RU486 also known as Mifepristone is a drug used as a medical termination of intrauterine pregnancies up to 49-63 days gestation, used as a way to cause dilatation of the cervix for pregnancy termination, used in combination with gemeprost for termination of pregnancies between 13-24 weeks, and to induce labour during fetal death in utero.
You may be thinking that those reasons do not sound controversal at all. They seem like exactly what you would expect and abortion drug to do. It may have side effects (both minor and severe) that could cause the drug to have legitimate reasons to be controversal, but that is not why it is. The reason it is controversal is because it does what an abortion drug is supposed to do and it may be subsidised by the government.
Abortion is always a touchy subject and controversal but this drug is taking the heat manly because it may be subsidised by the government in Australia. The drug currently costs $300-400 and if it is listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme then the drug would cost Australian card holders around $13 and non card holders around $35. This would make a difference in the accessibility and affordability of the drug to women in Australia. I say this in almost every post, but accessibility and affordability are key to safety and reproductive rights. If this gets passed by the Australian Federal Government it will be a step forward in reproductive rights. Although steps have already been made the drug was initially banned in 1996 and then legalised in 2006.
The drug is currently legal but not subsidised in the USA, 28 countries in Europe including France and England, New Zealand, Israel, it is only approved in two African countries (Tunisia, and South Africa), Mexico, China and many other countries. The drug is still illegal in Canada although there are other forms of medical abortion in Canada.