MAY 08, 2006
As the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prepares for a May 11 meeting in Atlanta, Georgia focusing on deadly infections allegedly caused by the abortion pill RU-486, Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released a new special report: “The Clinton RU-486 Files.” The report contains recently uncovered documents that shed new light on the Clinton administration’s aggressive drive to push RU-486 to market in the United States. Judicial Watch obtained the documents from the National Archives at the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas in February 2006, shortly after the archives allowed public access to Bill Clinton’s presidential papers.
The newly disclosed documents include the Clinton administration’s legal, political and press strategy memos for bringing RU-486 into the American marketplace – despite the manufacturer’s historical refusal to permit marketing the drug in the United States. Analysis of the records shows:
- President Clinton ordered the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the FDA to coordinate the marketing of RU-486 as his first official act in office. Within one month, the FDA Commissioner had met with the RU-486 manufacturer and parent company.
- Official U.S. government political, economic and diplomatic pressure was brought to bear to strong-arm the companies into changing their policies in order to make the drug available in the United States. In one confidential memo, former HHS Secretary Donna Shalala brags that she and former FDA Commissioner David Kessler personally changed the positions of the makers of RU-486 to market the abortion pill in the United States.
- The FDA was compromised in its role as an objective reviewer of the safety and efficacy of the drug because of its active role in brokering a deal between pharmaceutical firms and an abortion rights foundation. (The five standard requirements for certifying a drug “safe and effective” were circumvented to rush RU-486 to market.)
“As our report shows, the Clinton administration pushed the abortion pill through the approval process in order to appease the abortion lobby,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “These new documents prove the RU-486 approval process was infected by raw politics. Accordingly, Congress and other authorities should launch appropriate investigations. At least six women and 560,000 unborn children have lost their lives due to the Clinton administration’s reckless drive to bring RU-486 to America. This dangerous abortion pill needs to be pulled off the market immediately.”
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