an After abortion

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Saturday, November 20, 2004

Wanted to respond to this comment on our earlier post about the FDA warning on RU 486:
“There's not enough detail in any article I've seen about what these people did that caused their infections (and ultimately, their deaths). A bacterial infection can be caused by insertion of a tampon during the abortion. Some of these people could have lied about their medical history, thinking that it's just a minute detail. Any medication comes with risks and side effects and is harmful if used incorrectly or if symptoms are neglected. Also, if you had read CNN a few days ago, there was an article in there that said the deaths of the first 2 women who died in the US couldn't be directly linked to the medication.”
Please, if you can, give us the link to that CNN article so we can review it.

The details may not all be in the articles you’ve seen but they're certainly in the coroners' reports and lots of sources, including some abortion advocates themselves:

1. Dec. 3, '03~ from
"Dr. W. David Hager, a member of the FDA Advisory Committee For Reproductive Health Drugs, has endorsed a review of the abortion drug that resulted in the death of California teenager Holly Patterson. In addition, the FDA and Danco Pharmaceuticals, the distributor of the drug, are considering and must respond to a citizen's petition filed last year by The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, The Christian Medical Association, and Concerned Women for America."

"‘Mifepristone is one of two medications in the regimen marketed as Mifeprex which also includes the drug misoprostol,’ explained Dr. Hager. ‘Mifepristone…acts at the level of the lining of the uterus to interfere with normal blood supply to the implanted infant/placenta and kill the baby. Misoprostol then acts to stimulate uterine contractions to cause the dead baby and placenta to be expelled from the mother's body via the vagina.’"

"According to the autopsy report, Patterson died of sepsis. ‘Sepsis means the dissemination of infection through the blood stream. Bacteria spread from [the uterus] into the veins and lymphatics to other parts of her body. When a person becomes infected in this way, antibiotics may stop the process if the diagnosis is made early enough…Holly was so sick when she arrived at the hospital that she could not be saved. Thus, although sepsis was the direct cause of her death, mifepristone was the indirect cause.’"
If the FDA issued a blackbox warning, it wasn't because the manufacturer WANTED it there. The FDA knows these deaths occurred and it has studied the reports enough to warrant putting a blackbox label on the drugs and go to all the trouble of providing a wealth of warning info and even "Dear Health Professional" and "Dear Emergency Room Director" letters on their website, where they also warn, "Do Not Buy Mifeprex Over the Internet."

2. From the published book RU 486: Misconceptions, Myths and Morals, by pro-abortion researcher Janice Raymond, et. al., Associate Director, Institute on Women & Technology, Cambridge MA:
“The only thing private about RU 486 is that the final stage of the abortion; the expulsion of the embryo, often happens at home--or someplace else. To call this an at-home abortion is deceptive, to say the least, since most of the [multiple-day] treatment transpires at the clinic or hospital and is extremely medicalized. What actually happens at home can be an excruciatingly long wait for the embryo to be expelled from the uterus, accompanied by pain, bleeding, vomiting, nausea, and other complications [such as allergic shock] that are drawn out over a substantially lengthy period of time [up to 30-69 days; I. Spitz et al., "Early pregnancy termination with mifepristone and misoprostol in the United States," New England Journal of Medicine 1998, 338:1241-47]...We are talking about a non-private, extensively medicalized, and complicated procedure.’ (Raymond, et al, pp.27-29)

"As abortifacient procedures go, RU 486 is not at all easy to use. In fact, it is more complex to use than the technique of vacuum extraction. True, no anesthetic is required. But a woman who wants to end her pregnancy has to 'live' with her abortion for at least a week using this technique. It's an appalling psychological ordeal." (Raymond, et al, pp.50-51)

"There are a host of conditions, contraindications, and complications that expose the fallacy of the 'safe and effective' claims for RU 486/PG abortion. To begin, close medical supervision is necessary to establish the existence and length of pregnancy; to monitor bleeding and possibly perform a blood transfusion; to administer narcotic analgesics if women experience severe pain; to use ultrasound to determine complete expulsion of the embryo and tissue after the final treatment protocol; and to perform a conventional abortion if the chemical is incomplete and/or the pregnancy continues. Added to this fact is that many women do not seek--or have access to--medical treatment promptly enough for chemical abortions to work. (p.31)

"The abysmal safety statistics from conventional abortions in third world countries are often cited in defense of chemical abortion. But the RU 486/ PG method is as unacceptable in these countries for the same reasons as poorly performed conventional abortions--lack of trained personnel and supervision." (p.51)
"Raymond goes on to say that the same abortion advocates who wail about the harm done to women in third world countries (by unscrupulous physicians) are quite willing to let these same women suffer from heavy bleeding, incomplete abortions and infection brought on by RU 486 (pp.51-52). In short, abortion advocates are playing politics with the lives of poor women in their quest to legalize an extensively medicalized and highly complicated abortion pill."

