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...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!