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Friday, February 24, 2006

Stop the Harm to Women
Here’s a riddle for readers: Name the terrible affliction that since 2000 has hurt over 800 women, but is completely preventable by legislation. Need some clues? Here are some symptoms documented in reports to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on “Adverse Events”:

• Infection and Septic Shock: five deaths in North America alone; 66 additional infections, 46 of them life-threatening or serious.

• Hemorrhaging: One teenager outside the US died from bleeding; 42 women suffered life-threatening bleeding. Of the 237 women reported as hemorrhaging, about 70 required emergency blood transfusions; some lost over half their blood volume.

• Ectopic pregnancies: The mystery affliction can mask the presence of an ectopic pregnancy, which then might not be detected until it ruptures. Without surgery, women rapidly bleed to death. One died and eleven others suffered ruptures out of 17 such events.

• Documents record 235 emergency surgeries due to this affliction. Women have had heart attacks, and others needed stitches to close head wounds sustained when they lost consciousness.

Give up? This “affliction” is RU-486, a little white pill that was supposed to make abortion safe, effective and available in doctors’ offices all over the country — but it has failed, spectacularly, on all counts.

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