A growing number of people are calling for the Food & Drug Administration to revoke its approval of the abortion pill known as RU-486.

I believe the pill was approved without the proper amount of study, largely because the influential abortion industry was calling for the quick approval of the drug.

And now, at least seven American women have died after using the drug. The federal agency has not declared that the drug was to blame for the last two deaths. In four earlier cases, the FDA said the women died from a bloodstream infection, or sepsis.

Dr. Gene Rudd, associate executive director of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations, recently said he fears that more cases of problems will surface. The organization has long been calling for testing on RU-486 (also known as “Mifepristone” and “Mifeprex”).

“When CMDA petitioned for a drug recall in 2002, we cited safety reasons and failure to meet FDA standards,” said Dr. Rudd. “Some claimed we were acting only on our pro-life bias. While that bias is true, it did not blind our objectivity regarding the lack of safety reporting for this product. Lives continue to be at unnecessary risk. The drug should be recalled.”

Science vs. politics

The FDA’s decisions should be based solely on science – not on politics. The federal agency is there to protect us. This is only accomplished when all the necessary precautions are taken in ensuring that drugs do not pose health threats to the public.

But apparently, it’s not that simple.

Several other pro-life organizations are calling for the FDA to take action.

Concerned Women for America has long been at the forefront of challenging the approval of RU-486.

“The FDA has pulled other drugs that have caused fewer deaths and less severe complications than RU-486,” said Wendy Wright, CWA’s president. “Why the double standard for an abortion drug that is now linked to the deaths of seven healthy women and over 800 other reported complications?”

She said that women are paying the price for the “FDA’s and abortion clinics’ negligence.”

That’s a pertinent argument because the abortion-rights industry so frequently claims to be working to protect women’s lives. But they have been silent on the RU-486 problem.

“Perhaps people will now see that this has gone too far, that too many women have suffered from the lie that abortion is ‘safe,'” said Mrs. Wright.

But I wouldn’t count on it.

Two bills have now been introduced in response to these tragedies. On March 17, Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., and Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D., R-Okla., called on Congress to pass S. 511, the RU-486 Suspension and Review Act, that would suspend the sale of the drug while it undergoes a medical review.

In 2003, Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, R-Md., introduced Holly’s Law, which would ban the use of RU-486. This bill – named after Holly Patterson, an 18-year-old California woman who died from toxic shock after undergoing an RU-486 abortion – has 79 co-sponsors. Officially known as the “RU-486 Suspension and Review Act of 2005,” the bill is also sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J. In the Senate, Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., has sponsored the legislation.

Sen. DeMint recently told the Washington Post, “This drug should never have been approved, and it must be suspended immediately.”

Deirdre A. McQuade of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, speaking at a congressional press conference in March, said, “The RU-486 method [of abortion] compounds this offense by also threatening the lives, fertility and well-being of healthy women.”

It’s high time that RU-486 was pulled from the shelves so it can undergo further study. The lives of American women are literally hanging in the balance.

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