On September 17, 2003, Monty Patterson rushed to ValleyCare Medical Center in Pleasanton, Calif., where his 18-year-old daughter, Holly, was suffering from septic shock brought on by a medical abortion. Five hours later, Holly was dead.
"We lost our future," Patterson told CBS News.
Holly had visited a Planned Parenthood center a week earlier seeking RU-486 -- a medical abortion pill -- but the center did not follow FDA guidelines when administering the medication. As a result, Holly died from a severe infection brought on by an incomplete abortion.
"It was the worst day of my life," wrote Patterson on his website.
After extensive research, Patterson claimed that it was not only the medication that killed her, but also what he believes to be its improper application, as directed by the Planned Parenthood center that Holly visited. And according to Patterson, this practice is dangerously common. In his research, he claims to have uncovered other previously unreported deaths linked to the pill.
Now, Patterson is on a mission to expose the dangers of RU-486, and to tighten the regulations on its application, using his website, AbortionPillRisks.org, as a platform.
"Holly received 200 milligrams of mifepristone at Planned Parenthood, instead of 600, as is FDA approved," Patterson told the San Francisco Chronicle. "She was instructed by Planned Parenthood to insert 800 micrograms of misoprostol vaginally the next day, and to do it at home, not at a clinic. That is double the approved dosage of misoprostol, and it was taken vaginally instead of orally."
The Chronicle reported that, according to the FDA guidelines, a patient should receive three 200-milligram tablets to be taken on day one, and should return to the clinic on day three to take two 200-microgram tablets of misoprostol orally. Two weeks later, a patient should return to the clinic to confirm termination of the pregnancy. The center that Holly visited reportedly did not follow the FDA-approved recommendations.
Planned Parenthood says the drug can be given in lower doses and vaginally to prevent side effects and cause less nausea.
"The medical abortion method approved by the FDA is the method used in France, and highly monitored there," Patterson said. "Here, once the FDA approves a drug, any drug, doctors have latitude in using the drugs the way they feel it's best for their patients. About 96 percent of clinics and abortion providers in the United States use 'alternative, off-label' practices never approved by the FDA."
Patterson is quick to clarify that he is against the loose regulations on RU-486 and refuses to be pulled into the larger abortion debate.
"I'm not pro-life or pro-choice," he told the Chronicle. "I'm pro-Holly."
"I was always talking to Holly about everything, including not finding herself with an unwanted pregnancy. What I didn't talk to her about is what she would do if she became pregnant," he continued.
On his new website, Patterson aims to educate women about the abortion pill, and hopes to shed light on what he considers to be dangerously loose regulations. "After Holly's funeral, I learned that she had relied on information from the Internet," he wrote on his site. "Holly was an intelligent young woman. She could have made a better choice if she had accurate facts. […] I was going to find out what happened and do something about it."
For more on Holly's tragic passing, click over to CBS News.
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