Lawmakers Want Abortion Drug Pulled After More Women Die

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 21, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
July 21, 2005

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are renewing their call for the Food and Drug Administration to pull the abortion drug RU 486 from the market because of reports of more women dying after developing infections from taking the pill.

Maryland Congressman Roscoe Bartlett said it was "disturbing" that the manufacturer of the Mifeprix abortion drug, Danco Laboratories, "buried in a news release" information about two more women who have died from using the abortion pills.

"Clearly labels and letters to doctors are not protecting the life and safety of young American women from this dangerous drug," Rep. Bartlett said.

He referred to letters the FDA and Danco are sending to doctors warning of possible infections leading to death resulting from the mifepristone pills.

Bartlett is the sponsor of HR 1079, which would remove RU 486 from the market while the FDA launches a thorough review of its safety.

South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, who has sponsored a similar bill in the Senate, agreed that the legislation, is necessary.

"Congress needs to act to take this deadly drug off the market and force a serious review of its safety," DeMint explained.

Dubbed "Holly’s Law," the measure is named after Holly Patterson, a California teenager who died in September 2003 after using the abortion drug. She received the pills at a San Francisco area Planned Parenthood, which instructed her to use the drugs in a manner inconsistent with FDA protocol.

Republican Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas and Rep. David Vitter of Louisiana joined Bartlett and DeMint in calling for Congress to approve the bill. Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Melissa Hart also joined the press conference and is a co-sponsor of the bill.

The lawmakers suggested the death rate from the abortion drug could be higher because it produces an infection that has led to the deaths of five women. They said coroners may chalk up the death to the infection when the abortion drug initially triggered it.

Karen Pearl, interim president of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business, disagreed and said "Medication abortion is extremely safe and effective."

"Since its approval, women and doctors nationwide report high levels of success and satisfaction with this early abortion option," Pearl claimed.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton, a pro-life Republican, has not yet scheduled a hearing on Holly’s Law, but support for the legislation is increasing and it now has 69 co-sponsors.