Pro-Life Groups Push to Restrict RU 486 After Patterson’s Death

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 30, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Groups Push to Restrict RU 486 After Patterson’s Death

by Maria Gallagher Staff Writer
October 30, 2003

Washington, DC ( — Pro-life groups are intensifying their efforts to restrict the use of the dangerous abortion drug RU-486, which has been blamed for the death of a California teenager.

The Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America are backing legislation which would place tighter restrictions on those who are permitted to prescribe the abortion drug.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, recently moderated a panel discussion on Capitol Hill about the dangers of RU-486, sponsored by pro-life Rep. David Vitter (R-LA).

"The FDA’s approval of RU-486 is putting thousands of women at grave risk, and it is time for Congress to take the health and well-being of women seriously by passing legislation that would require the FDA to enforce certain common-sense protections for women," Perkins told "Congressman Vitter has introduced legislation that would do this and it is important for Congress to act quickly, before any more innocent women die."

The "RU-486 Patient Health and Safety Protection Act," sponsored by Rep. Vitter, is a legislative attempt to provide safeguards currently unavailable in the distribution of RU-486. The abortion industry has marketed the drug as a kind of wonder drug for ending pregnancy, downplaying both its physical risks and the emotional toll it takes on women.

"RU-486 is a clear example of the priorities of the pro-abortion lobby," Perkins said. "Instead of concerning themselves with women’s health — though they often proclaim they are the true champions of women’s health – Planned Parenthood and groups like them pushed this dangerous drug through the FDA under the Clinton Administration with political pressure rather than medical facts.

"The truth is, RU-486 has already taken the lives of women across America, including 18-year-old Holly Patterson of California just last month," Perkins added. "And rather than call for an investigation into this pill that is killing American women, the pro-abortion groups are calling for it to be available over-the-counter, taking a place on the shelf next to Tylenol and Advil."

Concerned Women for America’s Michael Schwartz told that the death toll for women who use the abortion drug is likely to mount. "It is rat poison," Schwartz said.

Some observers note that it is extremely difficult to get a drug withdrawn from the market, once it has received FDA approval.

While some Americans might wish that the White House would take action against the abortion drug, the President cannot unilaterally ban RU-486.

Still, concerns about the safety of RU-486 are so great that pro-life groups are hoping that some government action can be taken to protect women from its harmful effects.

"…How many more women have to die before the feminist groups in America realize how dangerous this drug is, not only for the women who take it but also for the countless unborn children who are killed by its toxicity?" Perkins asked. "The FDA must investigate the harmfulness of RU-486, pull it out of America’s pharmacies and keep it from ever being available over-the-counter."

Nearly 100 congressional staffers attended the RU-486 panel discussion, which included remarks by FRC’s Dr. Pia de Solenni and CWA’s Wendy Wright.