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A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine says that doctors can quickly and safely induce abortions by using a combination of two other drugs. The procedure, as effective as the French abortion pill RU-486, involves using a combination of methotrexate, a widely used cancer drug, and misoprostol, an ulcer medicine. "Doctors have used this combination of medication before in cases where the fetus is stuck in the fallopian tubes and needs to be removed to save the life of the mother," says science writer Christine Gorman. "So someone didnŐt just dream this up. But this is the first big study of its use in regular abortions." Doctors caution that neither RU-486 nor this procedure is safe as a surgical abortion, and that it can only be performed in the first nine weeks of pregnancy. BTW: