Trail of Evidence: CWA Posts Public Documents Revealing RU-486 Complications

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Washington, D.C. As tens of thousands of Americans gather here today for the annual March for Life, Concerned Women for America (CWA) is posting on its Web site public documents revealing approximately 600 serious complications suffered by women who used the abortion drug RU-486.

“Abortion proponents claim that RU-486 is safe. These documents prove otherwise,” said Wendy Wright, CWA’s senior policy director. “When the FDA [Food and Drug Administration] approved RU-486 under intense political pressure in the waning days of the Clinton administration, the extent of the damage was anyone’s guess. Now evidence is available through Adverse Events Reports filed by doctors, Danco (the drug’s distributor) and women themselves. Healthy women who take RU-486 can end up with life-threatening, even fatal, complications. These reports show case upon case of women being rushed to hospital emergency rooms after taking RU-486.”

The FDA produced these documents in response to CWA’s lawful request for records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The FDA ensured the women’s medical privacy by redacting personal-identifying medical information. This allows the public to understand the dangers of the drug while protecting the identities and privacy of the women who were adversely affected.

“While not all adverse events are reported, these reports confirm three deaths caused by RU-486, including 18-year-old Holly Patterson, who died after taking the drug in September 2003,” said Wright. Patterson’s parents were unaware of her pregnancy until after her death, and have since filed a lawsuit against Danco, Planned Parenthood of Golden Gate and other parties allegedly involved.

“RU-486 has one purpose: to kill a human being. These reports show that many times there are two victims. Women have a right to know the risks associated with RU-486, to know what’s happened to other women who have taken this drug. If this information had been available earlier, perhaps some women could have been spared the devastating effects,” said Wright.

The Adverse Events Reports can be viewed at

Women who suffer, or doctors who treat, complications caused by RU-486 can file an Adverse Event Report through the FDA’s MedWatch Web site, found at:

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