The Abortion Pill Mifepristone Kills 1 in 4 Children Aborted Early in U.S.
About one of four children aborted early in America are killed by the abortion pill rather than a surgical procedure, according to an Associated Press report.
The report concerns a Planned Parenthood study published in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine touting the improved safety of a drug used in abortions that is now dissolved orally instead of vaginally – the latter being a technique that is more prone to causing severe and sometimes fatal infections.
The chemical abortion method consists of first distributing mifepristone, also known as RU-486, which kills the child before misoprostol is administered two days later, a drug that induces the body to expel the corpse.
A spokeswoman with Danco Laboratories LLC, the manufacturer of Mifeprex (mifepristone), told the AP that such "medical" abortions account for about one quarter of all early abortions, and about one third of early abortions at Planned Parenthood.
The AP reports that the use of RU-486 has risen steadily since its approval in 2000, despite its availability only in clinics or doctors' offices rather than pharmacies.
Planned Parenthood researchers published a study in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine analyzing chemical abortions at Planned Parenthood between 2005 and mid-2008, and found that the change in the misoprostol's administration reduced the risk of serious infection from about 1 in 1,000 to 0.06 in 1,000.
The study did not address mifepristone's side effects, including abdominal pain, uterine cramping, and vaginal bleeding or spotting, which almost all patients experienced in clinical trials for an average of 9-16 days. About 8% of the women experienced bleeding for 30 days or more.
In 2007 the New England Journal of Medicine published a study showing that chemical abortions did not pose more of a risk for miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, preterm births, or low birth weight than surgical abortions.
While the media reported the news as proof that the abortion pill is "safe," critics said the conclusion was misleading as the study failed to compare the rate of post-abortive complications with the rate of complications in women who had not aborted a previous child.
That would have shown that the abortion pill was merely equally as likely as surgical abortions to dramatically increase the risk of such complications, as shown by several studies.
Related: Abortion Linked to Subsequent Pre-Term Births, New Research Again Confirms
Abortion Pill not 'Safe' Despite Media Spin – Study Suggests Pill as Dangerous As Surgical Abortion
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Did Media Hide Danger of the Patch?