Blog Post

Study Finds High Failure Rate for Abortion Drug

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Writer A new study has found that the abortion drug, RU-486, fails anywhere from 16-23 percent of the time, resulting in an incomplete abortion that can cause major medical problems, including death. According to a report by, the study was conducted by Melissa Strafford of the Boston Medical Center and presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. RU-486, the controversial abortion drug that was “fast-tracked” through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) during the Clinton years, consists of a combination of mifepristone, a drug that causes the starvation death of the unborn child, and misoprostol, an ulcer drug used to cause contractions that expel the body of the dead child. Although the FDA calls for a 48 hour interval between the two drugs, many abortion centers dispense the medications simultaneously to women or within a much shorter period of time. Strafford's study examined the effectiveness of the abortion drug in completing the abortion using either the 48-hour interval or shorter ones. She found that the drug failed to complete the abortion in 23 percent of the women getting the two drugs simultaneously and failed in 16 percent of the women getting the drugs 48 hours apart. Ultimately, Strafford said abortion centers should no longer give women the two drugs on the same day because "simultaneous administration was associated with increased risk of surgical intervention." “We have changed our practice at Boston Medical Center and we no longer offer simultaneous administration of mifepristone and misoprostol for medical abortions,” she said. But, for Dr. Randy O'Bannon, the director of research and education for National Right to Life, these failure rates and need for surgical abortions present bigger problems for women. "Those who have developed and promoted RU 486 have told women that the abortifacient offers them a way to have an abortion without the risk of surgery," he told "Yet, the abortion industry's efforts to tamper with the FDA protocol, changing doses, lengthening the gestational limits, shortening the time between the administration of [the two drugs] have decreased the 'effectiveness' of the drugs and put many of these women in line for surgical abortions after their chemical abortions failed," he said. "Attempts to make the process more convenient for women, for the clinics, may help the industry attract more customers, but as this latest study shows, it exposes women to additional risks," O'Bannon continued. "As long as the abortion industry puts its own profits and preferences ahead of patient safety, both mothers and their unborn children will continue to face danger behind clinic doors," he said. © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly/Women of Grace.