RU 486 is a chemical compound that, taken in pill form, can induce abortion in women up to nine weeks pregnant. This compound gets the first part of its name from the French company, Roussel Uclaf, which first developed the abortion pill back in 1980. The "486" designation is the shortened version of the original "38486" compound number the pill was first assigned in the Roussel Uclaf laboratory.
RU486 is also known by its generic name, mifepristone, and by Mifegyne, the name under which RU486 is marketed in Europe. "Mifeprex," is the name under which it is to be sold in the United States, though it will also be marketed as the "Early Option" pill.
Printed with permission from National Right to Life (www.nrlc.org ).