Abortion Advocates, RU 486 Maker Defend Drug’s Safety Despite Deaths

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 17, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Abortion Advocates, RU 486 Maker Defend Drug’s Safety Despite Deaths Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
November 17, 2004

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — While pro-life groups say the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug should be pulled from the market after the deaths of three women from it, leading abortion advocates and the maker of the drug insist it is safe.

Dr. Paul Blumenthal, a Planned Parenthood advisor said there was no evidence pointing to the abortion drug’s responsibility in the deaths of three women.

"There’s no definite causation link, so it’s a little perplexing that they would be doing this," Blumenthal told HealthDayNews.

Meanwhile, Cynthia Summers, marketing director for Danco Laboratories, also said she didn’t think the abortion drug was responsible for California teenager Holly Patterson’s death.

"We believe our drug is not to blame," she told the New York Times. "The drug is safe. It’s effective. And it provides another option for women to end early pregnancy."

However, Dr. Lester Crawford, the FDA’s acting commissioner of food and drugs, disagreed. "Our investigation reveals that it was due to mifepristone," Dr. Crawford said.

Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America told the Washington Times that the "coroner’s report said her death was caused by a drug-induced abortion, so there clearly was a relationship."

In fact, the Alameda County Coroner’s office determined that Patterson died as a result of septic shock brought on by an incomplete abortion.

Frank Gentle, supervising coroner investigator, said "septic shock, due to endomyometritis (inflammation) due to therapeutic, drug-induced abortion," caused Patterson’s death.

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

Planned Parenthood issued a statement following the FDA announcement claiming the abortion drug is safe.

"Medication abortion is extremely safe and effective," Planned Parenthood said.

"Every woman seeking abortion services at Planned Parenthood receives extensive education and counseling on what to expect and whom to call with any concerns," the abortion business indicated.

However, in February, the California Department of Health Services determined that Planned Parenthood failed to follow its own internal policies for informing women on how to use the RU 486 abortion drug that was responsible for Holly’s death.

The report, provided to LifeNews.com, indicates the abortion business did not have Holly sign forms indicating she was given instructions on how to use the abortion drug.

Planned Parenthood has also been accused of not following FDA protocols, including using wrong doses of the abortion drug and misusing an ulcer drug to cause a miscarriage of the dead baby.

Searle, the maker of the ulcer drug, issued a nationwide letter to doctors saying it is not intended to produce an abortion and using it as such places women’s health at risk.

The FDA has received 676 reports of negative side effects including three deaths, some 17 potentially fatal ectopic pregnancies, and seven women had serious infections like the one that led to the death of Holly Patterson.

Numerous women felt sick and dizzy enough to require hospitalization and another 72 women bled so severely after using the abortion drug that they required transfusions.

Yet, Elizabeth Cavendish, interim president of NARAL, was dismissive of the revised FDA warning label for the abortion drug.

"These updates are really rather routine," she said of the new label, calling it "not monumental."

As a result of the increased security warnings on the labels, Danco indicated it will send a letter to all of its abortion drug customers highlighting the FDA label changes.