Select Page

Known Maternal Mortality from RU 486 (also known as mifepristone, or Mifeprex) and Misoprostol-Only Abortions

as of 10/06

Seven US deaths named by Professor McGregor at the CDC-FDA Atlanta meeting (one from ectopic pregnancy + 4 from California + 1 from Colorado and one after only misoprostol in a midwestern state). We have also one death from Canada because of clostridium sordelli sepsis during a clinical trial with mifepristone/misoprostol, one girl from Sweden because of massive blood loss, one in France after use of mifepristone plus sulprostone and three English women: two referred by the British Health Minister Melanie Johnson (Sunday Telegraph, Jan the 18th 2004) and another revealed during a hearing at the Australian Senate (N. 1.123 in Therapeutic Goods Amendement (Repeal of Ministerial responsibility for for approval of RU486) Bill 2005 in

Seven American deaths plus six European deaths for a total of 13 maternal deaths after medical abortions.

The case from Cuba is therefore the 14th. During one session of an international meeting of FIAPAC in Rome (10/06) upon the practical aspects of the medical abortion, gynaecologists from Cuba announced another woman dead in the Caribbean island after a medical abortion.

I personally talked to the collegues and these were the facts. The drug used was misoprostol administered in four doses of 400 mcg each, intravaginally (no use of mifepristone).

After the fourth dose of PG the woman began to feel bad, bleed spontaneously and worse in the vital parameters. The recovery in the intensive care unit was useless as the patient died because of a DIC after only 21 hours since the last dose of misoprostol. The bacterium isolated was a clostridium, but unfortunately the doctors could not say the type. The foetus was completely necrotic while a scan performed only 24 hours before showed a foetal heart beating.

The American Planned Parenthood abortion providers stopped the vaginal administration of misoprostol; now they are using the oro-buccal route, but they admitted it will be necessary to check at least 200,000 more abortions to ascertain the safety of this method. In the meantime…

[R.P., M.D., 26Oct06, Italy] 


CANADIAN INVESTIGATION INTO RU-486 EXPERIMENT DEATH KEPT SECRET – Officials at Health Canada have confirmed that the government has completed its investigation into the death of a Canadian woman after she participated in an RU-486 trial. Dr. Ellen Wiebe, Vancouver abortionist who conducted the experiments with the deadly drugs, has been sent the results of the government information but, the government will not reveal the results to the public.

Tara Madigan, a spokesman for Health Canada said that while the investigation is complete the results are owned by the investigator – in this case Wiebe. With Wiebe being one of the foremost promoters of RU-486, observers are highly doubtful she will reveal any details from the government investigation.

The only information Madigan could provide was to quote from a 4Sept01 already public original report on the death which listed it as caused by septic shock caused by a rare infection and not by exposure to the drug." See RU-486 victim never informed of risk
[Ottawa,, 5May03; 6May03 Pro-Life E-News]

New Concerns About Abortion Drug, As Two Women Die — Two women taking RU-486, the abortion-inducing drug combination, have died, the drug maker says, and four others have become very ill. The news prompted pro-life groups to urge that the drug be taken off the market.

According to a report in the Washington Post, Danco Laboratories, the maker of the drug marketed as Mifeprex, has sent a letter to doctors, telling them about the six women. The letter, however, also says it's not known if RU-486 actually caused the deaths and illnesses. According to the newspaper report, three women suffered bleeding caused by the rupture of ectopic (fallopian tube) pregnancies; one died. Two other women had serious bacterial infections; one of them died. The sixth patient had a heart attack three days after taking RU-486, but she recovered. The letter Danco sent to doctors reminded them to report any serious problems in women who take the abortion drug. The FDA approved RU-486 as an abortion-inducer in September 2000, and at the time, pro-life groups warned of its dangers. [Christine Hall, , 18Apr02]

CANADIAN WOMAN DIES FROM RU-486 –A woman who was enrolled in a test program on RU-486, the abortion pill, has died of complications. Her death has caused a cessation of tests in Canada. [Cybercast News Service:]

According to a recent survey, about 50% of National Abortion Federation abortion providers and 50% of Planned Parenthood affiliates offer the vast majority of all mifepristone (RU-486).

RU 486 Dangers Seen Firsthand by South African Doctors – Before the FDA gave its blessing in 9/00 to the abortion pill RU-486, the manufacturer of misoprostol, which is used in conjunction with RU-486 raised concerns.

