Swallowing bitter pills

ru486newsprintThe FDA announced this week that another two women who had undergone abortions using pills had died. It is important for reporters to be very specific about what is and is not known about life and death issues such as these, and many reporters did a fine job. But there was one component that was sorely lacking. Let’s look at this sample coverage from Andrew Bridges with Associated Press:

Two more women have died after using the abortion pill RU-486, federal health regulators said Friday, in warning doctors to watch for a rare but deadly infection implicated in earlier deaths.

At least seven U.S. women have died after taking the pill, sold since 2000. The Food and Drug Administration cannot prove the drug was to blame in any of the cases.

This information is certainly helpful, but I was thinking back to a story I read in December that had shocked me. Not because the news was so surprising so much as bizarrely underreported. Here’s Salynn Boyles of WebMD in an article published by Fox:

The FDA received reports of 607 adverse events involving the abortion drug RU-486 over a four-year period, it was reported this week.

The adverse events included five reported deaths and 68 cases of severe bleeding that required transfusions.

Late last month, federal officials confirmed that five women who died of toxic shock syndrome within a week of taking the drug to induce abortions had the same rare bacterial infection.

Now, seven deaths provides some context, certainly. But 68 cases of severe bleeding that required blood transfusions? And 607 adverse events? Ay yay yay! Without debating the morality of abortion, why would reporters hide this? If you or a woman you knew were considering abortion — whether you agreed with her thinking or not — wouldn’t you want to share information like this with her? Why, in a story about the dangers of an abortion pill, would you not mention that you may be facing a blood transfusion if you take the pill? Yes, these numbers are comparatively small relative to the half-million women who have used pills to end pregnancies, but that doesn’t excuse hiding them.

Anyway, most outlets tried to push the story forward by looking at Planned Parenthood’s announcement that it was changing the way it administered the drug. Four of the seven women who died did so after receiving their abortion pills from Planned Parenthood. Apparently the FDA and Planned Parenthood have been battling for a while over the way Planned Parenthood directs patients to take the drug. The New York TimesGardiner Harris explains:

When Mifeprex was first approved by the agency in 2000, the standard regimen was to give the drug in a doctor’s office followed two days later by an oral dose of a different drug, misoprostol, also in a doctor’s office. Women expelled the fetus over the following days or weeks in a process that mimicked a miscarriage. The procedure must begin within 49 days of conception.

Soon after Mifeprex’s approval, most Planned Parenthood doctors switched to a different regimen, instructing women to insert misoprostol vaginally at home two to three days after taking Mifeprex. Studies of the new regimen showed that it was effective, and it allowed women to take lower doses of misoprostol. It also meant fewer office visits for Planned Parenthood.

But this regimen was not approved by the drug agency. It is not unusual for doctors to use drugs differently from how they are officially approved. But as reports of deaths among women undergoing the procedure trickled into the F.D.A., government officials issued stern warnings that doctors should stick to the approved regimen.

Until Friday, Planned Parenthood had rejected those warnings.

bitter pill 01I just want to point out this one device author Gardiner Harris used when writing about Planned Parenthood. He says that Planned Parenthood is using a regimen not approved by the FDA. Then he says that it’s not uncommon for doctors to deviate from approved uses. That is most certainly true. It’s also remarkably generous for him to include in a story about two women’s deaths. Especially since those deaths followed medical consultations with Planned Parenthood that included instructions contrary to what the FDA approved for an extremely controversial and dangerous drug. I think it’s good that he mentioned it, so I’m not criticizing him. But it’s good to think about whether all sources get this treatment.

To draw a comparison, let’s say that seven men from around the country all died after hunting trips. The only thing they had in common was that they used the same make and model of gun, which had just been put on the market. Would we expect most reporters to put the best construction on the gun manufacturer? I don’t know.

Reporters, and most of us are guilty of this whether we’re reporters or not, tend to put the best construction on those with whom we agree while attacking the motivations or practices of those with whom we disagree. If you want to write an attack piece, putting the worst construction on one group’s actions — and the best construction on their opponents — is the easiest way to do it. It’s also unethical and fails to provide a news service to readers. Generously explaining everybody’s side is more difficult but it ends up providing a better — albeit much more complex — story.

