Rep. David Vitter (R-La.) introduced a bill in the House last year that would have required a doctor's prescription for the abortion drug combination known as RU-486.
This week he's planning to send a letter to HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson to ask him what he can do to assure women's health in the wake of revelations from RU-486's manufacturer, Danco, that six women have developed serious illnesses and two have died after the taking the drug. (Danco cautioned that no causal relationship between the drug and the medical problems has been established.)
Mr. Thompson told pro-abortion Republicans last year that the Food and Drug Administration would not revisit its controversial approval of RU-486. The agency has been without a commissioner since Jane Henney, who approved the abortion drug cocktail in the fall of 2000, stepped down when President Clinton left office. Mr. Thompson recently named food and agriculture specialist Lester Crawford the deputy commissioner, and his tenure as the de facto FDA commissioner may last the rest of the first Bush term unless Congress resists.