The push to allow the use of mifepristone better known as the abortion drug RU 486, continues its unrelenting march in Canada. An application was filed with Health Canada in 2012 seeking approval of this drug in our country. Promoters of RU 486 abortion use the term “medical” abortion but chemical abortion is a better descriptor. Mifepristone has been called the “gold standard” for chemical abortions by its promoters. Gold standard, really? Many would disagree with that description including Professors Renate Klein, Janice G. Raymond and Lynette J. Dumble, all supporters of legal abortion.
Their book RU 486, mifepristone: Misconceptions, myths and morals refutes the claim that an RU 486/prostaglandin (PG) abortion is a safe and effective alternative to surgical abortion. Among the findings of their research listed on the back cover of the 2013 edition of their book, we read: “Heavy bleeding, transfusions, vomiting, severe pain and infection are among the unpredictable adverse effects. Women have died from sepsis and cardiovascular events.”
On page 47, Ms. Klein and colleagues write: “Researchers and clinicians minimize the drug cocktail effect, as they minimize other complications. As we evaluated the literature on complications, it became clear to us that the medical acceptance, without comment or criticism, of what have now become ‘minimal’, ‘tolerable’, and ‘acceptable’ side effects for women, deserves to be highlighted for what it is – unethical medical practice.”
What has the evidence revealed concerning RU 486 abortions?Consider the data of an Australian study from 2011. It compared surgical and chemical(RU 486) abortions in South Australia over a two year period from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2010. The researchers found that serious complications were higher for RU 486 abortions than surgical abortions. For first trimester abortions, the rate of severe haemorrhage was one in 3000 for the surgical patients and one in 200 for the chemical abortion patients. The patients who used RU 486 had a higher rate of admittance to hospital following their abortions than the patients who underwent surgical abortions. The rate of admissions for surgical patients was 0.4% compared to 5.7% for users of the abortion pill.
As concerns second trimester chemical abortions, the study found that complications occurred in up to 33% of the cases reviewed by the researchers.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States reported in its Mifepristone Post marketing Adverse Event Summary through April 30, 2011 that it received notice of 2,207 cases of adverse events following RU 486 abortions. The adverse events listed: 612 women required hospitalization, 339 experienced blood loss requiring transfusions, 256 had infections with 48 having severe infections, 58 had ectopic pregnancies and 14 women died. Seven of the women died from sepsis involving the bacteria Clostridium sordellii. Two other deaths were caused by ruptured ectopic pregnancies.
The FDA allowed the use of Mifepristone in the U.S. in 2000. It notes in its summary concerning blood loss that that”bleeding or spotting can be expected for an average of 9-16 days, and may last up to 30 days.”
An RU-486 chemical abortion is not a simple and easy process. It requires the use of two drugs, first mifepristone than 36 to 48 hours later, it is followed by administration of a prostaglandin. In the U.S., this prostaglandin is misoprostol.
Common side effects of this abortion regimen are cramping, abdominal pain, bleeding for many days even weeks, back pain, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, nausea, fatigue and chill/fever.
Ru 486 results in an incomplete abortion in some instances requiring the woman to undergo a second abortion, a surgical one to finish the process.
What does an an RU 486 abortion involve? The first drug mifepristone blocks progesterone and sloughs off the nutrient rich lining of the uterus causing the death of the developing child and the second drug misoprostol (Cytotec) stimulates contractions expelling the dead child.
Misoprostol is more commonly known as Cytotec , a drug used to treat and prevent gastric ulcers. Searle, the maufacturer of Cytotec has never approved its product for abortion. This is considered off label use. In fact, Searle warned in 2000 that “Cytotec is not approved for the induction of labor and abortion.”
The fact that abortion supporters maintain that this abortion pill regimen is safe and effective would bring little comfort to the father of 18 year old Holly Patterson who died after an RU-486 abortion in California.
The pharmaceutical company Exelgen admitted to the Italian government in 2009 that at least 29 women worldwide had died after using the abortion pill.
A 26 year old Canadian woman died from septic shock following an RU 486 abortion during a clinical trial of the drug in 2001 in Canada. The trial was halted after her death.
An RU 486 abortion is deadly for the unborn child and sometimes for the mother as well.