US bishops’ conference urges Congress to support ‘Holly’s Law’


An official with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is urging Congress to put “Holly’s Law” to a vote as quickly as possible. The law would temporarily suspend FDA approval of abortion drug RU-486 and set up a review.

Also known as mifepristone, RU-486, is taken by a woman in her first seven weeks of pregnancy. The drug causes the uterine walls to contract and to expel the baby. Concerns about the drug have been raised since at least eight women in the United States died after using the abortifacient.

“After five years of trauma and death associated with RU-486, the FDA’s response has been limited to one health advisory and amended drug labeling,” said the USCCB’s director of planning and information at the Pro-Life Secretariat Deirdre McQuade. “How many more women must die before we take a close second look at RU-486?”

McQuade was speaking at a Feb. 1 press conference. She was joined by other supporters of “Holly’s Law,” including representatives from Concerned Women for America, Susan B. Anthony List, Family Research Council, National Right to Life Committee, and Democrats for Life.

Congressman Roscoe Bartlett and other Congressional supporters of the legislation sponsored the press conference.

“If supporters of RU-486 believe the FDA followed the law in approving RU-486 for abortion, they should have nothing to fear from the proposed review,” said McQuade. “But if the FDA bent the rules to expedite approval of RU-486, the agency clearly valued the ‘health’ of the abortion industry over women’s health and should be brought to account.”

Holly’s Law is named in memory of Holly Patterson, a young California woman who had barely turned 18 when she died from toxic shock after being given RU-486.

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