Shocking truth exposes secrecy surrounding the abortion pill

The abortion pill is shrouded in secrecy, but women deserve to know the truth
By  |  Live Action News

abortion pill, abortion pills

According to a 1997 report by the Washington Post, the abortion pill was initially projected to reach $100 million in sales every year. It’s no wonder, then, that those involved in the pill’s early approval planned for the abortion pill manufacturer to eventually transition from a non-profit to for-profit company. And where there is big profit, there is often secrecy. The abortion pill is no exception; even today the pill’s manufacturing location and many of its funders are still cloaked in secrecy.

In 2000, the New York Daily News wrote:

The pill’s 11-year journey to the United States included a cloak-and-dagger scheme to hide the identities of participants…allegations of fraud, a dozen lawsuits, and a price tag of at least $50 million….

Citing fear… Danco refuses to release the names of its executives and investors. The company even persuaded the Food and Drug Administration to keep secret the location of the factory where the abortion drug will be produced….

In a strange twist, the FDA acceded to Danco’s request that the name of its manufacturer be kept secret — and even shielded the names of the FDA researchers who had overseen the pill’s approval.

[also reported by the LA times]

Live Action News has documented how the abortion pill, originally called RU-486, was approved in the United States in 1993 under the Bill Clinton administration. In 1994, the administration pressured the French pharmaceutical manufacturer Roussel-Uclaf to assign the U.S. rights of marketing and distribution to the Population Council. This eugenics-founded “non-profit” brought the abortion pill into the U.S. and set up the pill’s manufacturer, Danco Laboratories, LLC. Danco was started with funding from several abortion philanthropy groups, including a $14 million loan from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Today, Packard funds the generic manufacturer of the abortion pill, GenBioPro.

The abortion pill’s investors were kept secret

In 1999, the New York Times acknowledged that Danco was “extraordinarily skittish about publicity” and called its consortium of “low profile” investors “politically motivated.”

“Danco’s investors and managers have deliberately, even obsessively, avoided the spotlight as they have gone about raising money, finding a manufacturer, seeking regulatory approval and resolving internal conflicts,” wrote the Wall Street Journal in 2000. Although the paper outed investors “Warren Buffett, George Soros and the late David Packard” as financing Danco, they also noted that several other investors chose to remain anonymous.

The abortion pill’s manufacturer, Danco, was initially kept secret

In May 2020, Columbia University journalists Lauren Mascarenhas and Abigail Brone interviewed early abortion pill advocates. “Because of the controversy surrounding mifepristone, the Population Council kept this distributor a secret throughout the process,” they wrote.

The journalists interviewed Dr. Beverly Winikoff, who was at the time employed at the Population Council as the Program Director for Reproductive Health—and person in charge of the abortion pill’s clinical trials. Winikoff conveyed to the journalists that she saw the abortion pill as a “big deal.”

As previously reported, Winikoff credited the 9/11 terrorist attacks with saving the abortion pill, after news of the attack drowned out the news of a woman’s death from the abortion pill. In 2003, Winikoff left the Population Council to found Gynuity Health Projects, which is heavily funded by original Danco investors. Under Winikoff’s direction, Gynuity is currently sponsoring abortion pill clinical trials, including experiments on African women and a TelAbortion trial willing to mail abortion drugs to girls as young as 10.

“Winikoff says mifepristone was so controversial…even its creators no longer wanted a hand in its advancement,” wrote Mascarenhas and Brone. Enter the Population Council, because it was “willing to weather the controversy.”

“In addition to a sponsor, a drug needs a distributor to gain FDA approval… Because of the controversy surrounding mifepristone, the Population Council kept this distributor a secret throughout the process,” Brone pointed out. “We now know that company was Danco Laboratories. It was created for the sole purpose of marketing and distributing mifepristone,” Brone said.

Lars Noah, an expert in drug law at the University of Florida, told the New York Times that this kind of secrecy was unprecedented. “I’ve never heard of a situation where, with the blessing of the F.D.A., you could keep the manufacturer of a drug secret,” he said.

