Oklahoma tightens safety regulations on RU-486 abortions

The law stops abortionists from dismissing FDA guidelines in giving the dangerous abortion drug RU-486 to women.
Fri May 13, 2011 - 5:59 pm EST

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma, May 13, 2011 ( – Gov. Mary Fallin has approved a new law that stops abortionists from dismissing Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines in giving the dangerous abortion drug RU-486 to women.

Fallin signed HB 1970 into law on Thursday.

The law was sponsored by Rep. Randy Grau (R-Oklahoma City) and Senator Greg Treat (R-Edmond); it had passed both the Senate and the House with strong bipartisan majorities.

“For too long, abortion providers have been dispensing abortion-inducing drugs in an unsafe manner that serves only to boost their profit margins,” said Daniel McConchie, Vice President of Government Affairs at Americans United for Life.

The Abortion-Inducing Drug Safety Act enforces FDA guidelines, which bar vaginal intake of the abortion drug and limit its safe use to 7 weeks (or 49 days) into pregnancy, starting from the woman’s last menstrual period.

It also mandates that abortion doctors give a woman a health exam before dispensing RU-486: both to assess how far along she is into pregnancy, and to screen for health problems which could lead to life-threatening complications.

Despite FDA rules, the National Abortion Federation have guidelines encouraging abortionists to prescribe RU-486 within 63 days of the last menstrual period – an extra two weeks beyond the FDA’s safety guidelines.

RU-486 was made legal in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration in 2000. Since then at least eight American women have died of complications from chemically induced abortion, and other deaths after taking the drug have been reported abroad.

“With this legislation, this practice will stop and women in Oklahoma will be better protected from such predatory practices in the state,” commented McConchie.

The RU-486 regimen consists of two drugs. The abortion begins with the administration of mifepristone; then, approximately 48 hours, after the unborn child is dead, the mother takes the drug called misoprostol, which causes her to expel the dead child’s body. The last part usually takes place at home.

The drug is required by the FDA to be taken orally; however, a number of abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood clinics, have prescribed vaginal administration. This method has been linked to C. sordellii bacterial infections responsible for the deaths of U.S. women taking RU-486.

Although touted as a safer alternative to surgical abortion, RU-486 has been found to actually pose a significantly higher medical risks to women seeking to abort their unborn children.

A recent study published in the Australian Family Physician, a medical journal for Australia’s general practitioners – touted as the first major analysis of the risks between the two forms of abortion – showed that the risk of suffering severe hemorrhaging was one in 200 for women getting chemical abortion, but one in 3,000 for surgical abortion. The study found that 5.7 percent of women undergoing RU-486 abortion were re-admitted to the hospital for post-abortion treatment, versus 0.4 per cent of women who had surgical abortion; the rate of hospital admission for infection was one in 480 for chemical abortion, but one in 1,500 for surgical abortion.

  abortion, oklahoma, planned parenthood, ru-486

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