Fifteen Year-Old Girl Dies After RU 486 Abortion in Detroit, Michigan

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

Fifteen Year-Old Girl Dies After Abortion in Detroit, Michigan

by Paul Nowak Staff Writer
March 17, 2004

Detroit, MI ( — Fifteen year-old Tamia Russell of Detroit died as a result of a second-trimester abortion earlier this year. It is suspected that the abortion drug RU-486 caused the fatal infection that claimed her life.

Steven Brown of the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office told that the cause of death for Russell was listed as, "Uterine infarction with sepsis, due to status post second trimester abortion."

Dr. Leigh Hlavaty, the medical examiner, listed the manner of death as "normal," as opposed to homicidal, suicidal, or accidental, due to the natural cause of death, the obstruction of her uterine blood vessels and the infection.

The uterine infection is identical to that which caused the death of Holly Patterson, a 19-year-old California teen who died after taking Mifepristone, also known as RU-486, she was given by Planned Parenthood in September.

According to WJBK Fox News in Detroit, Russell’s relatives say, on January 7, she confessed to being pregnant with her 24-year-old boyfriend’s child, and that his sister had driven her to the WomanCare of Southfield facility to obtain an abortion.

After returning to the abortion business on January 8, Russell was bleeding heavily. Before medics could get her to the hospital, she was dead.

"It won’t bring her back…but I want them to pay," Nicola Powell, Russell’s cousin, told Fox News. "They won’t do nobody else’s baby like that."

Is illegal in Michigan to perform an abortion on a minor without parental consent or a judicial waiver and no one knows how Russell obtained the abortion without it.

Russell’s parents told Fox News that they had not known she had started the abortion, or that she was six months pregnant until that early January day when she disclosed her pregnancy.

WomanCare of Southfield may have breached their own policies if they did perform a medical abortion on Russell.

The WomanCare website says its facilities offer chemical abortions, using only Mifepristone, on a "case by case basis." It also states that patients must be less than 49 days pregnant before starting the medical abortion program, although Russell was 6 months pregnant when she had the abortion.

WomanCare of Southfield, located just 10 miles from Cody High School, where Russell was a student in the 9th grade, did not return calls to

As a result, no information is available as to whether the abortion business reported the possible statutory rape case to local authorities.

Dr. W. David Hager, a member of the FDA Advisory Committee For Reproductive Health Drugs spoke with about the abortion drug in the wake of Patterson’s death.

"Mifepristone is one of two medications in the regimen marketed as Mifeprex which also includes the drug misoprostol," explained Dr. Hager. "Mifepristone is an anti-progesterone which acts at the level of the lining of the uterus to interfere with normal blood supply to the implanted infant/placenta and kill the baby."

The uterine infarction that killed Russell was due to blockage in her uterine blood vessel, which also, as in Patterson’s case, led to a sepsis infection.

Meanwhile, the mother of a Swedish teenager who died after using the RU 486 abortion drug is distraught following her daughter’s death.

Rebecca Tell Berg, a 16 year-old girl, died on June 3, 2003 after she was given the abortion drug. Reports of Rebecca’s death have only surfaced recently.