For many years the only data from the FDA about the safety of the two-drug RU-486 abortion technique went all the way back to 2011. For reasons known only to the FDA, it noted an update to its numbers in March 2018.
In 2011, we learned that there have been at least 14 deaths associated with use of the abortion drugs in the U.S. (The FDA also indicated it knew of another five outside the U.S.)
“As of December 31, 2017, there were reports of 22 deaths of women associated with Mifeprex [RU-486] since the product was approved in September 2000, including two cases of ectopic pregnancy resulting in death; and several cases of severe systemic infection (also called sepsis), including some that were fatal.”
The best one can say about the report’s update on “adverse events” is that it is incomplete.
As Carole Novielli noted: In addition to deaths, between 2000 and 2012, numerous serious complications were also reported:
- Cases with any adverse event – 2740 (average 228/yr)
- Hospitalized, excluding deaths – 768 (average 64/yr)
- Experienced blood loss requiring transfusions – 416 (average 35/yr)
- Infections – 308 (average 26/yr)
Part of the FDA’s revised protocol was to only require that prescribers report deaths to the U.S. distributor, so more than a few less fatal “adverse reactions,” no matter how severe, may have fallen through the cracks. (See revised “Prescriber Agreement” here.)
The Guttmacher Institute is the abortion industry’s in-house think-tank. Earlier this year it said RU-486 abortions (“Medication abortions”) “increased from 6% of all nonhospital abortions in 2001 to 31% in 2014, even while the overall number of abortions continued to decline.” In addition, “Medication abortions accounted for 31% of all nonhospital abortions in 2014, and for 45% of abortions before nine weeks’ gestation.”
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I asked Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., Director of Education & Research for the National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund, about what he saw in the FDA report. Dr. O’Bannon has followed the development and promotion of the chemical abortifacient mifepristone for more than twenty years.
The abortion industry likes to argue that these abortions are simple and totally safe, but it rarely shares the stories of hundreds of women who have been hospitalized or the nearly two dozen who have died after taking these dangerous abortifacients.
The abortion industry has been trying to cope with reduced demand and falling revenues by cutting facility, equipment and salary costs by going to webcam abortions where an abortionist never, ever actually physically examines a woman and only monitors her from afar.
It is an irresponsible and dangerous medical abandonment of the woman at precisely the time when her risk is most serious.
LifeNews.com Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. This post originally appeared in at National Right to Life News Today —- an online column on pro-life issues.