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In September 2000, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the abortion drug RU486 for use in the United States. Known by many as the “French abortion pill” and by others as a “human pesticide,” RU486 is actually composed of two powerful synthetic hormones that work in concert to chemically abort a human life.
Two-drug cocktail kills baby
The first drug is RU486 (also called mifepristone), which actually kills the developing baby by depriving it of the necessary fluids and nutrients. The second drug, misoprostol, a prostaglandin, induces uterine contractions that expel the dead baby. Misoprostol’s maker, Searle, has warned against this off-label use of the drug approved for ulcers.
Fourteen U.S. women are known to have died from RU486 complications since 2000, according to the FDA.
RU486 was approved by the FDA to abort unborn children up to seven weeks old. But Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the National Abortion Federation advocate use of RU486 on unborn babies through nine weeks old (off-label use), which increases the proportion of unborn children eligible for medical abortion by as much as three times (Guttmacher Report, August 2002). Remember that an unborn baby has a beating heart at three weeks and has brain waves at six weeks.
Deaths from RU486Is RU486 really “safe”? Definitely not for the unborn child! RU486 is also very dangerous for the mother.
Fourteen women in the United States are known to have died from RU486 complications since September 2000, according to the FDA. In a cluster of cases in California, four women died from an infection of the bloodstream, or sepsis.
Women also have died from the abortion drug in Canada, Britain, France and Sweden. Others have come very close to death from hemorrhage or infection. RU486 was legalized in the U.S. in 2000 under heavy pressure from the Clinton administration. Complications can be severe
The FDA stated that 2,207 adverse events involving RU486 had been reported since the drug's approval in September 2000 until April 2011. Of those, 612 were hospitalized. The hospitalizations included most of the 58 women who had suffered from ectopic pregnancy, the 339 who had bled so badly they required transfusions, and 256 women who had experienced infections. Forty eight were classified as “severe.” For an infection to be classified as severe, it meant death or hospitalization for 2-3 days, IV antibiotics for at least 24 hours, total antibiotic usage for at least 3 days, or other lab or case data that was indicative of such an infection.
Seventeen of the reported adverse events involved women who were discovered with ectopic (tubal) pregnancies after they were given the abortion drug. Eleven of these involved ruptures and two resulted in death.
Tragically, the symptoms of an RU486 abortion mask underlying complications of this chemical abortion drug. The doctor of a Canadian woman who suffered a gangrene infection told her that her severe bleeding was normal for a chemical abortion. Three days later she was dead.
Few adverse effects are reported
Such reporting is voluntary, leading many to conclude that more women suffered complications. Donna J. Harrison, M.D., a medical researcher with the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, believes only a fraction of complications from RU486 are reported.
"The FDA reports that only about one percent to 10 percent of adverse events for any given drug are ever reported," Dr. Harrison said. "And in this case, women may be even less likely to report problems because they may be ashamed."
Planned Parenthood official calls drug ‘unsafe’
Even Dr. E. Hakim-Elahi, a former medical director for Planned Parenthood’s New York affiliate, has called RU486 "unsafe" (Ob.Gyn News, 2/15/05). He quoted statistics from a study of 43,410 RU486 abortions at Planned Parenthood in 2003. A total of 141 women required surgical follow-up, 49 were treated in an emergency room for heaving bleeding, 20 required blood transfusions and seven were admitted to hospitals for infection.
"If I were to receive such a report from a surgical abortion clinic, I would recommend to health authorities that the clinic be immediately shut down," Hakim-Elahi said.
Urge FDA to suspend RU486
U.S. House bill H.R. 1079, known as "Holly’s Law," is named after 18-year-old Holly Patterson who died in September 2003 of septic shock after taking RU486. The bill would force the FDA to withdraw approval of the drug, pending a thorough review of the drug and how it was approved.
MCCL calls on citizens to contact federal lawmakers and the FDA, urging them to immediately suspend RU486 so that no more women will have to die from this unsafe abortion drug.
MCCL's RU486 brochure can be used to help educate others. It can be printed from our Web site or ordered from our state office.
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