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RU486: Misconceptions, Myths and Morals Paperback – Jul 1 2013

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Spinifex Press; Second Edition, Second edition edition (July 1 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1875559019
  • ISBN-13: 978-1875559015
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.3 x 19.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,394,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"RU 486: Misconceptions, Myths and Morals is an important contribution to a discussion which until recently has been dominated by drug company press releases."  —Claudine Holt, Green Left Weekly

"An important contribution to the debate surrounding RU 486, a debate which the tragedies of history—those associated with other reproductive technologies—tell us, we have every need to involve ourselves in, to acquaint ourselves with and above all, to have our say in."  —Australian Women's Book Review

"One of the most important studies on abortion to be published in recent years."  —Care Review

"An excellent case study for medical, health, and women's studies practitioners and students."  —Australian Scholarly Newsletter

"This is an eminently readable and thought-provoking book. The authors' concern for the rights and welfare of women is evident throughout. . . . RU 486: Misconceptions, Myths and Morals was published in 1991, and it still provides the most up-to-date, independent analysis of information available to us. As such, it is an invaluable knowledge base from which to evaluate the information and publicity generated by the Australian trials."  —Women's Library Newsletter

About the Author

Renate Klein is the cofounder and the director of Spinifex Press. She is a former associate professor of women's studies at Deakin University and the author of several books, including Australia for Women, Cat Tales, and Girl's Best FriendJanice G. Raymond is a longtime feminist scholar-activist on violence against women and sexual exploitation. She is the recipient of the International Woman Award from the Zero Tolerance Trust in the UK and the author of Passion for Friends, Sexual Liberals and the Attack on Feminism, and Transsexual Empire. She lives in Montague, Massachusetts. Lynette Dumble is the founder and the international director of the Global Sisterhood Network. She is a former senior research fellow in the University of Melbourne's department of surgery at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and a former visiting professor of surgery at the University of Texas–Houston.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9aaf4768) out of 5 stars 1 review
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9aaf6ac8) out of 5 stars It's a shame these discredited views are being revived Nov. 25 2013
By Joyce - Published on
Format: Paperback
I don't know what the new "100-page preface" says, but if the rest of the book has not changed from 1993, the outdated and inaccurate views in it should be discounted.

The 1993 book was based partly on misinterpretation of the literature at the time, and certainly the literature and evidence that has accumulated since then has discredited the book. The author's opposition comes from a strong opposition to what they call "reproductive and genetic engineering" - which is a bias that slants their views and conclusions. The authors strongly overstate the advantages of surgical suction abortion while whitewashing some of its inconveniences and problems, and they do the same but vice versa with mifepristone. Both methods have some positives and negatives, but both are equally safe and effective.

It should be noted that the views of Lynette Dumble and Janice Raymond were refuted by expert opinions from David Grimes and Paul Van Look back in 1993. MS Magazine also featured a written debate with rebuttals at the time. Earlier this year in New Zealand, material from this book was used in an advertising campaign against the opening of a Family Planning clinic's early medical abortion service. The NZ pro-choice group ALRANZ brought a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority and the complaint was upheld (although the advertiser is appealing the decision).

It is no accident that anti-choice activists are almost the only cheerleaders for this book. The pro-choice movement and most feminists do not support it, and certainly not the experts who are actually involved in reproductive healthcare. Many of the latter opposed the authors' views in conferences and in writing in the early 1990's. It seemed like these feminists authors then became inactive on the issue and things quietened down. But if the authors remain opposed to mifepristone in this reprint, which seems to be the case, their views should be disregarded because of how they twisted and distorted the research and science - in much the same way as the anti-choice movement has always done.

The use of prostaglandin with mifepristone did have its problems in the early days, but there has now been three decades of practice and research on medical abortion and WHO guidance (World Health Organization) that should be treated as the legitimate source of information on the very well-established safety, efficacy, and acceptability of medical abortion. The reprint of this book represents a serious disservice to women and their reproductive health.