New Bill in Congress Would Suspend RU 486 Sales Pending Review

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 4, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Bill in Congress Would Suspend RU 486 Sales Pending Review

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 4, 2003

Washington, DC ( — A leading pro-life Congressman says he will propose legislation that would halt the sale of the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug pending a review of its approval by the Food and Drug Administration.

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, a pro-life Maryland congressman, plans to introduce the legislation at a press conference on Thursday. The announcement follows the death of a California teenager who used the mifepristone abortion pills she obtained from a Planned Parenthood abortion business.

"The FDA’s approval of RU-486 in 2000 was controversial and questionable," said Bartlett in a statement provided to

"The death of 18-year old Holly Patterson after taking RU-486 in September raises new and troubling questions about RU-486," Bartlett explained. "These questions and additional troubling information … more than justify suspension and reexamination of the FDA’s approval of RU-486."

Though the abortion drug was approved by the FDA, Congress has the ability to regulate drug use.

A bill calling for a review of the FDA abortion drug approval has not been proposed in the past because it stood little chance of passage in the Senate, where pro-abortion lawmakers have bottled up some pro-life legislation with filibuster threats. Pro-life groups hope Holly Patterson’s death will cause more senators to be supportive.

Bartlett referred to information showing the abortion drug was not administered within pre-approved FDA guidelines.

Planned Parenthood has been giving the abortion drug to women later in pregnancy, in lower doses than called for, and has been instructing women to take the second part of the two drug process vaginally rather than orally.

Each of those instructions violates the protocol established by the FDA when the drug was approved in the waning days of the Clinton administration.

Pro-life groups say the deviations and the off-label use of the second drug misoprostol (approved only for treating ulcers) places women’s health in serious jeopardy.

Planned Parenthood has admitted it has not followed FDA instructions, but claims the FDA guidelines are not in line with current medical literature on the subject.