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News of the Day ... In Perspective


Mechanism of abortion pill toxicity explained

At a Jan 28 meeting of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Dr. Ralph Miech presented an explanation for the complications of mifepristone (Mifeprex), an abortifacient that has been used in more than 500,000 U.S. abortions since FDA approval in 2000.

The drug was initially developed as an anti-glucocorticoid to treat Cushing’s disease; its abortifacient effect was discovered in routine toxicology studies.

The pro-inflammatory effect may lead to toxic shock. The symptoms may be mistakenly reported as an allergic reaction.

According to Drs. Margaret M. Gary and Donna J. Harrison, who just published an article in the February 2006 issue of Annals of Pharmacotherapy, the choice of mifepristone termination over surgical termination is based mainly on patient perceptions of safety, convenience, and privacy, but these perceptions do not accurately reflect the realities of the regimen.”

These physicians examined 637 mifepristone adverse event reports (AERs). They noted that the reports were incomplete and of poor quality; they are voluntary, and many physicians do not even know what an AER is. Emergency surgery was required in 513 cases. Among 237 reports of hemorrhage, 168 were serious, 42 life-threatening, and one fatal.

The manufacturer of misoprostol (Cytotec), which is frequently used in conjunction with mifepristone, warns that this use is not safe (PRI Weekly Briefing 2/3/06).

Your patients may have read “empowering information” about the abortion pill by Feminist Women’s Health Center at www.fwhc.org/abortion/medical-ab.htm.

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