"We are deeply saddened by yet another advisory from the Food and Drug Administration that two more women have died from RU-486 abortions," said Deirdre McQuade, a spokeswoman for the bishops' Pro-Life Secretariat.
Media reports published Friday said that federal health regulators were warning doctors to watch for a rare but deadly infection implicated in earlier deaths.
"According to the New England Journal of Medicine," McQuade said in a statement, "RU-486 abortions are 10 times more likely to kill a woman, from infection alone, than are surgical abortions in early pregnancy. This estimate does not even include RU-486 related deaths from other causes, such as ruptured ectopic pregnancy."
"After five years of trauma and death associated with RU-486, the FDA's response has been limited to health advisories and amended drug labeling," the bishops' aide continued. "How many more healthy women must die before the agency takes a close second look at RU-486?"
McQuade added: "We again call on Congress to pass the RU-486 Suspension and Review Act" -- also known as Holly's Law, for a teen-ager who died after using the drug -- "which will protect women's lives while the flawed FDA approval process of this dangerous drug is scrutinized."