In Denial

"They told her it was safe, and it killed her." As he struggled to hold back tears, Monty Patterson told America something we almost never hear -- at least, not on network television: So-called "safe, legal abortion" kills women far more often than many realize. And it has just killed Patterson's own beautiful young daughter. When Holly Patterson found out she was pregnant, she hid the news from her father. Instead, the blond teenager put her trust in the local Planned Parenthood staff. They prescribed RU-486, the chemical abortion cocktail. A few days later, Holly was rushed to a hospital, suffering excruciating pain. She later died of massive systemic infection. When her death became public, the abortion industry and its media allies began damage control. Reporters interviewed Eric Schaff, chairman of the National Abortion Federation. Schaff claimed that "studies" proved RU-486 could be used "very safely." This is like asking the head of the tobacco lobby about the safety of cigarette smoking. The truth is that RU-486 is a known killer. According to the Washington Times, RU-486 took the lives of two women last year. Hundreds of others have suffered complications, many serious. Not only that, but these complications were exposed during clinical trials. So why did then-President Clinton allow the FDA to ignore its own rules and rush the approval of this dangerous drug? Politics. This ought to surprise no one. In approving RU-486, abortion proponents were simply following the same pattern they always follow when it comes to legalizing abortion procedures. It doesn't matter if the procedures are safe. All that matters is that they are legal and that underage girls can get them without their parents' knowledge, preferably at taxpayer expense. The consequences have been horrific. Mary Cunningham Agee, president of the Nurturing Network, says abortion has been proven so dangerous to women's health that it ought to be restricted on safety grounds alone. Abortions not only kill some women outright -- girls like Holly Patterson -- they can also cause problems with future "wanted" pregnancies: problems like premature birth and cerebral palsy. And women who abort have a 58 percent greater risk of dying during a later pregnancy. "Can you imagine," Agee says, "what an honest warning label might read like for such a procedure?" These heartbreaking statistics reveal the tragedy of a flawed worldview: a worldview that says that we can have sex out of wedlock without consequences, that birth control will prevent unplanned pregnancies, that abortion is a "safe" solution when contraception fails, and that total strangers with financial incentives can be trusted to care more about teenage girls than their own parents. Those consequences are usually hidden from view, but a few weeks ago, they were briefly on full and tragic display. I pray that around the country, other frightened, pregnant teens see Holly's father's tears -- and decide to seek help, not at Planned Parenthood, but at a crisis pregnancy center where they will hear about a worldview that offers life instead of death. Remember Monty Patterson's anguished words: "They told her it was safe, and it killed her." Take action: Contact U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Mark McClellan, M.D., and ask him to halt distribution and prescription of RU-486 (also known as Mifeprex or mifepristone). The mailing address is: 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857. For further reading and information: Donations to help cover funeral expenses can be sent to the Memorial Fund for Holly Marie Patterson, account No. 4900692248, care of Washington Mutual, 275 S. K St., Livermore, CA 94550. Care Net has been promoting, equipping, and developing pregnancy resource centers for over twenty years, supporting over 700 pregnancy resource centers across the United States and Canada. See also NIFLA's TLC Project and Heartbeat International. See the Citizen Petition filed with the FDA regarding the abortion drug Mifeprex (commonly referred to as RU-486 or mifepristone) by the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Christian Medical Association, and Concerned Women for America. Julian Guthrie, "Pregnant teen's death under investigation," San Francisco Chronicle, 19 September 2003. Julia Duin, "Teen dead after abortion pill," Washington Times, 23 September 2003. Mary Cunningham Agee, "The Health Risks of Abortion," panel presentation for Family Research Council, April 2002. Brent Bozell, "Behind the Holly Patterson story,", 1 October 2003. Bonita Brewer, "Dad seeks answers in death," Mercury News, 23 September 2003. Bonita Brewer, "Funeral Wednesday for pregnant woman," Contra Costa Times, 23 September 2003. Kim Santos, "ValleyCare calls for national review of RU-486," Oakland Tribune, 2 October 2003. "State, federal inquiries probe death of woman who took abortion pill," Mercury News, 30 September 2003. "Talking to Kids about Abortion," CBS News, 22 September 2003. See the "Worldview for Parents" pages "Fearfully and Wonderfully Made" and "What's the Big Deal about Abortion?" Susan E. Wills, "'No Magic Pill'," National Review Online, 26 September 2003. Johannes L. Jacobse, "Women Are Abortion's Second Victims," BreakPoint Online, 22 January 2003. Wendy Wright, "RU-486: Killer Pills," Concerned Women for America, 10 September 2002.


Chuck Colson



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