‘Holly's Law’ needed to protect women from RU-486, says USCCB office


A public workshop in response to women’s deaths linked to abortion drug RU-486 was a “constructive step,” but it does not lessen the need for a law to suspend the drug, says an official with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Several deaths have been linked to RU-486, also known as “Mifeprex.” Five American women died from infections after undergoing RU-486 abortions, and another died from an undiagnosed ruptured ectopic pregnancy. Over 800 others have suffered serious or life-threatening adverse health effects. Women in Canada, Sweden and the United Kingdom have also died after taking RU-486.

The May 11 workshop, held in Atlanta, was convened by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and co-sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health.

Deirdre McQuade, director of planning and information at the USCCB Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, attended the event.

“Women seeking elective chemical abortions remain at risk with RU-486 on the market,” she said. McQuade said the USCCB continues to call for the passage of Holly’s Law.

The legislation “would temporarily suspend FDA approval of RU-486 while its approval process is reviewed,” McQuade explained.

“Holly’s Law” (H.R. 1079) is named in memory of Holly Patterson, a young California woman who died from septic shock after undergoing an RU-486 abortion.

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