Medicine: The Month-After Pill

French doctors report a new approach to birth control

It is being heralded as the long-sought, safe, morning-after pill. But there is a difference: it is really a month-after pill. A team of doctors from the Hopital de Bicetre near Paris reported in last week's New England Journal of Medicine that a substance known as RU 486, taken within ten days after a missed period, effectively terminates pregnancies without causing any major side effects.

In tests supervised by Dr. Beatrice Couzinet and Dr. Gilbert Schaison, 100 women volunteers who were less than a month pregnant were given RU 486. Of these, 85 aborted within four days, largely without the discomfort...

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