Study: High % of Women Using Abortion Drug Hospitalized

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 10, 2011   |   11:09AM   |   Canberra, Australia

A new study from Australia finds a high percentage of women using the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug require hospitalization — undermining the argument that the mifepristone pill is safe for women.

The study comes after more than a dozen women worldwide have died from using the abortion drug and at least 1,100 women have been injured from it in the United States, as of 2006 FDA figures.

Doctors in the Australian state of South Australia conducted the study and published their results in the medical journal Australian Family Physician. Drs. Ea Mulligan and Hayley Messenger reviewed most of the 9,000 drug-based abortions done in the state in 2009 and 2010. They found 3.3 percent of women using the abortion drug in the first trimester were forced to seek medical treatment at a hospital afterwards because of complications or emergency problems.

The number jumped to 5.7 percent of women who used the abortion drug early in pregnancy when most abortion businesses dispense it to women. That is much higher than the 2.2 percent of women who have surgical abortions who are forced to seek hospital treatment because of complications and injuries sustained from it.

Of the women the doctors studied, two of the larger group of women getting surgical abortions suffered severe hemorrhage involving the loss of more than a liter of blood but four of the smaller group of women using the abortion drug had that happen.

The incidence of complications and medical problems is likely higher than the results show because the study only captured care provided in public hospitals and not complications
treated by general practitioners.

Mulligan told the Weekend Australian she thinks the abortion drug will eventually become safer: “My thinking is that as we get more used to using this drug, that follow-up surgical intervention will come down … we are kind of at the beginning of the learning curve.”

But Margaret Tighe, of Right to Life Australia, disagrees, telling the newspaper: “We always said that taking RU 486 would have a very deleterious effect on women’s health … taking a pill seems very easy, but what we are seeing here is there can be quite a lot of complications.”

Cherish Life Queensland president Teresa Martin agreed and said the study “blows out of the water” arguments abortion advocates have used to claim the abortion drug is safe for women.

Chris Gacek of the Family Research Council, in the United States, also responded to the study.

“For many years, FRC and the American Association of Pro Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) have been making the point that chemically-induced abortions are more dangerous than surgical abortions,” he said.

The study found 3.3% of the women who used RU-486 in the first trimester of pregnancy reported to an emergency room compared with 2.2% who used a surgical method and •5.7% of the women who used RU-486 had to be re-admitted to hospitals compared with 0.4% of surgical abortion patients. That is 1 in 18 patients.

The study also found that late-term abortions pose particular problems for women, with full one-third of women who have them experienced complications or medical problems. It also found, related to second-trimester abortions, 4% of the second trimester RU-486 abortions had “significant hemorrhage;” one of the two patients in this category required a transfusion.

The study came because the Therapeutic Goods Administration says 11,173 prescriptions for the abortion drug have been issued and South Australia has the most number of women who have destroyed unborn children using it. Australia has about 100,000 abortions — whether surgical or drug-induced — done annually.

See the results of the study at