Twelve years ago the Clinton Administration arrogantly pushed through approval of RU486, the so-called “abortion pill” using a procedure intended to speed approval of new medicines for terminally ill patients.
Following Clinton’s election, the FDA urged RU486 manufacturer Rouessel Uclaf to submit the drug for approval. After much foot dragging, the company declined, expressing its fear of product liability claims and bad publicity from anti-abortion activists. Then in May of 1994, the administration announced that it had convinced the company to “donate” the patent to the Population Council, one of America’s most zealous promoters of international population control. This agreement would let Roussel Uclaf off the hook and give the administration its abortion drug.
To further grease the skids, the FDA agreed to lower the standards for testing and review which was normally required before approval of a new drug. The Population Council would be able to obtain approval by spending only $8 million in drug testing trials, compared to the $100 million or more that drug companies must usually spend. In addition, the target date for approval was reduced to six months. The approval time for most pharmaceuticals, ranging from migraine treatments to chemotherapy drugs, typically requires six years or more.
In July of 1996, an FDA advisory panel recommended approval of RU486 even though the American clinical trials were still not complete. Most shocking of all, this recommendation was made despite the unimpeachable testimony of Dr. Mark Louviere, a physician who treated a woman for a life-threatening hemorrhage two weeks after the RU-486 was administered.
Even when properly administered, RU486 is not safer, less expensive, or more private than surgical abortion. So why the rush to approve it?
The Clinton administration had openly lobbied for expanding access to abortion in developing countries but the population control agenda was blocked by the fact that abortion was illegal in many developing nations and surgical abortion required medical facilities and training. RU-486 offered a way around both of these problems. It was more portable and could be easily taken into Third World countries.
Abortifacient drugs like RU-486 have resulted in the slaughter of more than 1.5 million unborn. The drug is by intent poisonous to the unborn so it should come as no surprise that it is also dangerous to the mother.
According to the Food and Drug Administration’s own report released last April, that through the end of April 2011, there have been more than 2207 casualties since RU-486’s approval in 2000 including deaths and hospitalizations with life threatening complications that include massive hemorrhaging and rampant, life threatening infections.
The hospitalizations included most of the 58 women who had suffered from ectopic pregnancy, the 339 who had bled so badly they required transfusions, and 256 women who had experienced infections. Forty eight were classified as “severe.” For an infection to be classified as severe, it meant death or hospitalization for 2-3 days, IV antibiotics for at least 24 hours, total antibiotic usage for at least 3 days, or other lab or case data that was indicative of such an infection. Ectopic pregnancies pose a heightened danger for users of RU486. The symptoms – bleeding, pain, nausea – mirror what a woman is told to expect from a standard chemical abortion.
Dr. Ralph Miech, emeritus professor at Brown University’s medical school has published two peer reviewed articles detailing potentially undesirable effects related to RU486 and its anti-glucocorticoid properties. First, RU486’s blockade of cortisol receptors on bacteria destroying white blood cells may impede the antibacterial defense mechanism of the innate immune system. Such interference, he hypothesizes, played a significant role in the deaths of at least 5 Americans in which there was a post abortion, bacterial invasion of the uterus and subsequent septic shock. Second, prompted by an article describing mifepristone related adverse events with significant and unexpected levels of hemorrhage, Miech’s second article argues that RU486 appears to interfere with the body’s ability to control uterine hemorrhage. Such interference, if true, would be a dangerous feature of an abortion procedure that is designed to produce a simulated miscarriage. The number of hemorrhage/transfusion and serious infection cases revealed by the FDA support Dr. Miech’s concern.
An Australian study, found that 1 in 30 women taking RU486 in the first trimester of pregnancy had to go to the emergency room. It also found that among RU486 abortions performed in the second trimester, “a staggering 33% required some form of surgical intervention.”
In the United States, the FDA has only approved RU486 for use within the first 49 days of gestation, but Planned Parenthood administers it through 63 days’ gestation — when the danger is perhaps greater.
In Iowa and Minnesota, Planned Parenthood now administers RU486 through telemedicine — so-called webcam abortions, which can be promoted in rural areas lacking immediate medical resources in the event of complications. And international abortion advocates are even pushing the use of RU486 (or its companion drug misoprostol alone) in developing nations because it doesn’t require the expense of having an actual doctor, surgical equipment, etc., nearby. But the absence of a doctor, etc., only further increases the risk!
In spite of all these “adverse events,” abortion industry giants like Planned Parenthood continue to promote the abortion drug as “a safe, effective, and acceptable option for women seeking abortions in the first several weeks of pregnancy” (Planned Parenthood fact sheet “Mifepristone: Expanding Women’s Options for Early Abortion.”
This is not emergency contraception and yet it’s regularly being prescribed to women who are as late as nine weeks pregnant. At nearly $500.00 per prescription, RU486 has been a real moneymaker for the abortion industry.
It is dangerous, ludicrous, and irresponsible to peddle this drug, but not unexpected from people who have never demonstrated a basic respect for human life. Once you’ve made up your mind to market the chemical destruction of unborn babies, why should any woman think that safety is the abortion industry’s top priority?