French endocrinologist Baulieu, with the help of Associated Press senior correspondent Rosenblum, promotes the ``abortion pill,'' RU-486, which remains unavailable in the U.S. Baulieu's research in sex hormones was instrumental in the synthesis of RU-486 over a decade ago; here, he explains how the pill disrupts hormone signals, thus either preventing fertilization or separating the fertilized egg from the uterine wall. Judged safe, affordable and nearly 100% effective in European testing--though not without discomfort--RU-486 constitutes an alternative to the ``pain and mutilation'' of ``outmoded'' methods of abortion, a boon to Third World nations, here ... and a possible boost to immunological defenses, says Baulieu. He skillfully counters detractors with statistical evidence of RU-486's success, with positive testimonies from former patients and evidence of international support. Although this informative primer is at times dry--Baulieu is a scientist, not a raconteur--it merits attention from both pro-choice and pro-life camps. Photos not seen by PW. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991 Release date: 11/01/1991 Genre: Nonfiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.