August 15, 2005


Abortion Pill Investigated in Four California Deaths: The FDA warns patients as federal, state and L.A. County agencies try to trace deadly infections. (Maria L. La Ganga, August 15, 2005, LA Times)

Health officials are investigating whether there are any links in the cases of four California women — at least two in Los Angeles County — who have died since 2003 of massive infection after taking the so-called abortion pill, RU-486, and a follow-up drug.

The state and federal probe follows an announcement last month by the Food and Drug Administration, after the June death of a Sherman Oaks woman, warning doctors and patients of the potential for serious bacterial infection under certain circumstances. [...]

RU-486, prescribed under the brand name Mifeprex, was approved by the FDA in 2000 over the strong objections of many abortion opponents. In recent weeks, opponents of the RU-486 regimen have renewed their call for the passage of Holly's Law, which would take the drug off the market in the U.S., arguing that there is no way it can be administered without risk.

The proposed legislation was named after 18-year-old Holly Patterson of Livermore, Calif., the first U.S. woman to die of infection after a nonsurgical abortion in 2003. The procedure is often called a medical abortion.

"We should be just as concerned about women's safety as we are about their rights," said Wendy Wright, senior policy director for Concerned Women for America, which has been working to get the drug prohibited. "I've been stunned by the comments … that some women have to pay the price of death so that women can have abortions."

Looked at rationally, a few incidental deaths do seem a small price to pay for many intentional ones.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 15, 2005 12:00 AM

This sounds a little like suicide bombing.

Posted by: Joseph Hertzlinger at August 15, 2005 1:09 PM

Without the virgins...

Posted by: oj at August 15, 2005 1:26 PM

Imagine if this were a useless drug like a painkiller for sever arthritis sufferers. What would the outcry be like.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at August 15, 2005 4:10 PM

It's not an accident, it was created by a successor company to IG Farben

Posted by: narciso at August 16, 2005 2:30 PM