The FDA’s approval process was kept secret

According to reports, the FDA politicized the abortion pill’s approval process by choosing not to publish the names of “experts” who reviewed the drug. According to Mascarenhas, “By the summer of 1996, the time had come for an FDA advisory committee to meet and decide whether to recommend mifepristone for marketing in the U.S.” She noted, “Advisory committees don’t make the final decision,” adding that the Population Council “knew that securing a recommendation all but guaranteed eventual FDA approval.”

Author Julie A. Hogan, who wrote a historical review of the process, said, “In return for working with the drug, companies wanted confidentiality. The FDA and the Population Council, in an unusual move, agreed to provide the desired secrecy.”

The FDA “broke with precedent by not publishing the names of the experts who reviewed RU-486 for the agency,” the Washington Post pointed out.

“A 1996 federal advisory committee that recommended the drug’s approval met under intense security in a windowless building surrounded by federal marshals,” recounted the New York Times in 2005. Likewise, Winikoff recalled being “driven to a secret location” and “ushered through a tent in the middle of a field.” Her recollection was supported by George Brown, the Vice President of the Population Council at the time.

In the previously mentioned May 2020 interview, Brone called the FDA process “dramatic,” pointing out that “[p]ublic advisory committee hearings are typically only made private if the conversations involve trade secrets. There have been few other instances where a hearing required this level of security.” According to the interviewers, the names of the FDA staff involved with approving the abortion pill have never been released. Yet somehow, they were able to locate one of the FDA’s senior medical reviewers, who “chose to remain anonymous” but admitted, “It’s definitely not standard. It’s not routine, you can look up almost every other drug that I was the primary medical officer for and my name would appear right there on the review.”

“And we did,” Brone noted. “His name is listed on at least eight other FDA drug reviews. But no staff names are listed on the review of mifepristone.”

“[T]he secrecy surrounding the project and the Population Council’s refusal to provide key details regarding the project have also fueled the anti-abortion groups’ campaign,” Author Julie Hogan added in her historical review of the abortion pill. Hogan also cited a policy analyst with the Family Research Council, who succinctly summed up what pro-lifers have always believed about the secrecy surrounding the abortion pill: “Women ought to be aware of who will manufacture the drug, who is behind it, and what the track records of those people are.”

Republished with permission from Live Action News

 

The media once wanted to end secrecy around the abortion pill. Today, transparency is needed more than ever.
By Live Action News

There has been a lot of secrecy surrounding the abortion pill, used to end the lives of nearly four million preborn children  between 2000 and 2018, including its manufacturing locations. The eugenics-founded Population Council initially brought the abortion pill into the U.S. and set up the pill’s for-profit manufacturer, Danco Laboratories, LLC – and today Danco’s location and many of its funders continue to be cloaked in secrecy. This is unprecedented, and it endangers women and girls.

Media stunned at secrecy surrounding the abortion pill

In the years leading up to the abortion pill’s FDA approval, multiple media outlets picked up on the abortion manufacturer’s secrecy. Initially, Danco itself was kept secret, and according to a 2000 Washington Post article, the FDA “took the unprecedented step of refusing to disclose the name or location of the manufacturer. In a separate article, the Washington Post wrote, “Secretive and obscure, Danco is one of the most enigmatic companies in the pharmaceutical industry… They say Danco intends to make a profit eventually.”

“In a strange twist, the FDA acceded to Danco’s request that the name of its manufacturer be kept secret — and even shielded the names of the FDA researchers who had overseen the pill’s approval,” reported the Orlando Sentinel. “Even FDA spokespeople — the public relations specialists who field reporters’ calls to the agency — are keeping their names confidential as a condition of being interviewed about the drug.”

In 1999, the New York Times discovered just how secret Danco’s manufacturing locations were. Author Margaret Talbot wrote:

I called Danco’s New York offices for weeks before anyone phoned me back. [Heather] O’Neill, a 28-year-old Harvard graduate [a former Population Council intern] who went on to the Kennedy School and whose real interest is women’s health policy, not running interference for jumpy investors, is the only public voice of Danco.

