Pro-Life Groups Outraged FDA Won’t Pull RU 486 Abortion Drug From Market

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 1, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Groups Outraged FDA Won’t Pull RU 486 Abortion Drug From Market

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 17, 2006

Washington, DC ( — Pro-life groups are up in arms over Friday’s announcement that two more women have died after using the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug. They say the Food and Drug Administration needs to pull the abortion pills from the market immediately.

"The FDA has pulled other drugs that have caused fewer deaths and less severe complications than RU 486," Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America explained. "Why the double-standard for an abortion drug that is now linked to the deaths of seven healthy women and over 800 other reported complications?"

Wright pointed out that the agency says only 10 percent of suffered by patients from drugs get reported.

Yet the two new deaths bring the total of women who have died from using the abortion drug in the U.S. to seven and more than 850 women experienced complications from using the drug — some of them life-threatening.

"Two more families are grieving because the FDA refuses to pull this dangerous drug from the market," said Wright. "By giving its approval, FDA participates in the deception that RU-486 is ‘safe.’ How many women must die before the FDA will act? Are their lives less important than making abortion convenient?"

Deirdre McQuade, a spokeswoman for the pro-life office of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, also lamented the deaths and noted that they bring the worldwide total of deaths to ten.

Women have also died in Canada, Sweden and the U.K.

"According to the New England Journal of Medicine (Dec. 2005), RU-486 abortions are ten times more likely to kill a woman, from infection alone, than are surgical abortions in early pregnancy," McQuade explained.

"This estimate does not even include RU-486 related deaths from other causes, such as ruptured ectopic pregnancy," she added

McQuade also blasted the FDA for not removing the mifepristone abortion drug from the market.

"After five years of trauma and death associated with RU 486, the FDA’s response has been limited to health advisories and amended drug labeling," she bemoaned.

She called on Congress to pass the RU 486 Suspension and Review Act, known as Holly’s Law for Holly Patterson, the California teenager who died in September 2003 after using the abortion drug she received at a Planned Parenthood near San Francisco.

The measure, sponsored by Maryland Republican Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, would suspend sales of the abortion pills pending a comprehensive safety review.

Wright pointed to a list of drugs the FDA has removed from the market having fewer problems:

* NeutroSpec, an imaging agent used to diagnose internal infections, was pulled from the market after being linked to two deaths, 20 severe reactions, and 46 other "less" severe reactions.

* Tysabri, a drug to treat multiple sclerosis, was pulled from the market on Feb. 28, 2005, after reports that three patients taking it had developed PML, a rare brain disease. Studies published in New England Journal of Medicine in early March reported no additional cases of PML.

* Lotronex, the only drug in its class to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which afflicts approximately 40 million Americans was pulled. About 300,000 people had taken it. About 70 patients had developed severe problems, with five deaths including three possibly linked to the drug.

* Bextra was pulled even though an FDA advisory committee voted a few months before that Bextra should remain on the market.

Related web sites:
Concerned Women for America –
U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops –