The first woman in Australia has died from a lethal infection contracted after using the deadly RU 486 abortion drug. The abortion pill has killed more than a dozen women worldwide and potential dozes of women across the globe, according to its European manufacturer.
The woman has not been named by government officials but she received the abortion drug at a Marie Stopes International abortion facility in 2010. She contracted streptococcus A infection and died of sepsis at that time but her death is only coming to light now.
The Australian newspaper indicated the case was reported to a coroner, but no inquest was convened. It also reported Marie Stopes International Australia and the Therapeutic Goods Administration refused to release information about the woman’s death, citing patient confidentiality. However, the TGA is telling abortion practitioners giving women the abortion drug to step up the treatment they provide following abortions.
As The Australian reports:
Marie Stopes clinical services director Jill Michelson said of the woman’s death: “This is a tragic outcome and our sympathies are with her family. The coroner dispensed with holding an inquest, and the case is closed.”
Michelson said the woman had died of sepsis “some days after” having the medical abortion at one of MSIA’s 14 Australian clinics.
She could not say whether there had been further contact between the service and the woman. Asked when the woman became ill, Ms Michelson said: “It was certainly not in the initial period” after the abortion.
In the six-month period to June 30 last year – the latest for which figures are available – the drug was given to an extra 5383 Australian women, a spike of 48 per cent. About 85,000 abortions a year are performed in Australia, mostly for women who choose not to continue pregnancy. MSIA operates clinics in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, ACT and Western Australia.
After being notified of the death, the TGA wrote to all authorized RU 486 prescribers, recommending they review their protocols. “Where necessary,” it advised, patient information and consent documents should be changed to include active follow-up by medical staff to “exclude infections, incomplete abortion and therapeutic failure”.
ABC News reports that Caroline de Costa, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at James Cook University in Cairns who was the leading pro-abortion campaigner for bringing the abortion drug to Australia, is urging caution.
“I think we have to be very clear that if we’re going to continue using the drug for early medical abortion and using it at home, then services have very, very good mechanisms in place for looking after women once they actually leave the clinic,” she said.
With the drug having killed dozens of women worldwide and injured more than 2,200 alone in the United States, according to April 2011 FDA figures, pro-life groups have been concerned about Planned Parenthood putting women’s health at risk.
RU 486 and its companion drug are administered between the fifth and ninth weeks of pregnancy, after pregnancy has been confirmed and the process typically involves three trips to a doctor. About half of the women abort while at the doctor’s office, with another 26 percent having an abortion within the next 20 hours at any location at home or in public. The remainder either have an abortion in the coming weeks or none at all of the drug fails to work — making it so a surgical abortion is required.
Through April, the FDA reports 2,207 adverse events related to the use of RU 486, including 14 deaths, 612 hospitalizations, 58 ectopic pregnancies, 339 blood transfusions, and 256 cases of infections in the United States alone. A European drug manufacturer has publicly stated that 28 women have died worldwide after using RU 486/mifepristone.
Last year, LifeNews.com reported about a Portuguese girl who died after an abortion with the RU 486 abortion drug caused Clostridium sordellii septic shock, the same deadly infection that caused the death of Holly Patterson and other women in the U.S.
The information about the abortion death came in the abstract of a study accepted for publication and submitted to the recent 21st European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) conference held from May 7-10 in Milan, Italy. The publication revealed the 16-year-old received 200 mg of oral mifepristone followed by 800 of vaginal misoprostol.
She went to the maternity hospital’s emergency room five days after receiving mifepristone, complaining of lipothimia in the night before and abdominal cramping.
“On admission, she was conscient, afebrile and hypotense,” the study indicated. “A few hours later she developed a rapid onset-sepsis with marked leukocitosis, hemoconcentration, and severe metabolic acidosis. The patient underwent a hysterectomy and uterus biopsy cultures and anatomopathological analysis were requested. Patient was transferred to intensive care unit and died 18 hours after presenting to emergency.”
So far, eight women in the U.S. have died from the use of the abortion drug, including women going to Planned Parenthood abortion centers in California. Planned Parenthood had been telling women to use the abortion drug vaginally, as the Portuguese teen used it, even though the FDA indicated oral use is safer for women. It wasn’t until four California women all died within a week of using the abortion drug they received from Planned Parenthood abortion businesses that it changed its policy to conform to the FDA protocol.
In June 2008, a new study from University of Michigan scientists suggested the off-label use of a drug given in association with the abortion pill may be responsible for the women’s deaths.
When women get the abortion drug RU 486, they take two pills. One, mifepristone, essentially deprives the growing unborn child of food and water and the second, misoprostol, causes contractions allowing women to give birth to the dead baby. The second, misoprostol, causes contractions that essentially cause a miscarriage of the body of the deceased unborn child.
In animal and cell culture studies, the University of Michigan researchers found that misoprostol, when given directly in the reproductive tract, suppresses key immune responses and can allow a normally non-threatening bacterium, Clostridium sordellii, to cause deadly infection. According to post-mortem reports on the women who died from the abortion drug in the U.S., this vaginal use allowed the bacteria to cause the fatal infections. When absorbed through the stomach, however, the drug did not compromise immune defenses or cause illness, the researchers found.
Dr. Randy O’Bannon, the director of research for National Right to Life, told LifeNews.com at the time that earlier studies showed the mifepristone drug also caused problems.
“Authors of this study claim that vaginally administered misoprostol may suppress the body’s immune response, making infection more likely. Earlier studies have suggested that RU 486, or mifepristone, the first drug used in the chemical abortion process, may itself have immunosuppressive qualities,” he explained.
O’Bannon said he’s not convinced the University of Michigan study is the final chapter in the story of the women’s abortion drug deaths.
“As long as both of these drugs are being used as abortifacients, it will be important to try and nail down how one or both of these drugs contributed to eight known infection deaths among women to took the two drug regimen,” he said.
Regardless of the study’s findings, Dr. O’Bannon told LifeNews.com that abortion facilities that violated the FDA abortion drug protocols put women at risk.
“Though the FDA specifically cautioned that the safety of at home vaginal self administration of misoprostol had not been established, many clinics had their patients follow this course anyway,” he said.
“That much of the abortion industry disregarded the FDA protocol for so long displays either a disregard for the safety of women or a sense that they somehow knew better than the government’s top scientists,” O’Bannon concluded. “In either case, these are hardly the sort of people women should be trusting with their lives.”
Despite the eventual change in the guidelines from vaginal to oral, Planned Parenthood apparently continues to violate the FDA usage suggestions by telling women to take the second part of the abortion pill process at home. The FDA says that should be done in a medical office to monitor the women for any complications.