Most of the questions I ask her elicit nervous laughter and long pauses, followed by the most parsimonious of replies. She won’t reveal the names or the locations of the manufacturers or even whether they are start-ups for this purpose or established companies, and she says that Danco will try to maintain this secrecy throughout the manufacturing process.

That same year, the Wall Street Journal wrote, “It’s even hard to physically locate Danco. There are no signs in its building’s lobby or hallways pointing to the suite the company occupies. Phone Danco and the person who answers avoids mentioning [the company’s] name, instead asking, “How can I help you?… Danco’s chief executive officer… doesn’t talk to the press.”

Media discovers manufacturing location for abortion pill… in China

In 2000, information leaked out about the last known manufacturing location of the abortion pill. CBS reported in 2000, “Officials in China confirmed… that the Shanghai-based Hua Lian Pharmaceutical Co. will make the raw compound for RU-486….” This pharmaceutical company was owned by the Chinese Communist Party.

The Los Angeles Times also confirmed the location, writing, “Danco refuses to release the names of its executives and investors. The company even persuaded the Food and Drug Administration to keep secret the location of the factory where the abortion drug will be produced, despite several published reports that it will be made in bulk at the state-owned Hua Lian Pharmaceutical Co. in Shanghai.”

“… [D]ocuments indicate that Danco expects to pay at least $293,363 through the end of this year to one of several Chinese manufacturing plants that currently produce RU-486,” the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) noted.

Chinese to make abortion pill (Image: Washington Post 2000)

Though today, the mainstream media frequently ignores China’s human rights violations, in 2000, the WSJ pointed out, “RU-486 isn’t just another Chinese-made gadget for export, but an instrument in carrying out Beijing’s one-child policy. China denies it has forced abortions, but plenty of governments, nongovernmental organizations and Chinese defectors say otherwise.” The outlet added, “[P]roponents of RU-486 won’t be able to avoid the associations attached to the policies of the country in which it is manufactured, where young women… are forbidden any such choice.”

Abortion pill’s Chinese manufacturer linked to contaminated, unsafe drugs 

National Right to Life, which published detail reports about the approval process, noted that this new manufacturer, Hua Lian, had a poor record on drug safety:

The same firm, operating under a different name, is believed to have shipped contaminated capsules to the U.S. just a few years ago. In 1998, the California Health Department said there were ” truly alarming levels of contaminants” in nearly half of the traditional Chinese medicines. The department listed “Compositae Tegafuri Capsulae” manufactured by Shanghai Pharmaceutical Factory #12 (Hua Lian’s earlier designation) as one of the contaminated medications.

The FDA told staffers for the House Commerce Committee looking into the matter that the agency did not consider the firm’s past record relevant to the safety of RU486. Committee chair Rep. Thomas Bliley (R-Va.), told the FDA in a November 1, 2000, letter, “I disagree.”

Abortion pill manufactured in China where drugs are not safe Nashua Telegraph 2000

In 2008, Hua Lian distributed contaminated leukemia drugs that paralyzed at least 200 Chinese cancer patients, according to a report published in the New York Times. The news outlet noted that Hua Lian was “the sole supplier to the United States of the abortion pill, mifepristone, known as RU-486. It is made at a factory different from the one that produced the tainted cancer drugs, about an hour’s drive away,” adding that, “When told of Shanghai Hua Lian’s troubles, Dr. Sidney M. Wolfe, a leading consumer advocate and frequent F.D.A. critic, said American regulators ought to be concerned because of accusations that serious health risks had been covered up there. ‘Every one of these plants should be immediately inspected,’ he said.”

This alarming news even prompted abortion corporation Planned Parenthood to call on the FDA to “ensure the safety of drugs manufactured by Shanghai Pharmaceutical Group for the United States” specifically because of the abortion drug.

Today, Danco’s manufacturing locations remain elusive despite the fact that these dangerous drugs are now potentially being mailed to children as young as 10 in clinical trials.

Republished with permission from Live Action News.

Chinese abortion pill maker tied to tainted drugs Image New York Times 2008

One Response to “Shocking truth exposes secrecy surrounding the abortion pill”

  1. […] pill’s manufacturer, Danco Laboratories, is a highly secretive […]

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