Raymond also was quoted in a Susan Ince article, “The Trouble with RU486,” Vogue, July 1991, p. 88, saying,
“Claims that RU 486 abortion is private and demedicalized are belied by the number of medical visits and the whole drug cocktail a woman may be exposed to."
Raymond wrote another book on this and many related subjects: Women as Wombs, (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, 1993). In Chapter 1, "The Production of Fertility and Infertility: East and West, South and North," pp. 1-28, found reprinted with permission only on this Harvard website, Dr. Raymond writes (I can only paraphrase since the copyright notice prohibits my directly quoting) that feminist groups are mostly aligned with population planning groups to promote RU 486, but as a result have lost the edge that made them originally focused truly on women’s best interests. She states that women’s health groups have not demanded comprehensive, objective, unbiased research studies on the safety of RU 486. She further opines that since the population planners have demonstrated a history of advocating drugs that have proven harmful, objectifying and even lethal to women, in essence, women’s health groups are doing women no favors whatsoever by promoting RU 486.

Read it for yourselves, please. In it she footnotes her own book mentioned above, but gives no URL link: Janice C. Raymond, Renate Klein, and Lynette Dumble, RU 486: Misconceptions, Myths, and Morals (Cambridge: Institute on Women and Technology, MIT, 1991; and North Melbourne, Victoria: Spinfex Press, 1991).

3. Remember, as said above, RU 486 is actually two drugs:
“Other names for RU-486: Mifepristone is the generic name for RU-486. In the U.S., RU-486 is sold under the brand names Mifeprex® and Early Option®.

Note: An RU-486 abortion involves two drugs
When taken alone, RU-486 causes a complete abortion only about 60% of the time. [I. Spitz et al., "Early pregnancy termination with mifepristone and misoprostol in the United States," New England Journal of Medicine 1998, 338:1241-47. AND L. Birgerson and V. Odlind, "Early pregnancy termination with anti-progestins: a comparative clinical study of RU-486 given in two dose regimens and Epostane," Fertil. Steril. 48:565-70 (1987).]

“A second drug, a prostaglandin, is given 48 hours later to increase its effectiveness. The prostaglandin causes uterine contractions to help expel the embryo. Misoprostol (brand name Cytotec) is the prostaglandin used with RU-486 in the U.S.”
Keep that in mind when you read this:

“On Aug. 23, 2000 Searle issued a letter to all Health Care Practitioners entitled ‘Important Drug Warning Concerning Unapproved Use of Intravaginal or Oral MISOPROSTOL [CYTOTEC] in Pregnant Women for ... Abortion.’ It states in part: ‘Serious adverse events reported following off-label use of Cytotec in pregnant women include maternal and fetal death; uterine hyperstimulation, rupture or perforation requiring uterine surgical repair, hysterectomy [removal of uterus] or salpingo-oophorectomy [removal of ovaries and Fallopian tubes]; amniotic fluid embolism; severe vaginal bleeding, retained placenta, shock, fetal bradycardia and pelvic pain.’

And those CAPs are theirs not mine.

4. Keep in mind the manufacturer’s and the FDA's instructions for how to administer this “drug cocktail.” Now read how Planned Parenthood instructed Holly Patterson to take the pills (the exact same way that VMC instructed Brenda Vise):

"On September 10, Holly's boyfriend took her to Planned Parenthood. Seven weeks pregnant, she was given the abortion drug mifepristone and also given misoprostol vaginal inserts to use two days later that would produce contractions and eventually she would expel the body of the dead baby...She obtained the first part of the two-drug abortion process at Planned Parenthood. She was told to use the second part, misoprostol, vaginally at home. However, FDA approval of RU-486 calls for the second pill to be administered orally during a second office visit...Danco Laboratories, maker of the abortion drug in the U.S., has also issued guidelines saying those who use the drug are supposed to return to the abortion facility for the second pill.

“The abortion drug is also not to be used after 49 days of gestation. Patterson was in her seventh week of pregnancy when she went to the abortion facility, but that diagnosis could have been off." isn’t the only news source reporting that she took the second set of pills wrongly at home:
"She followed the prescribed procedure for using RU-486, taking two more pills at home [emphasis this author] three days later...A second medication called Misoprostol, taken three days later, induces labor so the embryo can be expelled. In 5 to 8 percent of cases, surgery is required to stop the patient's bleeding."
"Prescribed?" Prescribed by Planned Parenthood. And 5 to 8 % of women need surgery to survive an RU 486 abortion? Anyone got stats on how many RU 486 abortions are attempted yearly in the states or the world?

5. Giving names to more details: “Fifteen year-old Tamia Russell of Detroit died as a result of a second-trimester abortion earlier this year. It is suspected that the abortion drug RU-486 caused the fatal infection that claimed her life.”

6. “MIT study discounts safety of French abortion pill," February 1992

7. Here, pro-abortion NARAL tried in June of this year to get the above-quoted Dr. Hager bumped off the FDA. Haven’t looked up whether they were successful or not.

I could go on, but I think that’s enough.

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