Abortion Clinic Fights to Avoid Abortion Drug Safety Law

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 31, 2012   |   4:08PM   |   Bismarck, ND

The lone abortion business in North Dakota continues to fight a state law protecting women from the dangerous abortion drug, RU 486.

The law in question protects women from abortion businesses that use the abortion drug RU 486 improperly — thereby putting their lives and health at risk. But the Center for Reproductive Rights filed suit to overturn the law, saying it is only meant to stop women from using the abortion drug, which has killed at least 14 women in the United States and injured another 2,200 as of FDA figure from April 2011. The pro-abortion group believes the law will force women to have surgical abortions by delaying their usage of the abortion drug mifepristone.

The law was supposed to take effect August 1, but the lawsuit, filed in East Central District Court, asks for a preliminary injunction preventing it from taking effect while the lawsuit continues. While the law requires abortion practitioners in the state — there’s just one, the Red River abortion facility — to use the drug in a manner “tested and approved” by the federal Food and Drug Administration, the Center says that doesn’t make sense.

Clinic director Tammy Kromenaker told reporters that the FDA protocol “isn’t good for women” and defended her misuse of the two drug cocktail. Twenty percent of Kromenaker’s annual abortion business is done in abortions using the abortion drug RU 486.

A Cass County District Court judge issued the restraining order and Judge Wickham Corwin said the law will now be on hold until the case is resolved. Corwin heard arguments about its constitutionality last Friday and delayed making a decision until he could review more information about the safety of the drug. Additional briefs are due in two weeks.

Operation Rescue told LifeNews today it supports the law because it “would virtually ban medication abortions in North Dakota and would place the requirement that a licensed physician be present when the drugs are administered.”

“This would prevent what is known as telemed or “webcam” abortions from taking place where unlicensed and inadequately trained workers dispense the dangerous drugs after the patient has had a brief consultation over an Internet video conferencing connection with an abortionist in another location,” OR said.

“It is ludicrous to say that requiring steps to ensure patient safety creates an ‘undue burden’ on them. I’d rather be inconvenienced than dead,” said Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy Advisor for Operation Rescue and Pro-life Nation. “This is really about keeping that abortion clinic open no matter who suffers.”

Sullenger says the Red River Women’s Clinic uses an off-label application of the abortion pill in conjunction with an ulcer drug called Cytotec (Misoprostol) to force women to artificially abort their pre-born babies in an event that simulates miscarriage. Manufacturers of Cytotec have issued warnings against using the drug to induce abortions.

“Red River Women’s Clinic also uses the abortion pill in violation of FDA protocols, which require at least two office visits in addition to follow-up care and limits the use of RU-486 to under seven weeks. Red River improperly uses the abortion pill through nine weeks of pregnancy. The medication abortion process causes the body to reject the implanted baby and force contractions to expel the remains. It can be a long, painful process that lasts multiple days. The abortion fails 7-20% of the time, creating a potentially life-threatening condition that requires surgical intervention,” Sullenger said.

“We do not support the use of the abortion pill under any circumstances out of concern for women and their pre-born babies. However, the rejection of the FDA’s minimal safety protocols by Red River Women’s Clinic shows that they care more about protecting a significant portion of their abortion income than they care about the health and safety of women,” said Sullenger. “They don’t want to follow the rules they and they don’t want to follow the law because they are abortionists and think they are above the law. We hope that the judge considering this case does the right thing and protects women from predatory abortion practices such as the dangerous misuse of abortion-causing drugs.”

A spokesperson for the state’s Catholic bishops decried the filing of the lawsuit to block a new law preventing wrongful use of abortion drugs.

“Just a few months after the federal Food and Drug Administration reported that abortion-inducing drugs have killed 14 and injured over 2000 women, extreme abortion advocates seek to stop reasonable regulations on the drug’s use, thus putting women at greater risk of harm,” said Christopher Dodson, executive director of the North Dakota Catholic Conference.

Dodson and the conference advised the North Dakota legislators that drafted the bill. He said the measure does not prohibit medical abortions.

“It merely requires that the drug be used in accordance with the protocols approved by the FDA,” he said about the law, which was upheld by a federal court in Ohio.

“Considering the drug’s dangerous record, it is shameful that abortion extremists will once again tie up the courts and fight reasonable efforts to protect women’s health,” Dodson added.

Following its approval during the Clinton administration, the FDA released a report in 2006 that received widespread attention for showing more than 1,100 women had been subjected to “adverse effects” resulting from their taking the abortion drug mifepristone, commonly known a RU 486. Pro-life advocates have waited five years for the FDA to come out with a new report of problems associated with the drug — despite mounting evidence that the abortion drug continues to kill and injure women across the globe.

The FDA released a new report, dated April 30, 2011. The report indicates 14 women in the United States alone have died from using the mifepristone abortion drug and 2,207 women have been injured by it.

Of the women experiencing medical and physical problems resulting from the abortion drug, 612 women required hospitalizations, 339 experienced blood loss significant enough to require a transfusion, 256 experienced infections and 48 women experienced what the FDA labeled as “severe infections.” Given that the RU 486 abortion drug caused sepsis, a potentially lethal infection that resulted in the deaths of women from around the world, the “serious infections” were very likely life-threatening situations.