Questions about the Safety of the Abortion Pill

In today’s New York Times:

Federal drug regulators have discovered that all four women in this country who died after taking an abortion pill [RU-486] suffered from a rare and highly lethal bacterial infection, a finding that is leading to new scrutiny of the drug’s safety. . .

Ms. Patterson died seven days after taking Mifeprex. She lived in Livermore, Calif.
On Dec. 29, 2003, Vivian Tran, 22, of Costa Mesa, Calif., died six days after taking Mifeprex.On Jan. 14, 2004, Chanelle Bryant, 22, of Pasadena, Calif., died six days after taking Mifeprex. And on May 24, 2005, Oriane Shevin, 34, of Los Angeles died five days after taking Mifeprex.

In each case, Clostridium sordellii infected the women’s uteruses, flourished and then entered their bloodstreams. The bacterium can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and weakness but may not induce fever, so victims often fail to realize how sick they are until it is too late and succumb to toxic shock. Antibiotics are often ineffective once an infection has flourished because even in death, the bacteria release toxins.

4 Responses to Questions about the Safety of the Abortion Pill

  1. Renée November 24, 2005 at 7:41 am #

    hey! I wasn’t sure if you got my message on your xanga since your blogspot seems to be the new thing…so, here it is: “maybe i shouldn’t ask this…but, i was looking through the syllabus for your hermeneutics class and realized that there is a whole book i was supposed to be reading last week. Is skim reading allowed? 🙂 (worth a shot i figured)”

  2. Denny Burk November 24, 2005 at 7:51 am #

    Dear Renee,

    I let students skim it in a previous semester, but now I want everybody to read it.


  3. Denny Burk November 24, 2005 at 7:52 am #

    P.S. No, I’m not doing anything with the Xanga anymore.

  4. Renée November 24, 2005 at 8:51 am #

    alrighty, thanks! 🙂

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