FDA Reveals Third U.S. Woman Died From RU 486 Abortion Drug

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 15, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

FDA Reveals Third U.S. Woman Died From RU 486 Abortion Drug Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
November 15, 2004

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — In an announcement on Monday that the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug would be accompanied by expanded warning labels noting additional risks and dangers, including death, FDA officials revealed another woman has died from taking the abortion pill.

In September 2003, California teenager Holly Patterson died from a severe infection brought on by the abortion drug.

While women have died in Canada, Sweden and elsewhere, Patterson’s death was thought to be the only the second fatality so far from the use of the abortion drug in the United States.

Another woman, Brenda Vise, died in 2001 after using the abortion drug. Danco Laboratories, the maker of RU 486 says the abortion drug should not be taken by women with ectopic pregnancies, but Vise’s ectopic pregnancy was not diagnosed before she used the drug.

However, in an FDA report released Monday, officials confirmed a third U.S. woman died as a result of the Mifeprex abortion pill. No details about the woman’s death were given.

The news is upsetting for pro-life groups who say the drug should be taken off the market while its safety is reviewed.

"RU-486 doesn’t need a better label, it needs to be shelved," said Cathy Cleaver Ruse, a representative of the pro-life office of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. "Young women depend upon the safety of FDA-approved drugs. How many have to die before this killer drug is taken off the market?"

"RU-486 was the new ‘magic pill’ to make babies disappear, and young women are now its latest victims," Ruse said. "RU-486 must be stopped."

A representative of Concerned Women for America agreed.

"It is reported that another woman has died after taking the abortion drug RU-486, and the FDA’s response is to change the drug’s label," Wendy Wright, the group’s senior policy director, said in a statement. "This is a dangerous drug that deserves to be pulled off the market immediately."

According to an FDA announcement Monday, new warnings will be placed on packages containing the dangerous abortion drug RU 486. The new warning labels required by the FDA will highlight how infections can bring about the death of a woman using the abortion drug.

Marketed as Mifeprex, the drug already carried the Food and Drug Administration’s highest level black box warning — which warns consumers that it is especially dangerous.

The black box warning will expand and include new information on dangers that could cost women’s lives, such as information on life-threatening complications like severe bacterial infections that led to the September 2003 death of Holly Patterson.

The new warning labels also discuss the extensive bleeding that can occur following a chemical abortion, as can happen with any abortion.

The labels warn that serious infection can result without the usual telltale signs like fever or tenderness.

Following approval by the Clinton administration in 2000, the FDA has received numerous reports of complications resulting from the use of the abortion drug.

In response to Holly’s death, Monty and Helen Patterson endorsed Congressional legislation, tentatively called "Holly’s bill," that would suspend the FDA’s approval of the drug pending a Congressional review.

The bill has more than 80 sponsors in the House of Representatives but has yet to receive a vote.