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Australia ends ban on 'abortion drug' RU-486

[JURIST] The Australian Parliament ended a de facto ban on the so-called "abortion drug" RU-486 (also known as Mifepristone) [Wikipedia backgrounder] on Thursday by removing the need for approval by the Health Minister to use the drug. Tony Abbott [official website], a strong anti-abortionist, had refused all applications for its use.

Last week, the Australian Senate voted 45-28 to end the approval requirement [JURIST report], and the measure [bill text, PDF] cleared the House without a formal count. The Therapeutic Goods Association [official website] will now handle requests from doctors to prescribe the drug. BBC News has more. The Sydney Morning Herald has local coverage.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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