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Researcher: Abortion Advocates Manipulate Data To Make RU-486 Look Safe

by Bill Fancher and Jenni Parker
April 10, 2006
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(AgapePress) - - A pro-life activist says while the abortion lobby "plays with numbers," women are dying from the use of the abortion drug RU-486.

According to Randall O'Bannon, a researcher with the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the pro-abortion lobby claims more than half a million women have taken RU-486 -- also known as mifepristone -- with only a handful of problems occurring. However, he contends, this claim about the broad-scale use and low incidence of complications "doesn't seem to be true on either side."

Since RU-486 was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2000, six women in the U.S. and one in Canada have died after taking the abortifacient, causing some abortion providers to suspend use of this chemical method of causing an abortion. However, many "abortion rights" proponents continue to tout the drug as a relatively safe medication, estimating the number of patient fatalities in mifepristone abortions at about one in 200,000.

But O'Bannon believes pro-abortion advocates are playing with the numbers, first of all in order to exaggerate the number of women actually taking the dangerous drug, and secondly to downplay its harmful effects. "They count these by the doses that are sold to clinics or doctors, not actually the number of women who have taken the pill," he says, "and then they multiply those sales figures by a factor of three because a lot of these people are changing the dose."

Meanwhile, the researcher points out, women who experience complications after taking RU-486 are usually treated in hospital emergency rooms, not by the doctor or clinic that originally gave them the drug. "They may or may not even be able to tell the doctor that they've taken this pill," he says. And generally, when one of these "chemical abortion" patients dies as a result of the complications, he adds, "it never gets reported as being a death due to this whole sort of process here."

In such cases, O'Bannon asserts, deaths that occur as a result of RU-486 may actually get recorded as being due to complications from serious infections or natural miscarriages. In any event, he insists that RU-486 is far more dangerous than the abortion lobby suggests.

"We think that they're overestimating how many women have used it," the NRLC spokesman says, "and they may be grossly underestimating the number of women who have been injured or have died because of this."

O'Bannon is convinced the abortion lobby is being untruthful when it says half a million women have taken RU-486 with only a minimal number of problems reported. The pro-life researcher believes that assertion is a disingenuous claim based on manipulated numbers and that RU-486 is in fact responsible for many more than the seven deaths currently attributed to the drug.

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