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"Tara" Roe, RU-486 Death
Mysterious death after RU-486 abortion
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I don't know much about the woman I call "Tara".

I'd just been checking Ashli's blog, as I do several times a week. Ashli linked to Brian at 40 Days for Life.

Brian said that five women, dead from RU-486 abortions in the US, got their fatal doses at Planned Parenthood. (at 11:27 on the audio). I questioned him about this, posting:

The women who died, two (Holly Patterson and Chanelle Bryant) got their abortion drugs at PP, two (Oriene Shevin and Vivian Tran) at National Abortion Federation members, and one (Brenda Vise) at an unlicensed facility in Tennessee. Holly, Chanelle, Vivian, and Oriene died of sepsis. Brenda died of a ruptured ectopic pregnancy that the "clinic" failed to diagnose.

I got an email from Brian thanking me, and pointing me to his source: a March 18, 2006 article in the New York Times, titled "After 2 More Deaths, Planned Parenthood Alters Method for Abortion Pill"..

I think Brian got a bit caught up in the moment and mis-spoke about five dead women that he knew of getting their abortion drugs at Planned Parenthood, but the source did point me to something troubling. The tally noted in the article -- six dead in the United States -- is one more death than I'd known about. And there's this:

The F.D.A. has now received reports that six women in the United States died after taking RU-486, or Mifeprex. .... The two most recent deaths and two of the previous four underwent their procedures at Planned Parenthood clinics, a spokeswoman said. (Emphesis mine)

Again, I only knew of two women -- Holly and Chanelle -- who got their drugs at Planned Parenthood. Did the FDA know of two more? Or was the spokeswoman confused and attributing the National Abortion Federation deaths to Planned Parenthood? And what of the sixth woman that I didn't know about?

I went poking around the FDA web site and found this page, the testimony of Dr. Janet Woodcock, Deputy Commissioner for Operations at the FDA. In particular I focused the section on deaths, where I found this:

FDA is aware of 12 deaths possibly involving the use of mifepristone in women. Nine of these deaths were in the U.S. ....

One death involving a woman who initially had an unsuccessful attempted surgical abortion, followed by an unsuccessful medical abortion involving mifepristone, and then followed by a second and successful surgical abortion. The woman was hospitalized approximately one month after taking mifepristone, and she died approximately 24 hours after admission during a hysterectomy. There was no autopsy, but pathology findings included a degenerated, pus-filled uterine fibroid. Cultures were negative for any Clostridial bacteria. Based on the available evidence at this time, FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) do not believe this death was related to the use of mifepristone.

So there you have it: all the information I have about Tara. She was somewhere in the United States and underwent a surgical abortion which her fetus survived. She was given RU-486 in an attempt to abort the fetus, but still he or she clung to life. Finally a second surgical abortion succeeded, but the mother was left ill. She was hospitalized approximately a month after the attempted chemical abortion and died during surgery to try to save her life. The death was not attributed to the abortion drugs, but pretty clearly involved massive infection.

Keep an eye on the RealChoice blog for updates as I try to narrow down when this woman died, and where.

For an extensive set of links on RU-486, go to: The RU-486 Files.