RU-486, a drug that’s used to end pregnancies of less than eight weeks, has been used by more than 1 million American women since the FDA approved it in 2000. It has revolutionized abortions, allowing women to end pregnancies in the privacy of their own homes. Exact statistics are not available, but it’s estimated that about a quarter of all abortions in the U.S. are now performed with RU-486. “It was something I could do at home and be with my husband,” said Judi Gilbert, a nurse who used the pill in 2005. “We were able to take care of it this way alone.” Pro-life activists are alarmed by RU-486’s growing popularity, saying the drug is unsafe and makes abortion too difficult to regulate, and Republican lawmakers in several states are trying to restrict its use. Industry experts, however, predict RU-486 may eventually become the main abortion method in this country, as it already is in some European countries, where 60 percent of abortions are performed with the drug.