October 27 Oakland Tribune.
DOCTOR TO TRY NEW ABORTION METHOD
by Rachele Kanigel (staff writer)
OAKLAND -- A trail-blazing women's health clinic here is aiming to
become one of the first in the nation to offer nonsurgical abortions
despite concerns from researchers that the technique hasn't been
adequately tested. Dr. Bernard Gore, medical director of the Women's
Choice Clinic, said he hopes to offer drug-induced abortions at the
Oakland clinic and in his private San Francisco practice by early
Following in the footsteps of a maverick New York City doctor, Gore
will use two drugs that have been approved for other uses to induce
miscarriages in women less than eight weeks pregnant. The technique,
which has been tested on a couple of hundred women at three research
centers in the United States, works much like RU-486, the
contreversial French abortion pill.
"Maybe I'm trying to make a political statement because RU-486 is
still not available in this country," Gore said Wednesday, just
minutes before doing a surgical abortion at the Pill Hill clinic.
[Pill Hill is a section of town north of Lake Merritt with three major
hospitals within blocks of each other. -pk] "With RU-486, we have a
superior method of abortion but we can't provide that service because
of political and bureaucratic obstacles.
Gore was inspired by Dr. Richard Hausknecht, a New York City
gynecologist and longtime abortion rights crusader, who announced
earlier this month that he had used the drugs methotrexate and
misoprostol to perform more than 100 abortions in the last year.
[I heard Gore on the radio saying that he thinks this will
be the "method of choice" for abortions before 8 weeks, and
that it allows abortions to be done in scattered locations
that can't be targeted for harrassment, but that it fails in
4% of cases, which then need surgical abortions. Both
doctors are being criticized for using a method not
adequately tested. One approved use for methotrexate,
however, is already for the termination of cancerous and
outside-the-uterus pregnancies. It's also used for breast
cancer and leukemia, and also rheumatoid arthritis and