Planned Parenthood Denies Off-Label Abortion Drug Use Killed Women

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 23, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Planned Parenthood Denies Off-Label Abortion Drug Use Killed Women Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 23, 2005

Washington, DC ( — Despite its off-label use of the abortion drug Mifeprex, officials at Planned Parenthood continue to deny that their instructions to patients played any role in the deaths of four women in California.

FDA and CDC officials will meet next year to discuss how and why the abortion drug exposes women to the lethal Clostridium sordellii bacteria, but the CDC has previous indicated that the one factor that ties the four cases together is that misoprostol was administered vaginally instead of orally.

Misoprostol, the anti-ulcer drug whose makers have said it should not be used in association with abortions, should be given orally. But Planned Parenthood instructs women to use the drags vaginally so they can give it out in lower doses. Vaginal administration of misoprostol is considered "off-label use," which is allowed but not recommended by FDA.

Such use may give rise to the bacteria and the FDA has found that Clostridium sordellii first infected women in their uterus before entering the bloodstream.

In a Wednesday news story written by the New York Times, Planned Parenthood continued to deny its instructions played any role.

Scott J. Spear, chairman of the national medical committee of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the nation’s largest abortion business, told the times "there was no evidence that the vaginal administration of misoprostol increased the risks of bacterial infections."

Spear described the deaths as a "local issue" and said "I think it’s dangerous to speculate in the absence of good data."

The abortion drug caused the death of Holly Patterson in September 2003, Vivian Tran in December 2003, Chanelle Bryant in January 2004 and Oriane Shevin in May 2005.