Congressional Cmte Investigates RU 486 Abortion Drug, FDA Response

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 26, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Congressional Cmte Investigates RU 486 Abortion Drug, FDA Response Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 26, 2005

Washington, DC ( — A Congressional subcommittee has begun a major investigation into the safety of the dangerous abortion drug RU 486. The drugs have killed four women in California from lethal bacterial infections and caused sometimes severe complications for more than 675 other women.

The committee sent a letter on December 21 to acting FDA commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach asking questions about the agency’s own look into medical problems associated with the abortion drug.

The committee wants to know why it took so long for the drug’s maker, Danco Laboratories, to add the risk of bacterial infection to the drug’s warning label.

The letter, authored by pro-life Rep. Mark Souder, an Indiana Republican, seeks physician, autopsy, and other records so that the subcommittee can conduct its own review, and asks about the off-label regimens often used with mifepristone.

Souder’s interest in the off label use of the abortion drug comes after Planned Parenthood came under criticism for instructing women to disregard the FDA recommendation to use the second part of the abortion drug orally.

The abortion business often instructs women to use the abortion drug vaginally, and that deviation from FDA protocols likely contributed to the four women developing the lethal infections.

"It’s about time that RU 486 got more scrutiny, and it’s heartening to see Congressman Souder and the New England Journal of Medicine providing it," said Steve Mosher, President of the Population Research Institute. "This drug not only kills unborn children, but sometimes their mothers as well. It should be withdrawn from the U.S. market immediately."

Joseph D’Agostino, PRI’s vice president, complained that the "FDA under the Clinton Administration officially rushed the approval of RU-486 under expedited procedures normally reserved for drugs needed to save people’s lives."

"Women have been paying with their health and even their lives since," he said.

Souder chairs the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources of the U.S. House’s Committee on Government Reform.