Parents of Teen Who Died From Abortion Drug Discuss Lawsuit

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 22, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Parents of Teen Who Died From Abortion Drug Discuss Lawsuit Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 22, 2004

Livermore, CA ( — The parents of California teenager Holly Patterson, who died after taking the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug in September 2003, discussed the lawsuit they filed against the maker of the abortion drug with a local newspaper.

In an interview with the Contra Costa Times, the Pattersons said the lawsuit is their latest effort to draw attention to the risks associated with mifepristone.

"We’ve basically been doing a lot of work all year to bring about awareness and question the safety of this drug, and have been working on a lot of fronts," Holly’s father Monty Patterson told the newspaper.

He said he and his wife Deborah are not filing the suit for money or fame. Instead, the lawsuit follows a long line of actions out of concern that the abortion drug is unsafe.

The Pattersons submitted a letter to Congress backing legislation to prevent further sales of the drug while it thoroughly investigates safety issues. Monty Patterson also met with FDA officials prior to the agency revising warning labels on the drug packaging.

"I don’t think this drug is safe, and if it’s not, it needs to be removed," Patterson added.

Deborah Patterson said she is worried about how the abortion drug, sold as Mifeprex, has already killed three women.

"[A] fourth one is unacceptable," she told the Times.

The Pattersons filed wrongful death and product liability lawsuits against New York-based Danco Laboratories and a Planned Parenthood abortion facility near San Francisco that gave Holly the drugs.

Holly Patterson reported severe pain and bleeding afterwards and died days later at a local hospital.

Pro-life groups say the lawsuit is appropriate.

"This is a well-deserved lawsuit against those allegedly responsible for a young woman’s tragic death," said Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America.

"Holly Patterson paid the ultimate price for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) buckling to abortion proponents’ pressure to approve a drug that has only one purpose — to kill a human being," Wright added.

The Patterson’s lawsuit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, says Danco failed to properly warn doctors of the potential dangers of Mifeprex.

The lawsuit also names the Population Council, a pro-abortion group holding the patent rights to the drug and ValleyCare Health System, which operates the hospital where Patterson died.

Wright accuses the Population Council of conducting "substandard, biased trials on RU-486."

"Danco knowingly distributes it to abortionists that violate the requirements, and Planned Parenthood treats women like Holly as collateral damage in their pursuit of more abortions," said Wright, whose group filed a citizens petition with the Food and Drug Administration asking it to pull the abortion drug from the market pending review.

The FDA has received 676 reports of problems resulting from the abortion drug, including three deaths, seventeen potentially fatal ectopic pregnancies, and seven women had serious infections like the one that led to the death of Holly Patterson.

That prompted the agency to revise the already significant "black box" warning label placed on the drugs to include new information.