Brent Bozell

Holly Patterson died two weeks after her 18th birthday. Blonde and beautiful, graduating high school after three years, this young native of the San Francisco area had her whole life in front of her. But then she entered a Planned Parenthood clinic without her parents' knowledge and took the abortion-drug cocktail known as RU-486. Within a week, she was dead of septic shock, infected by pieces of the baby she was trying to expel.

The heartbreaking human interest of Holly's story did break through the national media's usual political defenses at least for a story or two. Morning shows on ABC and CBS, as well as evening shows on CNN and MSNBC reported it (although it couldn't be located on abortion-phobic Fox).

But the real story took place three years ago.

In September 2000, the Clinton administration rushed the approval of RU-486 through the Food and Drug Administration in case Al Gore's campaign wouldn't prevail to provide aid and comfort to the abortion industry.

None of the liberal media's anti-corporate impulses were excited by the plans of the abortion lobby and Danco Laboratories, the American manufacturers of RU-486, to surpass all the usual FDA safety procedures in a rush to profit from newly approved chemical abortions. Instead, it was all an occasion for joy. On NBC's "Today," news anchor Sara James proclaimed: "Abortion rights supporters call it a victory over medical McCarthyism."

Before RU-486 was approved, pro-life criticism was dismissed as political noise. Since then, all their criticism has been systematically dismissed by the press.

Last August, a group of pro-life researchers -- the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Concerned Women for America and the Christian Medical Association -- filed a 90-page "citizen's petition" with the FDA outlining how Clinton's FDA ignored its own laws and procedures to rubber-stamp Mifeprex, one half of the two-drug RU-486 regimen. Mifeprex kills the baby by destroying the nutrient lining of the uterus. A few days later, Misopristol is used to expel the corpse from the womb. Here's what went wrong:

1. Lobbyists railroaded FDA approval through the accelerated review process known as "Subpart H," designed only for drugs intended to treat life-threatening illnesses where there is no safer remedy. Only in Washington is a healthy but unwanted baby considered a life-threatening illness. In fact, Holly's story suggests the opposite: Terminating the baby caused a life-ending illness.

Brent Bozell

Founder and President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America.
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