By Tom Quiner

Holly Patterson ingested the poison on a Saturday.

The eighteen year old girl had been perfectly healthy up to that moment. Before the day was through, she began experiencing cramping and constipation. Within a week, she was dead from septic shock.

All of this occurred in California a eleven years ago today when Holly walked into a Planned Parenthood clinic and met with their onsite doctor. They dispensed to her the RU-486 pills which induce human abortion. The girl was pregnant and thought this was a safe way to procure a human abortion.

She was tragically wrong. According to the Food and Drug Administration, 2207 women have been injured by this human abortion cocktail, known as mifepristone (or RU-486), and 14 have died from it.

Here in Iowa, the RU-486 human abortion pills are being remotely dispensed by the thousands via a “telemed abortion” scheme approved by the Iowa Board of Medicine three years ago. The current Board has revisited this approach to human abortion which allows these toxic pills to be dispensed without a doctor present. They are calling for an end to telemed abortions.

The Board deserves our support.

The FDA warned us that this drug was dangerous. On May 17, 2006, Dr. Jane Woodcock, Deputy Commissioner for Operations at the Food and Drug Administration testified before Congress:

“Some complications of medical abortion are similar to those of surgical abortion, and some of these require a surgical intervention. Comprehensive risk management of abortion therefore requires that the managing physician be able to diagnose an ectopic pregnancy, manage the risks of abortion, including bleeding and infection, and be able to conduct a surgical abortion if necessary or quickly refer a patient to a provider who is trained, qualified, and readily available to do so.”

Planned Parenthood says this can be nicely handled with a doctor halfway across the state talking to their patient over a computer monitor.

Tell that to Holly Patterson.

Some readers are surely bristling over my use of the word “poison” in the first sentence. After all, RU-486 was approved by the FDA, right?

But it is a poison. It attacks the person in the womb by depriving her of food and nutrients until she dies. Then a second drug, misoprostol, induces uterine contractions that expels the dead baby into the toilet at the mother’s home.

As recent FDA data reveals, it can be dangerous to the mothers, too. And yet Planned Parenthood and the Des Moines Register claims that telemed abortion is a vital component of women’s reproductive “healthcare.”

Telemed abortion has nothing to do with health. What is healthy about feeding poison to a healthy woman carrying a healthy baby in her womb? Sounds pretty UNhealthy to me.

Even more, doesn’t the human dignity of the child deserve consideration? The Register’s antiseptic rhetoric that “state regulators have not received a single complaint from the 3,000 women who have used the videoconferencing system” fails to take into account the victims, who have no voice in the matter.

We KNOW the child is a person.

She has a human DNA. There will never be another human being like her again. She is simply at a different point in the arc of her life than you or I. Even more, the Iowa Code acknowledges her personhood by proscribing penalties for the nonconsensual termination or serious injury to a human pregnancy. Our law wouldn’t even address the subject of fetal homicide if the baby in the womb were the moral equivalent of a gall bladder.

I’d like to contrast the use of two medical poisons for a moment. Chemotherapy is used to kill tumors that are growing uncontrollably in a body. Without the use of the poison, cancer, the “bad cells”  will overtake the good cells and kill the person.

RU-486, on the other hand, kills “good cells.” Did you know that after just four weeks of conception, a human person is creating a million new cells a second? These cells aren’t destroying, they are creating.

RU-486 kills that person.

For the sake of the Holly Pattersons and their children, let us end this  unhealthy practice.

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