In the meantime, someone should probably dig a bit more into all these complications from abortion pills, not just the deaths.

Print Friendly

  • http://ceejayoz.com/ ceejayoz

    For someone criticizing reporters for ignoring parts of a story, you’re doing an awful lot of it yourself.

    Let’s look at Claritin.


    Out of only about 2000 people in the adult clinical trial, there were 27 “adverse reactions” including things like dry mouth, headache, and fatigue. Out of 188 in the 6-12 age group, more than 20 had adverse events – over 10 percent of patients!

    Using the same criteria you seem to suggest for RU-486, Claritin should be pulled off the market or at least treated with substantial suspicion. Adverse events is a massively vague term, so you should be far more careful in the conclusions you draw from it.

    Viagra has had over 1,500 reported adverse events. Here’s a Wall Street Journal article on six deaths – http://www.junkscience.com/news2/viagra2.htm

  • Steve Odom

    You’re right, ceejayoz, that Claritin is a real killer. Too bad Mollie’s trying to hide that because of her pro-allergy drug bias.

  • http://auspiciousdragon.com/ holmegm

    >including things like dry mouth, headache, and

    Yeah, that’s right up there with severe bleeding that required blood transfusions.

    Actually, it sounds like the phantom symptom cluster you tend to get if you ask anybody about anything …

  • Ken

    So what is it that makes the mass media so fanatically pro-choice? I understand that individual reporters are largely “liberal”, whatever that may mean. However, they have editors who assign and approve their work. Those editors have publishers, the publishers have parent companies, and the parent companies have stockholders. It would be easy to say the media reflects the culture, since they are for-profit businesses. However, national attitudes toward abortion are much more nuanced and moderate. It might be fair to say that the public is actually “pro-choice”; the news business, on the other hand, often appears “pro-abortion”, if you get my meaning.

    On the topic of the specific abortion procedure in question, I believe it was 6 deaths that lead to further investigations which led to my losing access to my phen-fen, on which I lost 80lbs. Wanna bet RU-486 doesn’t have a similar future?

  • http://ceejayoz.com/ ceejayoz

    Severe bleeding is – get this – one of the more common symptoms of a miscarriage. In a drug that induces a miscarriage, some of that is to be expected, and that’s why you’re supposed to come in to the doctor if you experience it, be it induced by a drug or a natural miscarriage.

    Steve, that’s precisely my point – Claritin has more “adverse events”, yet is obviously safer, so the number of adverse events is an entirely absurd statistic to use to oppose something – the term can include anything from death to a sore throat. And what of Viagra?

    Ken, phen-fen caused abnormal echocardiograms in 30% of those taking it, as well as hundreds of cases of valve problems. That’s quite a bit more significant than the six deaths would initially seem to indicate.

  • http://agrumer.livejournal.com/ Avram

    And 607 adverse events? Ay yay yay!

    Hold on a minute. What exactly constitutes an “adverse reaction”? And that’s 607 adverse reactions out of how many uses? What are the rates of adverse reactions in other drugs? How about in comparison with pregnancy and delivery? (About 350-400 women die each year in the US from complications of pregnancy and childbirth.)

    Talk about best and worst constructions — What sort of medical procedures actually get the level of journalistic attention you’re recommending for RU-486?

  • Stephen A.

    “individual reporters are largely “liberal”, whatever that may mean”

    Oh, brother. Then the bit implying “corporate” or “profit” bias. This gets old fast.

    The fact that newspapers are not focused on profits (or on fair reporting, which would increase those profits) is found no further than their rapidly shrinking readership.

    The media shouldn’t be “fanatically” pro-choice OR pro-life, it should be NEUTRAL. Why is that so hard to grasp? Or is it just an old fashioned notion?

  • http://www.getreligion.org Mollie


    One article I read said that the 607 adverse reactions were serious, and included 68 cases of severe hemorrhaging requiring blood transfusions and 66 cases of infection. These adverse reactions, by the way, were only calculated until Sept. 2004, so it doesn’t include many of the deaths that were reported or any of the other cases of blood transfusions or infections, etc., that have taken place since then.

