(4) RU486 is an artificial steroid that interferes with the action of progesterone, a hormone crucial to the early progress of pregnancy.(5) Progesterone stimulates the proliferation of the uterine lining which nourishes the developing child.(23) Because of its properties as a antiprogestin (a compound that inhibits the action of the hormone progesterone), some believe that it may be helpful in treating endometriosis, fibroids, breast cancer, and certain non-malignant brain tumors called meningomas.(24) Pro-life groups such as the National Right to Life Committee have never opposed the testing or use of RU486 for such therapeutic purposes, but evidence of its effectiveness in these applications, (25) as well as evidence of the pill's promoter's real interest in such applications, is limited.(18) The effectiveness of the RU486, or mifepristone, method begins to decline after 49 days, or 7 weeks of pregnancy.(19) By that time, the baby will be five weeks old and will have increased in size to 8mm, and his or her face, arms, and legs will be distinguishable.(26) Acting alone, RU486 is able to induce an abortion only between 64% and 85% of the time, a rate abortifacient researchers consider "inadequate for general clinical use." (27) This is why, two days after taking the RU486, a woman is given a prostaglandin, usually misoprostol (trade name: Cytotec), to induce powerful uterine contractions to expel the shriveled corpse.
Gradually, as the drug begins to take effect, she experiences powerful, painful uterine contractions which begin to work to expel the baby. An additional 26 % aborted sometime over the next 20 hours, on the bus ride home, at work, in the shower, etc.(20) Before the end of the 9th week of pregnancy (7 weeks for the baby), the outer extreme of mifepristone's effectiveness, (21) the child's ears, fingers and toes will have formed and he or she will be 18mm, or nearly an inch tall, from crown to rump.(22) While researchers have proposed a long list of diseases and conditions that RU486 might be useful against, and in some cases, conducted limited testing, the only purpose for which the U. sponsor has pursued government approval is abortion.(8), (9) While there have been some limited tests of RU486 as a morning after pill, with mixed results, (10) the only purpose for which the U. sponsor has sought government approval is for use to abort a confirmed pregnancy (11), (12) weeks after the baby has already attached himself or herself to the uterine wall.(13) During the time frame that RU486 is operative, the baby is undergoing a rapid period of development.
The rest who aborted did so at some point during the following two weeks.