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The Real Effects of RU 486

ve8QAd   |   November 13, 2000

1992 and 1993 were the years in which pro-abortion people agitated for, and said that they were going to legalize the French abortion pill, RU 486. The major move occurred in mid-’94 when the German company gave the patent rights to the Population Council in New York for that very purpose.

1995 – it will be remembered as the year during which the testing was done in the U.S. for the abortive uses of that deadly pill. These were completed by the end of the year.

1996 will be remembered as the time when a request for licensing was made and that this went through the U.S. bureaucracy.

One of the things that we’ll be hearing and reading is that all those clinical tests were A-OK. We’re going to be told, and we’ve heard some of it already, that the tests were successful, women were not injured, abortions were obtained, and the drug deserves a license.

Let me interrupt that chorus of praise to report a happening in Iowa in September.

Planned Parenthood of Central Iowa, in Des Moines, was one of the 17 clinics nationwide that was involved in the testing of this pill. In the fall an Associated Press story reported that the Iowa clinical tests had been concluded and that there had been no complications among the 238 women who had used the RU 486.

Reading this, Dr. Mark Louviere was surprised. That wasn’t the way it happened to his patients. And he was then quoted in the Des Moines Register as saying that one of his patients: “lost more than half of her blood, came close to death and needed surgery two weeks after taking the pills.” He complained that Planned Parenthood had said there were no complications but that: “if near-death due to the loss of half of one’s blood volume, surgery and a transfusion of four units of blood does not qualify as a complication, I don’t know what does”.

Well, the spokesperson for Planned Parenthood quickly tried to fudge. She said that no one has ever said that the drug did not have any side effects, but the data was confidential and she couldn’t give exact details of what might have happened, and — now get this — she said that the report of “no complications” referred to the trial itself but not to the physical problems the participants might have had. How about that?

She did admit that in France one woman in a thousand using the pill bled to the extent that they needed a transfusion. What she didn’t say was that, in Great Britain, it was one out of 250. What she didn’t say, also, was that, in a New England Journal of Medicine major study, one out of 100 bled so continuously that they had to do a D&C (a scraping out of the womb) to stop the bleeding, or they’d have needed a transfusion.

Looks to me like any complications are going to be covered up to a very large extent.

So what else is new?

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