Abortion Pill/Safer Sex

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2003 National Women's Conference
11 October 2002
Carried as Amended

The Conference welcomes the decision of the Government to allow RU486 (or Mifepristone) to be used by women who have chosen an early abortion.

RU486 is a steroid hormone similar in structure to the natural hormone progesterone. It is widely used in France and now accounts for about 30% of all French abortions.

RU486 can only be used during the first 9 weeks of pregnancy and must be administered by medical personnel. Although this form of abortion takes longer (a vacuum aspiration abortion is done in 15 minutes) it is less invasive, require no anaesthesia and puts women at less risk of perforation, damage to the cervix or infection from instruments.

Although Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Women’s Committee strongly supports the supply of RU486 we believe that further work is needed to inform women, especially young women of the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and prevention of unwanted pregnancy, therefore this Conference instructs the National Women’s Committee to:

1)Update the abortion leaflet in the Women’s Health Pack;

2)Produce a new leaflet for the Women’s Health Pack, amed at young women, to provide advice on issues affecting them including sexually transmitted diseases, preventing unwanted pregnancy and safer sex;

3)Ensure that the Women’s Health Pack is publicised so that UNISON women can access the information.