    I don’t care WHAT your position on abortion is, I’m pretty sure we can all agree that sharing this information with women is the only ethical thing to do. Full information is always better.

    As for other pills that get a ton of journalistic attention . . . how about Viagra, Phen-Fen, and Accutane? Not that the coverage is necessarily stellar, but some medications and pills definitely warrant or receive greater scrutiny. And if I were in a feminist mood, I might point out the disparities in style and amount of coverage of men’s health issues and women’s health issues.

    I’m not saying that people need to “go after” Planned Parenthood or RU-486 — just report everything. EVERYTHING. That might include context (although hopefully we have better equivalencies than Claritin’s dry mouth=RU-486′s accidental death and severe hemorrhaging) or interviews with those researchers who opposed RU-486′s approval for precisely the reasons why its in the news now. It might include an investigative report on why Planned Parenthood knowingly encouraged women to use RU-486 in an unapproved manner so that they would have fewer office visits. It might include reporting that women have to sign a brief and clear waiver saying they’re aware of the risk of death or blood transfusions, etc. I don’t know. It’s just that we don’t get enough information.

    Maybe it’s because I’m female or because I have gone to abortion clinics with friends who’ve had abortions, but I tend to think more information about women’s health risks is better.

  • http://agrumer.livejournal.com/ Avram

    I’m not saying that people need to “go after” Planned Parenthood or RU-486 — just report everything. EVERYTHING.

    Everything? If one guy takes an aspirin and then throws up, does that get reported? Ten guys? A hundred?

    607 “adverse effects” in four years, that’s about 150/year. How many drugs get those kinds of results? We probably ought to correct for number of uses — 150 adverse results out of 200 uses is more newsworthy than 150 out of two million uses. NARAL says that more than 500,000 women in the US have used RU-486 since it’s approval by the FDA, and the adverse drug event rate is 0.022%. So, Mollie, let’s say we establish 0.02% as the adverse drug event rate cutoff — everything at that rate or above gets a journalistic write-up at the level of detail you want. How many drugs get written up under this rule?

    This seems like a tough question to answer. Looking around with Google, I see that most hits for adverse drug event rate are about adverse drug reactions in hospitals, and a lot of those are due to doctor or nurse error — a missed dose, an illegible prescription, extra doses, drug interactions, etc. This actually looks pretty complicated, and I’m starting to suspect that “adverse drug event” may be the wrong term to use.

    More information is great, but information without context is less than useful.

    It might include an investigative report on why Planned Parenthood knowingly encouraged women to use RU-486 in an unapproved manner so that they would have fewer office visits.

    Yeah, what could possibly make women reluctant to visit a Planned Parenthood office?

  • http://BUSY Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    All that this story proves is that what my wife keeps saying is true about all the various drugs involving reproduction–women are just guinea pigs for the big drug companies so “they can get rich from those who can’t control their sexual itch.”–as in the self-control that makes MODERN natural regulation of birth 100% safe but with no profit for big drug companies.
    I wonder–will the lawyer vultures now descend on Planned Parenthood over the deaths caused by ignoring the warnings from the government the way they have descended on the Catholic Church for its transgressions. Or is Planned Parenthood protected by sovereign immunity the way the massive abuse (according to university and government statistics) in public schools is protected (by the same politicial hacks who fulminate against the Church.)
    Noone has to expose his children to any church. But refuse to expose your children to public school abusers and you can be fined or go to jail.

  • Ken

    Having no illusions that anyone cares about my opinions, I write blog comments as an exercise in expressing myself more clearly. Obviously, I have a long way to go.

    Stephen A. – My point was, as you say “The media shouldn’t be “fanatically” pro-choice OR pro-life, it should be NEUTRAL.” So why isn’t it?

    And yes, ceejayoz, you also got my point, which was that the impact of phen-fen was revealed by fewer deaths than RU-486, which raises the question about what other medical issues may lurk. BTW, I have had two echo-cardiagrams and stress tests, and my heart is quite healthy. Yet I don’t have the option of making an informed choice to take the drugs which keep me from being obese. Will RU-486 users be subject to the same restrictions?

