Health Dept. Probe Likely Related to Woman’s Death From Abortion Drug

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 29, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Health Dept. Probe Likely Related to Woman’s Death From Abortion Drug

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 29, 2003

Sacramento, CA ( — The California state health department has announced it is launching an investigation into ValleyCare Medical Center, though a spokesman for the agency won’t say whether it relates to the death of an 18-year old who died after taking the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug.

The medical center, located in Pleasanton, California, is where Holly Patterson died after she came in complaining of very serious bleeding.

The state is also conducting an investigation into a Planned Parenthood abortion business in Haward, California, where Patterson obtained the abortion drug.

Robert Miller of California’s Department of Health Services declined to say whether the investigations were related to Patterson’s death, though that is likely the case.

"There’s very little I can say," Miller said. "I can’t comment on any aspect of the investigation."

The state’s investigation could take as long as a month, but Miller promised the findings would eventually be released to the public.

The Alameda County Coroner’s Office is continuing its examination of Patterson to determine the cause of death. Officials say a result isn’t expected for another three weeks.

The Food and Drug Administration is conducting its own investigation into Patterson’s death.

Doctors at ValleyCare say Patterson died from septic shock and a massive systemic infection as a result of a botched abortion that left part of the developing baby inside her.

After Patterson began experiencing severe pain and bleeding from the abortion, she went to ValleyCare. Doctors there gave her painkillers and sent her home. She came back the next day with no improvement in her condition. It was only then that officials contacted her father and he learned she was pregnant and had been taking drugs to produce an abortion.

"They told her it was safe and it killed her," Monty Patterson, her father, said. "I felt so helpless…I didn’t have a chance to be involved."

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins commented on the situation saying, "Holly’s death is an unnecessary tragedy. Was she given all the information about the danger of the drug before taking it? Why weren’t her parents told that she was undergoing such a serious procedure? How many more lives will be taken
before the FDA reconsiders whether RU 486 is as ‘safe and effective’ as they originally thought?"