Dangerous Abortion Pill That Killed One Woman in Italy Becomes More Widely Available

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Apr 6, 2017   |   11:56AM   |   Rome, Italy

Three years after an Italian woman died along with her unborn child from legal abortion drugs, her country is expanding the drugs’ availability.

The Local Italy reports the Italian region of Lazio, which includes Rome, will begin allowing women to obtain the abortion drugs (the two-drug abortion combination RU-486 and misoprostol) at family planning facilities this summer; currently, only hospitals are allowed to perform the drug-induced abortions.

This week, Lazio health officials said they set up an 18-month trial period for the plan, and they hope it will provide women with better access to abortion. The abortion drugs have been available in Italy since 2009.

“The aim is to make access to the Law 194 [which legalized abortion] less burdensome for women,” Vincenzo Panella, general director of the local Department for Health and Social Policy, told La Repubblica.

The first abortion drug works by blocking the hormone progesterone, causing the uterine wall to break down and basically suffocating the unborn baby. The second drug then causes contractions to expel the unborn child. This abortion method typically is used during the first trimester.

The abortion drugs are dangerous to women as well as their unborn babies, but few discuss the risks publicly.

In 2014, an Italian woman died from cardiac arrest after taking the abortion drugs at a hospital in Turin. Doctors said “everything was regulated” about the abortion and the woman’s visit to the hospital.

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The Local reported in 2014 that the woman did not suffer from any known illness. Four hours after taking the second abortion drug at the hospital, doctors said she began complaining of shortness of breath, and her heart stopped not long after that.

The woman was 37 years old, and she left behind a young son, according to the report.

A 2011 FDA report found that at least 19 women died after taking RU-486, and 2,207 women have been injured by it. The first woman known to have died from RU-486, Nadine Walkowiak, also died of a heart attack not long after taking the drugs.

A Planned Parenthood study also admits at least one woman is seriously injured from the abortion drug daily.

In the United States, the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug has claimed the lives of more than 2 million unborn children since its approval at the end of the Bill Clinton administration.