RU-486 claims lives of two more women

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Pro-life groups are angrily calling out the Food and Drug Administration for refusing to pull the abortion pill Mifeprex, known commonly as RU-486, from the market after announcing March 17 that two more women who took the drug have died.

“One death is too many,” Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., director of Education and Research for the National Right to Life Committee, said in a news release. “But after at least seven American deaths and at least 12 reported deaths worldwide, it is clear that this drug should not be given to women.”

O’Bannon suggest there is also strong evidence that the total number of so-called ”safe” usages of the drug is greatly inflated.

According to NRLC, Mifeprex is distributed by Danco, which bases usage estimates on doses that are sold, not on those that are used, and then multiplies many of those orders by three because many clinics use only one pill rather than the standard three-pill dose.

Complicating matters is the voluntary reporting process, and pro-life advocates believe women going to the emergency room may never tell the doctor they’ve taken the abortion pill, so many deaths and injuries may never be reported.

“How many women will have to die after taking this drug?” the researcher asked. “There is no doubt that RU-486 is extremely dangerous to women and it kills babies.”

Concerned Women for America is arguing that the FDA is not being consistent in its monitoring process.

Concerned Women for America (CWA) expressed outrage that the “The FDA has pulled other drugs that have caused fewer deaths and less severe complications than RU- 486,” Wendy Wright, president of CWA, said in a news release. “Why the double-standard for an abortion drug that is now linked to the deaths of seven healthy women and over 800 other reported complications?”

CWA maintains that the FDA admits that only 10 percent of complications suffered by patients from drugs get reported. More than 800 complications due to RU-486 have been reported to the FDA.

Serious side effects
Researchers with NLRC said that every RU-486 abortion involves bleeding, pain, and cramping, often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The expectation of such side effects often causes women and doctors to overlook important signs of infection or serious conditions like ectopic pregnancy.

“Two more families are grieving because the FDA refuses to pull this dangerous drug from the market,” said CWA’s Wright. “By giving its approval, FDA participates in the deception that RU-486 is ‘safe.’

Like O’Bannon, Wright wonders how many lives will be lost before the FDA acts.

“Are their lives less important than making abortion convenient?” she said.

Wright cited the drugs NeutroSpec, Tysabri, Lotronex and Bextra as examples of the FDA acting to pull drugs, some after just a few months on the market, with fewer complications than RU-486.

“The FDA has acted cautiously with these other drugs,” Wright said. “Why is that same caution not exercised with a drug that only women use, and it’s only purpose is to abort a baby?”

MeanwhileWal-Mart Stores Inc. began carrying Plan B, the emergency contraception in all of its pharmacies.

Plan B—also known as the morning-after pill—introduces a hormone into a woman’s body that blocks ovulation and may prevent a fertilized egg from implantation in the uterine wall. Pro-life advocates point out that preventing an embryo from implanting is an early abortion.

Currently, Wal-Mart is required to sell Plan B in just two states—Illinois and Massachusetts. But Ron Chomiuk, vice president of pharmacy for the retail giant, said by expanding the sales of the drug to all 50 states, the company is doing what is best for business.

“We expect more states to require us to sell emergency contraceptives in the months ahead,” he said. “Because of this, and the fact that this is an FDA-approved product, we feel it is difficult to justify being the country’s only major pharmacy chain not selling it.”

Douglas Scott, president of Life Decisions International, said the decision by Wal-Mart to sell the drug shows the company is willing to turn its back on the American family. “

It is up to the pro-family movement to let Wal-Mart know that the decision is not in its best interest from either a moral or business perspective,” he said. “No company that chooses to sell such a controversial and deadly substance should be given a free ride.”

Christian Newswire and EP News contributed to this report.
Published by Keener Communications Group, April 2006

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