  • Tom Pollard

    Deacon Bresnahan,

    Can you cite a source to back up your accusation of “massive abuse” of children in public schools?

  • Ken

    A compilation of research regarding various professions and child sex abuse is available at:


    Note the site is Catholic, but the research findings are varied. Note also that a number of the citations are not of research, but news articles. I didn’t go to the articles cited to get the underlying research.

    Here is a sample from the section on teachers.

    “…17.7 percent of males who graduated from high school, and 82.2 percent of females, reported sexual harassment by faculty or staff during their years in school. Fully 13.5 percent said they had sexual intercourse with their teacher.”

    Daniel Wishnietsky, “Reported and Unreported Teacher-Student Sexual Harassment,” Journal of Ed Research, Vol. 3, 1991, pp. 164-69.

    Perhaps someone better at googling can get more information.

  • Dan

    The media’s silence about sex abuse in the public schools is a double scandal. The silence itself is the main scandal of course. What makes it a double scandal is that it is very hard to conclude that anti-Catholicism is not what motivates the disparate treatment of sex abuse in the Church and sex abuse in the public schools. By way of example, the LA Times, which I have read on a daily basis for over 20 years, on numerous ocassions has run long feature articles on sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests. But never once do I recall seeing any similar sort of article on sexual abuse in the public schools, where in relative numbers the abuse is probably as bad or worse than in the Catholic Church and in absolute numbers is far, far worse. Why is there this disparity? Is there any explanation other than anti-Catholic bigotry? Look also at how the media reacted when the Department of Education-commissioned “No Child Left Behind” study reported that there was widespread sexual abuse in the public schools. Did this trigger an avalanche of publicity, further investigation, and expressions of concern for the children? No. On the contrary, the gist of much of the reporting, scant as it was, was that things were not as bad as the study seemed to indicate, and that the study was flawed. As this makes obvious, the media doesn’t care one whit about the kids that were sexually abused by priests or public school teachers but they treasure any opportunity to trash the Catholic Church.

  • http://agrumer.livejournal.com/ Avram

    Are people posting from some weird parallel universe where school sex scandals don’t get reported in the news?

  • Michael

    Is it just coincidence that your concern over RU-486 occurs at the same time there is a major effort by pro-life and conservative forces at trumpeting the harms that are clearly described on both the pharma company’s website and the FDA website? Should MSM report it just because there is an orchestrated, pro-life movement effort to attack RU-486?

    Should the MSM become a foil to a PR effort by groups opposed to the medication?

  • http://www.getreligion.org Mollie


    I’m not sure if you are joking or being serious here, but I honestly am surprised that there is disagreement about whether women should have full information about abortion pills. But I guess nothing should be surprising about how contentious this abortion debate is.

    Of course, I always hoped that dueling sides could agree about trying to help women in problem pregnancies.

    ANYWAY, Michael, I think pro-life forces have been trying to draw attention to RU-486′s problems for a long time.

    The reason why this is in the news *now* has nothing to do with that. The reason why this is in the news now is that the Food and Drug Administration released information last week that two more women died after taking the pill. And Planned Parenthood changed the way it was doing business.

    Now, if two women dying is not a good news hook for a story about the dangers of a contentious pill, what, pray tell would be?

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I think pro-choice people are as concerned about women dying after taking abortion pills as pro-life people are.

    Aren’t they? Or should this information be hidden because it could hurt the pro-choice cause?

  • Michael

    If it’s on the FDA site and on the drug-maker’s site and available widely by googling, is it “hidden?” The conspiratorial tones that news is “hidden” and than infer it is part of liberal journalist’s attempt to promote their position is where it gets a little murky, for me.

    Sure, it’s important to find out whether these outcomes are unusual. But just because pro-life forces and the conservative press beileves it is significant and facts are being “hidden” doesn’t make it so.

  • http://areyoudressed.blogspot.com Molly

    Mollie, I googled “RU-486, bleeding” and got the these results.

