Abortion rights advocates hoping to make it easier to end later-term pregnancies have outsourced a potentially dangerous drug trial to an impoverished African country.

The clinical trial in Burkina Faso is testing the efficacy of second-trimester abortions using a two-drug combination that includes RU-486, which is currently used in a growing number of first-trimester abortions. Excessive bleeding is a common side effect of the drug, leading some to question the ethics of conducting the trial in a country with limited medical facilities and blood supplies.

In an interview in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s capital, the study’s director, Dr. Blandine Thieba, confirmed that blood supplies are an ongoing concern.

“Right now there are big problems of need in blood bags,” she told RealClearInvestigations, “but fortunately, thanks to God we did not have a case that required a transfusion.”

The outsourcing of the study, which began 2½ years ago, appears to reflect the reluctance of American women to participate in such trials. In a recent illustration, researchers writing in a 2013 bulletin from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists acknowledged that they had failed to recruit enough women for a North Carolina study of mid-term, drug-induced abortions. Reason: Potential participants “strongly preferred” surgical abortion, which is normally performed with anesthesia, while drug-induced abortions typically are not, even though they can be physically and emotionally distressing. The researchers recommended outsourcing such trials to Europe or Asia….

Read the entire Dec. 26 story by Mark Hemingway on Real Clear Investigations.