RU 486 Leaving Victims In Its Wake

Being faithful was not a primary objective of William Jefferson Clinton. However, to one constituency, Mr. Clinton exhibited a level of faithfulness that Hillary could only dream about. The special interest group that could count on Mr. Clinton through thick and thin was the abortion industry. Perhaps his motivation was to keep the howling feminists at bay during the sordid sexual scandals throughout his presidency. Whatever the reason, Mr. Clinton looked for every opportunity to advance abortion-on-demand.

One of the legacies imposed on America by the Clinton administration was RU 486, the abortion pill. Using the immense political muscle of the presidency, Mr. Clinton was able to transform the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) into a political tool for his radical, pro-abortion agenda. It worked. On September 28, 2000, just months before he left office, the FDA approved RU 486.

What has happened since? Is there any validity to the concerns of pro-lifers that this human pesticide is a danger to women’s health and well-being? Or was it a case of crying “wolf”? Examine the facts and then decide.

The FDA was in a rush to approve the distribution and sale of RU 486 because they knew that if George W. Bush won the presidential election against Al Gore, all bets were off. A pro-life President Bush was sure to bring the fast-track process to a halt. The FDA decided to take a shortcut and used Subpart H to approve RU 486. The action was unprecedented, as this route was designed and has been used only for life-threatening illnesses, such as quickly getting AIDS drugs to dying patients. It appears that the FDA believes pregnancy is a life-threatening disease.

Another failing on the part of the FDA was to not require the use of ultrasound to date and locate the pregnancy. There is only a brief window of opportunity during a woman’s pregnancy in which RU 486 effectively kills the child. Underestimating the age of an unborn child considerably diminishes the drug’s effectiveness in killing. In addition, the abortion pill is not effective with ectopic (tubal) pregnancies. This is when the baby attaches inside the fallopian tube, and surgery is required to prevent the death of the mother. Tragically, the tiny developing baby dies. Ultrasound is crucial to the woman’s health during a chemical abortion by making sure that the pregnancy is in the uterus. The FDA has reports of three ruptured tubal pregnancies among women who used RU 486. One of them died.

Brenda Vise, a 38-year-old resident of Hamilton County, Tennessee, died September 12, 2001. The lawsuit against the abortion facility alleges that she died from a massive infection resulting from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, five days after taking the abortion pill.

Systemic bacterial infections are another possible side effect. To date, there have been two victims, one of whom died. On September 1, 2001, an unidentified Canadian woman died from a gangrene infection. She was part of the RU 486 clinical trials there. Tragically, the symptoms of an RU 486 abortion – severe abdominal cramping, bleeding, dizziness and weakness – mask underlying complications of this chemical abortion drug. This woman went to the doctor and was told her symptoms were normal for a chemical abortion. Three days later she was dead.

Vancouver abortionist and clinical trial overseer, Ellen Wiebe, said that she “did not consider it important” to inform women of the possible risks because less than “one percent of women in other clinical trials develop infections.” Tell that to the family of the dead woman. They would probably disagree.

A 21-year-old suffered a heart attack three days after using RU 486 – normally very rare for someone that age.

The FDA waived its own requirement during the American clinical trials of the abortion pill by excluding the participation of adolescents. This is alarming because the FDA allows RU 486 to be administered to adolescents. Further, the FDA has received reports of two 15-year-old girls experiencing adverse life-threatening events.

Holly Paterson died from an RU 486 abortion in September 2003. These serious complications have troubled the FDA to the point that they posted an alert to health care providers on their web site.

Danco Laboratories claim these grave complications represent an “extremely small incidence” of problems. That is of little comfort considering this is the company that depends upon the income from sales of this human pesticide. It’s even more disconcerting to know that the FDA assigned Danco the responsibility of monitoring adverse reactions to the drug. One could legitimately make a case of the fox guarding the hen house. The whole RU 486 process has been cloaked in secrecy. Danco even refuses to divulge how many women have used the abortion pill.

Three organizations representing women and doctors – Concerned Women for America, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Christian Medical Association – have filed a Citizen Petition with the FDA asking them to immediately revoke its approval of RU 486. The petition is the result of a 22-month investigation, which included the inspection of 8,000 documents released by the FDA.

We owe these fine organizations a debt of gratitude. The Petition is a well-thought-out document, which clearly states the dangers of RU 486 to women’s health. President Bush and the heads of the FDA should pay close attention to its contents and use it to protect women and their babies by withdrawing the FDA’s earlier approval of RU 486.

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