Senate Committee Will Vote on Suspending RU 486 Abortion Drug

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 17, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senate Committee Will Vote on Suspending RU 486 Abortion Drug Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 17
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — A leading pro-life senator is set to offer amendments to a bill on Wednesday that would put limits in place on the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug that has claimed the lives of at least six women in the United States and five more internationally.

The debate will come as the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee considers a bill related to the Food and Drug Administration.

According to documents provided to, Senator Tom Coburn, a Oklahoma Republican, will be offering two RU-486 amendments to the bill.

The first amendment would suspend the availability of any drug approved under FDA’s subpart H category that has resulted in more deaths than lives saved. While the abortion pill has taken the lives of six women, it is not responsible for saving anyone.

The second would lift the liability protection that currently shields mifepristone, one of the two drugs in the RU 486 abortion process, so that women (and their families) who are injured, harmed or killed as a result of use of this drug can seek damages.

The Senate has never held a vote on the abortion drug, but, with Democrats controlling the chamber’s committees, the amendments appear unlikely to be added to the bill.

Democrats control 11 seats on the Senate HELP Committee and neither of the two pro-life Democrats in the Senate sit on the panel. Meanwhile, all of the 10 Republican members of the committee have consistent pro-life voting records on the issue of abortion.

According to FDA reports as of December, there have now been eight known deaths associated with RU 486, nine life-threatening incidents, 116 blood transfusions, and 232 hospitalizations. In total, more than 1,050 women have had medical problems after using the drug.

The first victim of RU 486 was a Tennessee woman who died after using the abortion drug. She had an undetected ectopic pregnancy, and the drug is not supposed to be used in such situations.

Following her death, four California women died from using the abortion drug and the FDA announced last year that a Colorado woman had died as well.

Women have died from using the abortion drug in Canada, England, France and Sweden.

ACTION: Contact the members of the Senate HELP committee and urge them to strongly support the Coburn RU 486 amendments to the FDA bill. You can find a list of the committee members at