A Mail Order Tragedy

Taking the life of an innocent child has many tragic faces.

Her brother, who didn’t know she was pregnant, claimed his sister probably didn’t understand what she was doing. 

He said she was “destitute” and looking for a cheap way to get an abortion so as “not to burden” herself or anyone else.

So the 23-year-old Albany woman took Cytotec (misoprostol)—which she obtained over the internet—and went into labor. She delivered her five and one-half-month-old baby in the back seat of a car while being driven to a local hospital.

Tragically, the child only lived 30 minutes. If delivered in a proper medical facility, the baby might have survived.

Murder charges against the woman were quickly dropped by the county district attorney.  He said: “As the law currently stands in Georgia, the criminal prosecution of a pregnant woman for her own actions against her unborn child does not seem permitted.”

She does, however face a misdemeanor charge for unlawful possession of a dangerous substance.

The district attorney also hinted he may go after the Canadian-based internet provider that sold her the drug.

The situation shines a spotlight on a serious problem: the ability to obtain abortion drugs on the Internet without physician oversight or a prescription.

“This is beyond tragic,” said GRTL President Dan Becker. “Buying dangerous drugs should not be as easy as ordering a book on Amazon.”

The case raises another point: pro-life supporters need to understand how these drugs work and the dangers they present to women.

Introduced in 2000, Mifepristone, called “The Abortion Pill,” or RU-486, is an anti-progestin that, among other things, blocks nourishment from reaching the child, thereby causing death.

The procedure also involves taking Misoprostol—the drug the Albany woman took—to expel the dead child from the mother. Apparently, she only took the second step, which is why the child was born alive.

The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) guidelines stipulate the drug can only be used during the first 49 days or less from the woman’s last menstrual period. The entire process can take several weeks and must be overseen by licensed personnel.

While the drug is promoted as “safe, effective and more natural,” there is a growing body of evidence that it’s not.

ABC.net ran an article last year stating the FDA has documented 15 deaths attributed to the RU-486 procedure between 2000 and 2011. Another report indicated that 22 women have died worldwide.

While death tops the list of dangers, the following complications and side effects are far too common.

Bleeding and Hemorrhage

Heavy bleeding is the most common complication. Some women have experienced this condition for up to five weeks following the abortion.

Prolonged heavy bleeding may be a sign of an incomplete abortion (see below) or other complications, and may require surgical intervention, blood transfusions, or intravenous fluids.

Hemorrhaging—the loss of large amounts of blood—associated with the use of RU-486 appears to be more severe than that found in surgical or spontaneous abortions.

In addition, blood clots of various sizes are also common.

Occasionally, patients will experience little or no bleeding in the first 24 hours. This can be the sign of an undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy, or a failed abortion.

Medical (RU-486) Abortion Failure

Failure is a well-known complication when using RU-486. 

U.S. and French studies have reported significant rates of surgical intervention cases for: incomplete abortion (as high as 47 out of 1,000 women); continuing or on-going pregnancy (up to 13 per 1,000 women) and medically necessary interventions (16 per 1,000 women).

The percentages are even higher when the drugs are used “off label,” or past the 49 day limit. In those cases, the incomplete abortion numbers jump to as high as 80 per 1,000 women.

Severe Pain

Abdominal pain is experienced in up to 980 per 1,000 women. Of those, 500 consider the pain to be severe, with 23% claiming it was almost as bad as they could imagine. Approximately 70% of women may receive at least one non-narcotic pain killer, while the remaining 30% receive a narcotic drug.


Infection and hemorrhage are the most frequent life-threatening issues associated with RU-486.

The risk of severe bacterial infection, such as sepsis (infection of the blood stream), has been documented in otherwise healthy young women who have used the procedure.

Sepsis was the cause in the death of at least eight of the reported deaths in North America. Most of those cases involved a type of bacteria that is almost always fatal.

Ectopic Pregnancy

Patients undergoing a medical abortion can have an undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy, since many of the symptoms caused by both are similar.

The FDA has reported two cases of women who died from an ectopic pregnancy following an attempted medical abortion.

Other Risks

Women using RU-486 also are at risk for:

  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Damage to the uterus.
  • Auto-immune disease.
  • Complications in future pregnancies.
  • Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP), a rare blood condition that causes clots to form in blood vessels throughout the body.

RU-486 is not the quick fix we have been led to believe it is. It is a dangerous drug that has killed and harmed women and takes the life of an innocent child. Please share this article with others and let people know the truth about medical abortions using RU-486.

Sources: abortionpillrisks.org; ncregister.com; abc.net.

By Wayne DuBois
Media Relations Advisor