Autopsy Results Show Abortion Drug Caused Holly Patterson’s Death

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 1, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Autopsy Results Show Abortion Drug Caused Holly Patterson’s Death

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 1, 2003

Pleasanton, CA ( — Results released by a county coroner confirm that Holly Paterson died as a result of complications from taking the abortion drug RU 486. The Alameda County Coroner’s office announced Friday that Patterson died as a result of septic shock brought on by an incomplete abortion.

Following her death, officials from ValleyCare Medical Center told Holly’s family that she died because the abortion was incomplete, which caused the septic shock and a massive systemic infection.

The coroner’s findings seem confirm that diagnosis.

Frank Gentle, supervising coroner investigator, said "septic shock, due to endomyometritis (inflammation) due to therapeutic, drug-induced abortion," caused Patterson’s death. Endomyometritis is an inflammation of the mucous membrane lining of the uterus.

The inflammation set in several days after Patterson took the two-pill abortion drug combination.

In other words, "the abortion caused inflammation, which caused the shock, which caused her death," Gentle said.

Though it caused the chain of events that ultimately led to her death, Gentle said the mifepristone (RU 486) abortion drug is not specifically mentioned in the report.

Gentle said his office would issue its determination on the manner of Patterson’s death in the next week. That’s the coroner’s judgment as to whether a death was a homicide or suicide or due to natural, accidental, or undetermined causes.

The autopsy was conducted in September, but wasn’t completed until Friday because of the need to wait for results from several lab tests.

Valley Care officials investigating Patterson’s care.

Patterson went to Valley Care complaining of severe bleeding and excessive pain after taking the second part of the two-drug abortion process.

She obtained the dangerous abortion drug combo at a Planned Parenthood in Hayward, California days earlier. Despite Patterson’s death, Planned Parenthood is still giving the abortion drug to women.

Patterson went to Valley Care twice. The first time she went, doctors gave her painkillers and sent her home.

The second time Holly went to the hospital, she was in bad condition and eventually died.

The California state health department has announced it is launching an investigation into ValleyCare that could take as long as a month.

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