Misoprostol (Cytotec) was developed in order to treat ulcers. Searle, which developed misoprostol, refused to sanction usage of its product for use in inducing abortions, citing its lack of safety for off-label use. Nevertheless, it is now being used and promoted to developing nations as an abortifacient.

Professor Steffan Bergstrom heads a Swedish institute that promotes misoprosto

l in Africa for abortion. But even he has concerns. Indeed, in South Africa the death toll of women from drug-induced abortion is growing.

Dr. Albu van Eeden, a South African physician: "The use of this drug (misoprostol) has just got totally out of hand. It's being dished-out like Smartees at clinics."

Van Eeden, a member of the group Doctors for Life, said the off-label use of misoprostol has reached crisis proportions and is causing a growing number of deaths from hemorrhage and uterine rupture due to its casual use. "This really caused an ethical dilemma for pro-life health professionals already, because these women come in bleeding and you are ethically obliged to attend to them," van Eeden said. "You can't just leave them. And so you end up, in the end, completing the abortion for the abortionist." [Focus on the Family; 21Feb01; Infonet]

RU-486 — The arrival of the abortion pill RU 486 in Iowa brings more choices, confusion and convictions concerning abortion to the Iowa State University community. RU 486, which induces abortion by cutting off food and nutrition to the unborn child, has been legal in Europe and other countries for 12 years but only recently became available to the USA. In December, the drug was made available to Iowa residents.

"Many people think you take a pill and the pregnancy magically disappears," said Karen Kubby, director of the Emma Goldman Clinic for Women abortion facility in Iowa City. "The removal of the fetus is only part of the process." The abortion pill works by "removing the fetus using drugs that cause a chemical reaction in the body," she said. If abortion does not occur, the fetus must be surgically removed, Kubby said. The drugs must be taken within the first 49 days of pregnancy to be effective…Chemical abortion is a lengthy process compared to a surgical abortion, which takes three to five minutes, Kubby said. Surgical abortions cost $305, $380 or $480, according to income. Abortions using Mifeprex cost $900 at Planned Parenthood, but some women qualify for up to 50 percent discounts, Dickey said. [Iowa State Daily; January 10, 2001; Infonet]

Iowa Pro-Abortion Governor Signs Bill Limiting RU 486 at Iowa College Campuses [Des Moines Register; May 25, 2001;]


The pro-abortion magazine Mother Jones has obtained FDA figures listing 30 cases of uterine rupture associated with the use of the drug Cytotec (misoprostol) to induce labor in expectant mothers. Even so, the FDA recently approved the RU 486 chemical abortion regimen that includes misuse of Cytotec in the abortion process [see above article].

In spite of the fact that Cytotec is only FDA approved for treating peptic ulcers rather than for inducing labor, it is now "the predominant agent of choice" for inducing labor [Dr. Charles Lockwood, chairman of obstetrical practices for ACOG].

Mother Jones contributing writer David Goodman reports that deaths resulting from the "off-label" use of Cytotec have become the subject of several lawsuits, including two in OR and others in TX and CT. After being named as a defendant in a Portland, OR, suit, the drug's manufacturer, G.D. Searle Corporation, sent a letter to 200,000 health care providers warning them that "Cytotec administration by any route is contraindicated in women who are pregnant because it can cause abortion." The drug is, in fact, used in combination with RU-486, for this specific purpose. According to one informal survey, reports Mother Jones, at least a third of hospitals have restricted the use of the drug because of health and safety concerns for women. [Why Life? Email letter]

Searle, manufacturer of misoprostol ("Cytotec") has consistently opposed the use of Cytotec for labor induction and for abortion.

In August, Searle sent letters to all US MDs reiterating its opposition to off-label uses and lists "serious adverse effects" such as "maternal and fetal death; uterine hyperstimulation, rupture or perforation requiring uterine surgical repair, hysterectomy / salpingo-oophorectomy; amniotic fluid embolism; severe vaginal bleeding, retained placenta, shock, fetal bradycardia and pelvic pain.""

Searle’s patent expired in July 2000. The manufacturer of mifepristone (M/M), Danco Labs, plans to import mifepristone from China’s Hua Lian Pharmaceutical factory in Shanghai [Wall St Jrnl, 17 Sep; Washington Post 12 Oct], which with 2 other factories, supplies "about half of China’s annual 10 million abortions". Searle’s letter to doctors is posted on the Federal Drug Administration’s website, . It appears there are "possible procedural irregularities in the FDA actions, manufacturer concerns and the drugs’ inherent dangers". [Life Insights, 6 Oct 00]



The "abortion pill," RU486…destroys the conceptus by interrupting implantation because of interference with the hormonal environment of the implanting embryo. (Keith Moore and T.V.N. Persaud, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 6th ed., Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Comp. 1998]

RU 486 is a drug which is being used as part of a regimen of drugs to cause an abortion. It can be used up to about 46 days of pregnancy.  The human embryo's heart begins to beat at about 18-25 days after fertilization.

