Pro-Life Groups Defend FDA Petition on Dangerous Abortion Drug

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 28, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Groups Defend FDA Petition on Dangerous Abortion Drug

by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 28, 2004

Washington, DC ( — In the wake of an attack by abortion advocates, pro-life groups are defending their petition to the FDA to pull the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug from the market while the federal agency reviews its safety.

"Our citizen petition raised ample scientific concerns regarding the adverse health implications of mifepristone to justify reevaluation and removal of this product," noted CMA Associate Executive Director Gene Rudd, MD, an obstetrician and gynecologist.

They say pro-abortion organizations are driven by profits to keep the abortion pill available.

"The economic incentives of abortion and the drive to expand access and the market for abortion seem to have driven a biased assessment by these groups of the scientific evidence," Dr. Rudd added.

In August 2002, CMA joined Concerned Women for America and the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists in submitting a 90-page petition to the FDA. The paper showed evidence why the drug was not safe and why it was approved during the Clinton administration in a rushed, politically motivated process.

Since the petition, Holly Patterson, a California teenager, died after an infection brought on by use of the abortion drug she obtained at a Planned Parenthood abortion business.

Patterson’s parents have called on Congress and the FDA to reevaluate the safety of the drug to prevent the death of other women.

Earlier this week, representatives of the abortion industry claimed the petition "lacks any scientific basis and must be denied."

"The FDA’s decisions must be based on solid scientific evidence, not political pressure," said Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation. "We have supplied the FDA with the latest medical facts and research on mifepristone. Our response proves that the current standards are in accordance with established medical practice."

"The claim by the abortion groups that the FDA’s decision will be biased by ‘politics’ is nothing more than a strategy to distract attention away from valid scientific concerns and an attempt to bully the FDA," Dr. Rudd explained. "Politics during the previous administration is what drove the FDA not only to approve this drug, but also to drop vital requirements it had developed to mitigate the drug’s danger."

Rudd said he was worried that the FDA will rely on abortion businesses to report back with any concerns about the abortion drug’s safety.

"There is additional concern of gross underreporting of bad outcomes with this drug, as the FDA relies on the very individuals and groups that are likely guilty of abuse and negligence to report their own wrongdoing," Rudd explained.

Members of Congress have also questioned the safety of the abortion drug, and legislation is currently under consideration to ban sales of it pending review.
House Bill 3453, which currently has 85 co-sponsors and was referred to the Subcommittee on Health in November of 2003, states that "the drug mifepristone (marketed as Mifeprex, and commonly known as RU-486) in conjunction with the off-label use of misoprostol to chemically induce abortion has caused a significant number of deaths, near deaths, and adverse reactions."

Patterson died in September from septic shock and a massive systemic infection as a result of a botched RU-486 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 Medical Center for treatment. 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."

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