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Misconceptions, Myths and Morals


250 Pages, 5 x 7.75

Formats: EPUB, Mobipocket, PDF

PDF, $14.99 (US $14.99) (CA $16.99)

Publication Date: July 2013

ISBN 9781742198415

Rights: WOR

Spinifex Press (Jul 2013)


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A classic text for health activists and feminists interested in the complexities of how drugs are developed, marketed, and sold to women around the world, this book reviews the unusual history of the French abortion pill RU-486. Critical of the positive claims made for RU-486, it argues that its promotion is filled with myths and misconceptions. Scrutinizing the science and politics behind RU-486, this account examines how the pill benefits the medical profession, drug companies, and government health economies and offers no advantage to women. Topics include the safety and effectiveness of RU-486, whether or not RU-486 privatizes and de-medicalizes abortion, and the dangerous effects of prostaglandins. This updated edition includes a new introduction.


"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

Author Biography

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.