The RU 486 chemical abortion procedure requires the administration of two potent drugs. The first drug, RU 486, is a powerful steroid which blocks the action of the female hormone progesterone. As a result, the tiny developing human being literally starves to death as the nutrient lining of the womb sloughs off. The secondary drug, (Cytotec) misoprostol, causes muscular contractions of the uterus to expel the dead human.

Prolonged excessive bleeding, severe cramps, and diarrhea are some of the common side effects of the RU-486 abortion procedure. As many as 82 percent of patients reported painful contractions with bleeding continuing anywhere from ten days to six weeks. One to two percent of women bled so severely that surgical intervention is required to stop the bleeding. Some women have required blood transfusions. Potential exists for RU-486 to cause severe disabilities in babies who survive the abortion, to injure and kill women, an

d to potentially harm a woman's subsequent offspring.
During trials in the United States, one woman in Iowa nearly bled to death. Another has died.  Often, the RU 486 abortion procedure does not result in a complete abortion and the women must still undergo a surgical abortion. In Wisconsin trials, 14% of chemically induced abortions were incomplete; if this happens, a surgical abortion must follow.

The RU 486 abortion procedure requires 3 to 4 visits to a doctor's office.
Fifty percent of the time, the woman does not abort in the doctor's office.  She is left to deal with the remains of her child.

Failed attempts in other countries to induce abortion using an ulcer drug called misoprostol may be causing an epidemic of birth defects around the world. Misuse of the drug is increasingly common as it is improperly used as part of the RU 486 abortion drug process.

In Colombia, Brazil and the Philippines, the drug is readily available. An
informal survey by the British magazine New Scientist has also revealed that
abortions with the drug are taking place in the Dominican Republic,
Argentina, Spain, Nigeria, South Africa and Indonesia.

In Britain and the US, those dispensing the abortion drug RU-486 also give
misoprostol to induce contractions to expel the dead unborn child, although
it is not licensed for this purpose. Searle, the maker of misoprostol, has
condemned its use in chemical abortions methods.

Searle, a unit of Pharmacia Corp. sent a letter to doctors last year warning
that misoprostol has been approved only to prevent ulcers caused by
aspirin and similar drugs, not to help induce abortion. They warned women
would face severe medical problems if the drug was misused as a part of
the RU 486 chemical abortion process. It is legal, however, for doctors to
prescribe FDA-approved drugs for unapproved uses — so called "off label"

The Searle letter noted: "Serious adverse events reported following
off-label use of Cytotec in pregnant women include maternal or fetal
death; uterine hyperstimulation, rupture or perforation requiring uterine
surgical repair, hysterectomy or salpingo-oophorectomy; amniotic fluid
embolism; severe vaginal bleeding, retained placenta, shock, fetal
bradycardia and pelvic pain."

Taking misoprostol on its own only induces abortions about 40 per cent of the
time, so many babies are born after failed abortion attempts. Several studies
in Brazil, where up to 75 per cent of abortions involve misoprostol, suggest
the drug causes birth defects such as fused joints, growth retardation and a
condition known as Möbius syndrome, which is characterised by paralysis of
the face.

One recent study found that out of 93 children with defects associated with
Möbius syndrome, 34 percent of those infants had been exposed to misoprostol, compared with just 4.3 per cent of the 279 infants in a control group.

Another revealed that 49 percent of infants born with Möbius at seven
hospitals in Brazil had been exposed to misoprostol, whereas only 3 percent
of 96 infants born with neural tube defects had been exposed to the drug.

"I think [these results] are real. Statistically they are highly significant," says Fernando Vargas of the University of Rio de Janeiro, who
took part in both studies.

In the USA, about 6 percent of abortions were performed using RU-486 in the first several months after it was "fast-lane" approved by the FDA. More than 37,000 abortions were performed using mifepristone, RU-486, in the first six months of 2001. [AGI study, 15Jan03; Jrnl Star News Service, FRC News, June/July2003]


More information on the medical risks and dangers of RU 486
can be found in the Abortion section of the Ultimate Pro-Life Resource List at

America's Crisis Pregnancy Helpline 1-800-672-2296