Despite China Study, RU 486 Abortion Drug Still Dangerous for Women

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 16, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Despite China Study, RU 486 Abortion Drug Still Dangerous for Women Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 16, 2004

New York, NY ( — A recent study suggests that the use of the RU 486 abortion drug does not adversely affect the outcome of subsequent pregnancies. But, it follows on the heels of two teenagers who died from infections after using the abortion drug and one woman in Ohio who was unable to become pregnant again.

Ershen Gao of the Shanghai Institute of Planned Parenthood Research recently directed a study involving more than 14,600 Chinese women.

He wrote in the American Journal of Epidemiology that the use of RU 486 (also called mifepristone) did not affect subsequent pregnancies in the same way that a surgical abortion does.

The researchers followed three groups of more than 4,500 women. One group had no abortions, one had a surgical abortion, the most common type of abortion procedure, and a third group used the mifepristone pills.

Compared to women who had no abortion history, those using the mifepristone abortion drug were 23 percent less likely to deliver a premature baby in their next pregnancy.

But, pro-life advocates say that women are at risk when they use the RU 486 abortion drug, and Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America points to the recent deaths of teenagers in California and Sweden as proof.

"This narrow study only looked at RU-486 effect on the woman’s subsequent babies. But, the fact remains that abortions caused by RU-486 carry more risks to the woman herself than even surgical abortions do," Wright told

Wright also said the study’s authors acknowledge the adverse effects surgical abortions have on women.

"In every attempt to claim one abortion method is safe, abortionists admit that other abortion methods are unsafe," Wright explained. "This report includes an astonishing confession that surgical abortion carries risks to later pregnancies –- something that pro-abortionists have denied in the past."

In one case that contradicts the study’s findings, an Ohio woman filed a lawsuit in April against an Akron abortion business saying that the chemical abortion she was given left her unable to become pregnant.

Dana Powell, 30, says she had cramping and bleeding associated with an October 2002 pregnancy and went to the abortion business. Staff there told her the pregnancy was not problematic.

Powell opted to have an abortion and was given the RU 486 abortion drug. Powell took the first drug to kill the baby and then suffered severe cramping after taking the Cytotec pills to expel the dead baby from her uterus. The abortion facility told her to take a second Cytotec pill and call back the next day.

Powell’s condition grew worse over the next month until she was forced to go to Akron City Hospital. Hospital staff diagnosed her with a ruptured ectopic pregnancy in the left fallopian tube, leaving her unable to conceive.

Powell’s lawsuit says the abortion business failed to properly detect the ectopic pregnancy.

The FDA has issued guidelines telling abortion practitioners not to give RU 486 to women with ectopic pregnancies. Other women have died as a result of using the drug in such cases.