Aide Laments Latest Deaths Linked to RU-486

Urges Officials to Halt Use of Abortion Pill

WASHINGTON, D.C., MARCH 20, 2006 ( A U.S. bishops’ aide lamented the deaths of two more women linked to the RU-486 abortion pill, bringing the total of known maternal fatalities to 10.

“We are deeply saddened by yet another advisory from the Food and Drug Administration that two more women have died from RU-486 abortions,” said Deirdre McQuade, a spokeswoman for the bishops’ Pro-Life Secretariat.

Media reports published Friday said that federal health regulators were warning doctors to watch for a rare but deadly infection implicated in earlier deaths.

“According to the New England Journal of Medicine,” McQuade said in a statement, “RU-486 abortions are 10 times more likely to kill a woman, from infection alone, than are surgical abortions in early pregnancy. This estimate does not even include RU-486 related deaths from other causes, such as ruptured ectopic pregnancy.”

“After five years of trauma and death associated with RU-486, the FDA’s response has been limited to health advisories and amended drug labeling,” the bishops’ aide continued. “How many more healthy women must die before the agency takes a close second look at RU-486?”

McQuade added: “We again call on Congress to pass the RU-486 Suspension and Review Act” — also known as Holly’s Law, for a teen-ager who died after using the drug — “which will protect women’s lives while the flawed FDA approval process of this dangerous drug is scrutinized.”