Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Parental Notification: The Sad Road of a RU-486 Critic

Here's a surprisingly respectful story (surprising cause it's the SF Chronicle) about a father who became something of an anti-RU 486 activist after his 18 year-old daughter died from taking the abortion pill

It was just after 9 a.m. on Sept. 17, 2003, when Monty Patterson got the call from the hospital. His daughter was in intensive care, and Patterson, a construction supervisor working on a home in the Oakland hills, was told to hurry. 
At ValleyCare Medical Center in Pleasanton, Patterson, a divorced dad, was informed that Holly, who had turned 18 three weeks earlier, had an infection from an "incomplete abortion." The doctor said Holly had taken the abortion pill Sept. 10, and was in septic shock. 
"Holly was intubated, and I went and held her and said, 'I don't know what happened, but I'm here to help, to get you well,' " Patterson said, his eyes welling with the memory. "The look in her eyes said, 'Dad, save me.' " 
Efforts to save the vivacious teenager with the blond hair and bright blue eyes failed. She died shortly before 2 p.m. Holly's mother, Debbie Patterson, who lived in Southern California, was on a plane headed for the Bay Area when Holly went code blue. 
Since that afternoon more than eight years ago, Patterson, who lives in Livermore, has spent every waking hour fighting to learn exactly how his daughter died - and to prevent other women and girls from compromising their health, and their lives. 
He has become an expert in RU-486, the "medical abortion" (as opposed to surgical), which involves taking two drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol, to terminate an early pregnancy of up to 63 days. In his research, Patterson uncovered other, previously unreported deaths linked to RU-486.

The linked article discusses Patterson's research and lobbying efforts, but leaves out any word of a lawsuit he may have filed against Planned Parenthood or RU-486's manufacturer. I assume there was some kind of settlement paid. 

Also left unmentioned is the issue of parental notification, which comes up once in a while, and never fails to send the pro-abort forces into apoplectic rage. But, the fact is that teenagers like Holly are not often the most competent people for dealing with abortion and pregnancy issues. That's not a fundamentalist Christian plot; it's reality. I'll bet with parental notification on the books, Patterson could have at least taken his daughter to a real doctor, rather than have her skulk off to a street clinic behind his back. 

And, unlike every other news article ever written about someone who has taken a drug and died, there are no outraged quotes from consumer advocates and class action lawyers agitating against Big Pharma. 

No drug is perfectly safe, of course. Someone was going to die from taking RU-486. But, if I recall the years of Planned Parenthood lobbying for FDA approval, we were told that RU-486 was "safe" so long as it was used in a clinical environment. That's not what happened here. Planned Parenthood gave this girl a drug and then sent her on her way, a recipe for disaster. 

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