F.D.A. Approves Sale of Abortion Pill, Likely Made in China; Abortion Industry Seeks Journalists’ Aid in Marketing Strategy
WASHINGTON – "The Clinton-Gore Administration, which claimed it wanted to make abortion rare, has embraced an abortion pill that will result in more abortions and new risks to women," commented Laura Echevarria, spokeswoman for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), regarding today’s announcement that the FDA has approved marketing of the RU-486 abortion pill in the United States. It appears from published reports that the drug will be imported from the People’s Republic of China.
An ABCNEWS.com poll conducted Sept. 6-10 found that a plurality opposed making RU-486 legal (47% illegal, 45% legal). "The degree of opposition would no doubt be even higher were it not for the misinformation that has colored much of the past media coverage of the issue, including highly inaccurate references to RU-486 as a ‘morning-after pill’ or as a drug that causes expulsion of a ‘fertilized egg,’" Echevarria said. "In reality, this method involves administration of two potent drugs, and frequently produces profuse bleeding, in order to kill a human embryo who is two to five weeks old."
"Only four months ago, after years of study, the FDA recognized the substantial risks of this two-drug abortion method, proposing restrictions such as requiring administration within one hour of an emergency room," commented Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., NRLC’s Director of Education, who has written extensively on issues surrounding RU-486. [See the RU-486 section of the NRLC website at www.nrlc.org.] "Now, four months later, the FDA has dropped most of these protections for women’s health. What has changed, other than a four-month campaign of political pressure by the abortion industry and its allies? The FDA opted for the convenience of abortionists over the safety of women."
O’Bannon noted that a detailed story in the Sept. 5 Wall Street Journal strongly suggests that the abortion pills will be imported from the People’s Republic of China, although Danco Laboratories has been unwilling to confirm or deny this. "The public has a right to know whether the abortion pill will be imported from the People’s Republic of
China -- a nation that is a leading source of tainted drugs, and which itself is tainted by the government’s pervasive use of compulsory abortion," O’Bannon said.
The U.S. patent holder, the Population Council, and its for-profit creature Danco Laboratories will now step up a sophisticated marketing and public-relations campaign "aimed at swiftly building market share," according to a revealing report that appeared in the Sept. 5 Wall Street Journal. According to the article – drawing on leaked internal Danco documents -- the company anticipates sales of $34.2 million by 2004. The people running the pro-RU-486 public relations campaign hope that journalists can be persuaded to adopt the campaign’s loaded terminology, thereby reinforcing the marketing strategy. Here are some key points to keep in mind:
"Drug-induced abortion" is an accurate and neutral term, while "medical abortion" is confusing and seriously misleading. It appears to be a key element of the abortion industry's marketing strategy to persuade journalists to stop calling RU-486 an "abortion pill," and to adopt the contrived marketing term "medical abortion." In reality, drug-induced abortions are no more or less "medical" than surgical abortions. The term "medical abortion" falsely suggests an abortion performed because of some medical need, when in fact RU-486 will be used almost exclusively for routine, birth-control abortions.
It is grossly inaccurate to state, as some journalists have, that the RU-486/ misoprostol method is a "morning-after pill" or causes the expulsion of a "fertilized egg." The FDA apparently plans to approve the RU-486/misoprostol method up to 49 days "LMP" (i.e., after a woman's last menstrual period, which is 35 days after the life of a new human being has begun at fertilization). By the time a woman misses her period and has a positive pregnancy test, and thus might consider obtaining a drug-induced abortion, she is at least two weeks and in most cases three weeks or more past fertilization (thus, four or more weeks past her LMP). Thus, the baby is two weeks or more past the "fertilized egg" stage. By the time a woman’s pregnancy test shows positive, she carries already implanted within her womb a human being, defined in technical medical terms as an "embryo." The drugs kill this human embryo by cutting off nourishment and then inducing uterine contractions.
Every RU-486-induced abortion that occurs three weeks or more past fertilization
-- which undoubtedly includes the great majority of such abortions -- stops a beating heart. Embryology textbooks say that the heartbeat begins at 18 to 22 days after fertilization, so if RU-486 is used to abort at the 49-day LMP cutoff (five weeks after fertilization), the baby's heart has been beating for about two weeks.
The RU-486/misoprostol method poses serious health risks to women. Even under the carefully controlled conditions of clinical trials, the RU-486/misoprostol process puts one out of every 100 users in the hospital. Two percent of women using the method have such severe bleeding they need surgery. During U.S. trials, one woman in Iowa nearly bled to death.