    All the sites I went to were up front about the side effects of taking RU-486 including excessive bleeding. The information is out there.

  • http://www.getreligion.org Mollie

    Yeah, the information is out there. But our website here is not about whether information is “out there” but, rather, about how the media covers religious issues.

    Abortion coverage is so wrapped up in religious values that we also talk about it here.

    It is not in GetReligion’s stated interest to discuss what information is Googlable but, rather, what information is included in the news.

  • Scott Allen

    Mollie, thank you for the original post and subsequent discussion. Your patience and courage are quite commendable.

  • Dan

    Avram, here’s a report from the parallel universe (which is inhabited even by CNN):


    The link is to a CNN.com article about how teacher sex abuse does not get the same attention as the Catholic priest sex abuse scandal. The article notes:

    “Such cases aren’t uncommon across the country. But unlike the Roman Catholic Church’s troubles with pedophile priests, teacher-student sex cases have received little attention beyond a few sensational cases.”

    But it is not necessary to rely on the CNN article to demonstrate the obvious. You have to be living in a “parallel universe” to believe that the media’s scant coverage of sex abuse in the public schools comes anywhere close to the avalanche of press reporting concerning the Church sex abuse scandal. Incidently, many of the links listed in the Google search that you link to are either not about sex abuse in public schools or are about the Church scandal.

  • http://www.geocities.com/hohjohn John L. Hoh, Jr.

    I’ve always been amazed that, while the pro-abortion lobby tells us abortion is “just a routine medical procedure,” they never want parental notification for minors as a hospital or clinic needs for truly life-threatening procedures and ER treatment. Then we find out many women are made sterile for life because of the procedure as well as health complications.

    So it doesn’t surprise me that there are complications with RU-486. Funny, while many of these same people want rigorous testing and thorough trials before a drug goes to market, this one they wanted fast-tracked. Of course they can always blame George W. Bush for the problems that arise. They blame him for everything else.

  • http://agrumer.livejournal.com/ Avram

    Dan, the CNN article you linked to suggests that the difference is not schools vs church, but that the school cases often involve consensual sex between female teachers and male students, and most people don’t find that as shocking.

    Another difference, probably more important, is that the RC Church covered up the scandals for decades, while teachers who abuse students are generally fired and/or criminally charged.

  • http://BUSY Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    Avram–I worked in a public school system for 37 years. And most of the cases were not consensual sex, and the vast majority I heard of by the grapevine were never in the newspapers, or if they were a “deal” had been struck and the story was a one-day blip on page 10–rarely made the front page or the major metropolitan news media a few miles away. This whole area is totally unexplored because the media is so interested in protecting public schools (the boogeyman of vouchers is still out there if public schools lose all confidence) and lawyers can’t make a buck because of the sovereign immunity laws in most states.
    That the NY Times admitted on their frontpage the very serious problem of abuse in NY public schools says it all really. But that they never did any follow up is their shame and proof of their anti-Catholic bigotry as they never let up on the priest scandals.
    In fact, there is already clearly enough in print and on the record to say that someone who thinks the problem should be ignored or doesn’t exist in a big –although in a largely unexplored and underreported way–but is still tightly wound up about Catholic priests –has a real bigotry problem themselves.

  • Dan

    Avram, contrary to what you state, it appears that the way the public schools reacted to accusations against teachers is almost identical to the way Catholic bishops responded to accusations against priests. This is what Charol Shakeshaft has found. She is a Hofstra University professor who has studied sex abuse in the public schools and prepared a report on the subject for the Department of Education. The following is from an article that is based on an interview with Shakeshaft:

    “Furthermore, Shakeshaft said that attempts by those in authority to conceal abuse, which caused such scandal in the Catholic church, may be evidenced within school systems. A 1994 study she did on disciplinary action against 225 public school teachers who admitted sexually abusing children in New York state found 15 percent were terminated and 25 percent received no disciplinary consequences.

    Of the rest, 39 percent left the school district, many with a positive recommendation to teach elsewhere, and the rest were informally reprimanded, she said. None were reported to the police or district attorney.

