The abortion pill mifepristone, also known as RU-486, is already legal in 60 countries, including the United States and France, where it was legalized in 1988. It allows women to terminate unwanted pregnancies without undergoing surgery and unlike the morning after pill, mifepristone can be taken up to seven weeks after conception to terminate a pregnancy. After three years of tests, Canada's ministry of health has approved the use of the abortion pill mifepristone.
The drug will be marketed under the name Mifegymiso and is expected to become available in early 2016. Doctors in Canada will be permitted to prescribe the drug up to seven weeks after conception.
Health Canada said, "The decision to authorize Mifegymiso for the Canadian market was made further to a thorough review of the data package provided by the sponsor that supported the safety, efficacy and quality of the product."
The National Abortion Federation (NAF) hailed the move, and said, "It was about time Canada joined other countries that have legalized the drug."
NAF's president Vicki Saporta said, "The approval of mifepristone is great news for women in Canada. It's long overdue that Canadian women also have access to the gold standard for medical abortion care."