The "abortion pill" RU-486 has claimed two more lives, as informed by regulators who issued a warning that brought renewed calls for pulling the drug combination from the market. The drug combination, also called Mifeprex or mifepristone, has not been proved to be the cause in any of those cases.
The Food and Drug Administration warned doctors to watch for a rare but deadly infection previously implicated in four deaths of women who had taken RU-486.
In the four California cases, the second course of pills was administered vaginally, an "off-label" use that studies have shown to be effective and that has been recommended by a majority of the nation's abortion clinics.
RU-486 is sold by Danco Laboratories and is approved to terminate pregnancy up to 49 days after the beginning of the latest menstrual cycle. It blocks a hormone required to sustain a pregnancy. The second medicine, misoprostol, induces contractions, terminating the pregnancy.
"RU-486 is a deadly drug that is killing pregnant women. This drug should never have been approved, and it must be suspended immediately."
Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. said it would stop recommending vaginal insertion of the second course of pills. Four of the women who died, including the latest two, received the pills at Planned Parenthood-affiliated clinics, said Dr. Vanessa Cullins, the organization's vice president for medical affairs.
At least seven U.S. women have died after taking the drugs since 2000.
Thus, the FDA is concerned about the drug and its implications.