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It has been some time since we have heard any news about the abortion drug, RU-486, or mifepristone, but a study published in May in the Australian Family Physician, a medical journal for Australia’s general practitioners reported their findings that chemical abortions using RU-486 are significantly more dangerous than surgical abortions.


The abortion drug, RU-486 was introduced into Australia five years ago. Since then there has been a steady increase in its use largely due to lower costs, greater privacy (it can be self administered at home) and according to the newspaper The Australian, “assurances as to its safety.”  However, the newspaper also admits that, “the findings will undermine a selling point of medical abortion.” Let's hope so.

Authors of the study, Drs. Ea Mulligan and Hayley Messenger looked at over 7,000 abortions, which were carried out in South Australia between 2009 and 2010. They found of the women having surgical abortions, 0.4 per cent were reported as having to be re-admitted to hospital for post-abortion complications. But for those women who had RU-486 abortions, 5.7 percent were re-admitted with severe complications.
The study also found that one in 200 women who had an RU-486 abortion had severe hemorrhaging versus one in 3,000 in surgical abortion. These numbers were for first trimester abortions.

For second-trimester RU-486 abortions, fully 33% of the cases resulted in severe complications.

It is not surprising that this would be the case given the history of RU-486. In the US it was legalized in 2000 by the Food and Drug Administration and at least 14 American women have since died from complications. Italy reported 16 maternal deaths from RU-486 in the Italian Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics in 2008, causing the Italian Senate to halt the sale of the drug.

In Canada, the RU-486 pill is illegal but Dr. Ellen Wiebe who ran the first studies on chemical abortions circumvents the law by providing a variation of them to women at her Vancouver clinic.  She has been calling for Health Canada to legalize RU486 for many years.

Thankfully, the health hazards of the abortion pill have, until now, kept it out of Canada's pharmacies.

There are many concerns surrounding the abortion pill. It is known to commonly cause painful cramping, heavy bleeding, nausea, vomiting and can take days and even weeks for the procedure to finish. It is also known to result in incomplete abortion resulting in a surgical procedure.

During the RU-486 trials in 2001, a woman participating in the trials came to a Vancouver hospital on August 28 complaining of severe abdominal cramping, bleeding, dizziness and weakness. As these were considered standard symptoms for the chemical abortion procedure, she was sent home, only to come back to the hospital days later. She died on September 1st of an infection that had spread from her uterus poisoning her vital organs and eventually stopping her heart.

One of the major concerns with the RU-486 is that the common severity of the symptoms can mask an underlying complication. If a woman is already experiencing nausea, cramping, bleeding and diarrhea, how are doctors to know if these symptoms are not a result of the bacterial infection that has been associated with the abortion drug?

During much of the controversy that finally led to its approval in the U.S., Randall O'Bannon, PhD, director of education and research at the U.S. National Right to Life Committee, pointed out that one in 100 women was hospitalized in the U.S. trials, and that under carefully controlled clinical circumstances. “What,” wondered O'Bannon, “would the rates be under ordinary circumstances, where follow-ups are likely to be much less rigorous?”

Writing for the Annals of Pharmacotherapy, a leading peer-reviewed, international pharmacotherapy journal for physicians and pharmacists, Brown University professor Ralph P. Miech, MD, PhD, explained the mechanism of mifepristone and its link to the fatal bacterial infection that has claimed the lives of so many women. Mifepristone, a progesterone inhibitor, “cause[s] changes in the cervix that allow Clostridium sordellii, a common vaginal bacteria, to enter the cervical canal. Clostridium sordellii thrives in this low-oxygen environment and derives nutrition from the decaying fetal tissue.”

Other hormonal effects of mifepristone, known as antiglucocorticoid actions, may interfere with chemical regulators known as cytokines, upsetting the delicate balance between over- and under-stimulation of the immune system. “This disruption impairs the body’s ability to fight off Clostridium sordellii and may help spread the bacteria’s toxic by-products, a combination that can result in widespread septic shock,” claims the Annals.

A study conducted at the University of Michigan and published in The Journal of Immunology in 2008 showed that "off-label use" of the controversial abortion drugs mifepristone (Mifeprex) and misoprostol (Cytotec), collectively called RU-486, could have been the cause of death of at least eight more women.

According to the American Life League, Planned Parenthood prescribed the drug misoprostol used in combination with mifepristone, to be administered vaginally rather than orally. The FDA had specified that misoprostol be taken orally.

The study found that misoprostol can also cause Clostridium sordellii bacteria when taken vaginally.  Dr. David Aronoff, who led the University of Michigan study, said in an interview with the Michigan Messenger, "What struck me in those cases is the women had previously been healthy, then died after taking fairly high doses of synthetic prostaglandin E2, which is misoprostol... when the drug is given orally, it does not appear to have a suppressive effect on reproductive tract immunology."

Six out the eight women were infected with Clostridium sordellii. The other two contracted a related Clostridium bacterium. According to a LifeSiteNews article, it wasn't until these women had lost their lives that Planned Parenthood “quietly changed their policy.” (Planned Parenthood Implicated in RU-486 Deaths of Four Women, by Thaddeus M. Baklinski, Jan 19, 2008)

Interestingly, pro-abortion feminists Janice G. Raymond, Renate Klein, and Lynette J. Dumble, in their book RU-486: Misconceptions, Myths, and Morals, point out that RU-486 abortions are an ordeal “that involves an excruciatingly long wait for the embryo to be expelled from the uterus, accompanied by pain, bleeding, vomiting, and nausea and other complications that are drawn out over a substantially lengthy period of time."

Undaunted by the banning of RU-486 in Canada, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (SOGC) actually drew up a set of guidelines in 2005 on how to use another deadly combination of drugs, methotrexate and misoprostol, to terminate pregnancies. These drugs are not intended by the manufacturers to be used for abortions. In fact, just prior to the RU-486 trials in British Columbia in 2001 that included more than 800 Canadian women, the manufacturer of misoprostol, G.D. Searle, issued a letter sternly warning that the off-label use of misoprostol for an abortion could cause, among a litany of horrific effects, “serious adverse events… includ(ing) maternal or fetal death.”

Dr. Ellen Wiebe who conducted the trials admitted that the 800 women were never warned about the Searle company’s letter. A decision was made not to tell them. Wiebe said the letter “was a terrible thing, because we need (misoprostol). We use it for miscarriages as well as induction of labour.” The Pro-Life Society of B.C. filed complaints in 2001 with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. regarding Wiebe’s use of misoprostol for a purpose not recommended by Searle.

Yet despite the warnings, complications and the deaths, the prescribing of these deadly abortion cocktails continues unhindered. It seems reminiscent of archaic witch doctoring practices of deepest, darkest Africa, not the supposed enlightened medicine of the the 21st Century.