manage the regulatory approval process," she said.

"I'm not involved in it," she said. "The decision does not rest with me. It's out of my hands and the decision is final."

RU-486 has been available since 1988 in France. The drug was approved for use in the United States in 2000 and is also available in more than 57 countries.

Anti-abortion groups launched petitions against the drug arguing Canada does not need to make abortion access easier and citing its health risks to the mother.

Clinical trials in Canada were halted in 2001 following the death of one woman.

In Canada, women will require a prescription from a doctor to purchase the drug.

  

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