A KEY advisory group has recommended that the Federal Government include an abortion drug on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, on April 26, recommended that the PBS cover Mifepristone (RU486) and Misoprostol, a drug taken in conjunction with RU486.
A final decision on the recommendation is expected later in the year.
Cherish Life Queensland state president Teresa Martin is calling on Catholics to make their voices heard before that decision is made.
“These are drugs that not just kill the baby but are dangerous to the mother,” she said.
“Women are meant to be under medical supervision but a number have died from things such as gangrene from using these drugs both here and overseas.”
Ms Martin said the death of an Australian woman in 2010 from RU486 was not made public until 2012.
“One of the most well known cases (of a death from the drug) is that of an American girl, Holly Patterson who died in 2003 and she is not the only one,” she said.
“They (Americans) have been using this drug a lot longer than we have.”
Ms Martin said people opposed to the move to place RU486 on the PBS should contact both the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek and make their views known.
Meanwhile, John Paul II Family and Life Centre and Queensland Bioethics Centre director Ray Campbell said that according to its own website, the PBS began as a limited scheme to offer “life-saving and disease-preventing” medicines to the community.
“RU486 is neither of these,” he said.
“It is disappointing that they are proposing this.
“It’s a misuse of the PBS under (the Government’s) own, original terms.”
Mr Campbell said there were “life-saving and disease-preventing” medicines that should have a higher priority.
“The issue is one of distributive justice,” he said.
“(There are) other genuine medicines that would be better on the PBS, ones that have a benefit (and save) lives.
“I think the whole thing just adds to the further devaluing of human life.”