Abortion Drug Deaths in California Subject of Federal CDC Review

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 25, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Abortion Drug Deaths in California Subject of Federal CDC Review Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
July 25, 2005

Atlanta, GA (LifeNews.com) — The Centers for Disease Control is looking into why four women, all from California, have died after taking the abortion drug in the last three years. While five women have died overall since the FDA approved sales of RU 486, four lived in the Golden State, including one unnamed woman who died recently.

"On the surface, this appears unusual," Dr. Marc Fischer, a medical epidemiologist at the CDC, told the Associated Press. "That’s why we’re investigating."

Last week, Danco Laboratories, maker of the mifepristone abortion pills, reported the new deaths, including a woman who died earlier this summer and another who died sometime last year.

Sold as Mifeprix to women from places such as Planned Parenthood abortion businesses, none of the women in California who died followed the FDA protocols for how to take the abortion pills. The CDC may find that such "off-label" use may have something to do with their deaths.

FDA specifications call for women taking the drugs to swallow the pills, but Planned Parenthood frequently tells women to insert the abortion drugs vaginally.

Vanessa Cullins, vice president of medical affairs at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, claims the abortion drugs are safe. She told AP that Planned Parenthood facilities nationwide that sell the pills are told to advise women to wash their hands prior to inserting the drugs.

Planned Parenthood has also prescribed the drug in different doses than recommended by the FDA and has been accused of misusing the ulcer drug misoprostol to cause a miscarriage of the dead baby.

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

The CDC confirmed that it will examine whether off-label use played a role in the women’s deaths.

Monty Patterson’s 18 year-old daughter Holly died from an infection brought on by the Mifeprex abortion drug in September 2003 after she got the drugs from a California Planned Parenthood. He suspects more women are dead because of the pills.

"These are the reported problems, and I think there’s a serious problem with underreporting in the United States," he said. "Doctors have to be vigilant in looking for signs and symptoms that result from taking this drug and reporting them to the manufacturer."

The FDA on Tuesday sent a letter to doctors warning them of the dangerous associated with the abortion drug. The agency told physicians to be aware of possible dangers of infections associated with the drug that could lead to death and have already killed five women since the drug was approved.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are renewing their call for the Food and Drug Administration to pull the abortion drug RU 486 from the market.