Congressional Bill Suspending RU 486 Abortion Drug Sales Reintroduced

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 5, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Congressional Bill Suspending RU 486 Abortion Drug Sales Reintroduced Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 5, 2005

Washington, DC ( — Lawmakers in Congress last week reintroduced a bill that would pull the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug from the market while a Congressional agency reviews its safety.

Sen. Jim DeMint, a South Carolina Republican and Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, a Republican from Maryland, put forward the RU-486 Suspension and Review Act. The measure has been dubbed "Holly’s Law" after Holly Patterson, the California teenager who died after taking the RU 486 abortion pills in September 2003.

"RU-486 is a drug that always kills unborn babies and sometimes kills and seriously injures healthy young women," Rep. Bartlett said in a statement. "Holly’s Law would take the dangerous and unsafe drug RU-486 off the market."

The FDA approved RU-486 in September 2000, just before the end of the Clinton administration, using a process known as "Subpart H," which is reserved only for drugs that treat "severe or life-threatening illnesses," such as AIDS.

Under the bill, sales of the RU 486 abortion drug, known as mifepristone, would not be permitted while the General Accounting Office (GAO) investigates its approval and safety.

Last November, the FDA put a new black box warning label on the abortion drug — it’s most severe danger warning. The change was necessary, FDA officials said, because three women have died as a result of using mifepristone and women have reported approximately 600 serious complications.

Lanier Swann, director of government relations for Concerned Women for America, applauded legislators for bringing back the bill, which has yet to receive a hearing or vote.

"We are grateful for [the sponsor’s] leadership to ensure that more women don’t fall prey to this drug until the FDA’s suspect emergency approval can be further investigated," Swann said.

Wendy Wright, senior policy director for the pro-life women’s group, says the FDA has ignored the immense risks of RU 486 and she worries the warning labels are not enough to protect women.

"The FDA waited for three deaths to occur before changing the words on the drug’s label," Wright explained. "How many women must die before they are willing to remove this deadly drug from the market?"

"Just changing directions on the use of the drug has absolutely no impact on its safety," Wright concluded. "Congress must intervene for the sake of women’s lives."

ACTION: Contact your Representative and Senators and urge strong support for this legislation. You can reach any member of Congress at 202-224-3121 or find lists at and

Related web sites:
Concerned Women for America –