by Steven Ertelt
May 17, 2006
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Holly Patterson wasn’t supposed to die. An active, vibrant 18 year-old California girl, Patterson found herself unexpectedly pregnant during the second week of August 2003. She was so distraught over her unplanned pregnancy that she sought help for depression from her family doctor the next month.
The same day, she went to a local abortion business and got the RU 486 abortion drug — and it eventually took her life.
Her father, Monty Patterson, will share her story with Congress today and urge lawmakers to pass legislation named after her that would remove the drug from the market while officials study how it has killed seven women and injured 950 more.
Though the Food and Drug Administration held a meeting with scientists last week to examine the problems, Patterson says he still feels not enough has been done to protect women like Holly.
"I’ve been pushing for answers, and there are still many to be given," he told the Washington Post.
"I think it’s important to look at everything associated with the drug — how it was approved, whether all the adverse events are being reported, and the science behind its relation to clostridium," he said, referring to the lethal infections the drug has produced.
"Our message out there to everyone is that we wouldn’t want to have, see anybody have to go through what we have had to go through here. In such a short period of time, our daughter was with us and the next day she’s gone," Patterson said.
Patterson died in September 2003 from a severe infection brought on by taking the abortion pill, also known as Mifeprex, that she received from a San Francisco-area Planned Parenthood.
When Patterson began experiencing severe pain and bleeding from the second part of the two-drug abortion process, she went to ValleyCare Medical Center in Pleasanton, California. Doctors there gave her painkillers and sent her home.
After three days of no improvement, she returned to ValleyCare early in the morning. Holly Patterson died that afternoon.
Monty Patterson said he only learned of Holly’s pregnancy hours before she died.
Following Patterson’s death, the California Department of Health Services conducted an investigation.
The agency’s report, provided to LifeNews.com, indicates Patterson’s boyfriend "called the [Planned Parenthood] call center several times to report severe cramping, constipation, nausea, vomiting, and visits to the local acute care hospital emergency room."
It revealed Planned Parenthood failed to follow its own internal policies for informing women on how to use the RU 486 abortion drug.
The state health agency said Planned Parenthood of Hayward did not have Patterson sign one of the three forms the abortion business says it normally requires women obtaining chemical abortions to sign.
The state review also found that the abortion facility failed to provide Patterson with "full information and education on the procedure of self-administration of a drug intravaginally."
Since more women have died from using the second part of the two-part abortion drug vaginally, Planned Parenthood has since changed its policies and now follows FDA protocols by telling women to use the drug orally.
An Alameda County Coroner’s report confirmed that the use of RU 486 resulted in an incomplete abortion that led to uterine infection and caused Holly’s death.