RU-486: Legal and Lethal

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), October 12, 2003 | Go to article overview

RU-486: Legal and Lethal


Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Baltimore Orioles' reliever Steve Bechler died after taking ephedra, a natural dietary supplement used for weight loss. Bechler was only 23. Given his public stature, his death in 2002 prompted action on the part of the National Football League, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the International Olympic Committee, and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Two women died during FDA trials of RU-486. In 2002, a 21-year-old American woman suffered a heart attack after taking RU-486, the abortion pill. One woman died during the Canadian drug trials of RU-486. No regulatory measures have been taken.

Just two weeks ago, 18-year-old Holly Patterson died after taking RU-486. An unidentified reporter at a White House Briefing noted the discrepancy: A famous athlete dies from a drug and action is taken. Unknown women die, and nothing happens.

Activist groups that champion autonomy and the "right" to choose remain curiously silent when their ideology claims the lives of innocent women. It's one thing for an activist to become a martyr for a cause. It's quite another to lead innocent victims to the slaughter.

Holly was young, pregnant, and unmarried - not an ideal situation. She went to a Planned Parenthood clinic whose staff offered her an easy answer in the form of a few pills that seemed as harmless as aspirin.

Planned Parenthood gave her a drug that, among other safety concerns, was never tested on adolescent girls. The clinical trials required sonograms to determine the stage of the pregnancy and whether the pregnancy was ectopic. The FDA does not. So far, Planned Parenthood has offered no proof Holly had a sonogram.

In France, where the drug was first administered publicly, women remain under a physician's supervision. The FDA loosened this regulation in the U.S. and only requires that the administering doctor be capable of performing a surgical abortion in the event of complications from an incomplete abortion.

Planned Parenthood gave Holly the pills and sent her home. When she returned to complain of pain, she was given pain relievers.

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