    Based on her years of experience working with school administrators, Shakeshaft said, ‘I don’t believe there is a lot of concerted, deliberate efforts to cover up.’ Except for a small minority, she said she believes ‘most school administers acted defensively” — trying to protect schools and victims — ‘and believed they could handle this internally.’

    ‘It just doesn’t occur to most of them that they need to report this,’ she said. ‘I’m not defending these errors in judgment,’ she said. ‘The outcome of these errors is that kids are being hurt and we need to change that.’”

    As Shakeshaft has stated elsewhere, this is almost exactly what happened in the Catholic Church. This should not be surprising. There is nothing about Catholic bishops that makes them more prone than public school administrators to errors in judgment concerning sexual abuse allegations. That anyone should believe otherwise is perhaps not surprising given the way the press has covered the matter.

  • http://agrumer.livejournal.com/ Avram

    Dan, if that’s true, then maybe there’s something to what you’re saying. I notice that you seem to be drawing your information from this article in the National Catholic Reporter. The article points out that a lot of Shakeshaft’s claims are speculative.

  • Dan

    Avram, first, thank you for acknowledging what I am trying to point out. In a debate it is hard to concede a point and that you explicitly acknowlege that you might need to do so demonstrates to me your good faith.

    In response to what you say substantively, Shakeshaft herself acknowledges that her work only scratches the surface and that much more investigatory work needs to be done to gain a full understanding of the situation. Obviously one person is not going to be able to exhaustively investigate a matter as massive as sexual abuse in the public schools. The point is not that what she has concluded is conclusive in every respect. The point is that she and some others have raised serious questions that the media are being studiously ignoring and that this is in sharp contrast to the reporting on the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. (I would add that the Church deserves much of the condemnation it has received with regard to the sex abuse scandal. My gripe is that the Church has been singled out with regard to a very serious problem that exists in many places other than the Church. The result is to exacerbate already existing anti-Catholicism. Consider for example why you hear jokes about pedophile priests but not about pedophile teachers. It is not because priests are more likely to have abused children. It is because the press has succesfully smeared priests.)

  • Dan

    I should add that another result of focusing on the Church to the exclusion of public schools is that it leaves public school kids at risk.

  • http://agrumer.livejournal.com/ Avram

    Dan, people have been accusing Catholic priests of pedophilia (and other sexual misbehavior) for centuries. As you probably know. It long predates the modern news media. Of course, you can then just claim that the news media act out of pre-existing anti-Catholic bias.

    Anyway, the reason you hear jokes about pedophile priests (and other priestly sexual antics) is because people hate hypocrites. A guy who tells you to hold yourself to a strict standard of sexual conduct, and then is revealed as a sexual libertine — or worse — makes for a much more dramatic story than a guy who committed the same act, but hadn’t put himself into the position of telling you to behave yourself.

    Think about it: You walk past a guy smoking a cigarette. No big deal, right, who cares. But wait — the guy is a famous anti-smoking activist, who has crusaded to get smoking banned from public places. Now it’s something you might want to tell your friends you saw, right?

    Also, I notice you keep talking about public schools, but no figures at all have been presented about private schools. Are private schools better, worse, or the same on average? How about home schools? A significant amount of child sexual abuse is committed in the home.

    Which reminds me of another reason the media may shy away from reporting on child abuse in the schools — the day care sex abuse hysteria of the 1980s.

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    Avram–I wonder when the media will look at the shrinks and lawyers who advised Church leaders. At the time of most of the scandals the rule of thumb was that for such stuff to go public it would be like abusing the child again, But what CHANGED or what new research caused the policy to become that public venting is best for the victims? As for the lawyers–aren’t they supposed to be agents of the court and blow the whistle on abuse of the legal system if such is occurring? Yet they were as silent as the bishops and the shrinks. Now they ride around on their white chargers pretending to be the idealistic defenders of the abused (while making themselves abundantly wealthy). Haven’t many shrinks and lawyers been just as hypocritical as the homosexual priests(John Jay school of criminal justice said the statistics warrent that label-homosexual- not “pedophile” because 80% of cases did NOT involve young children or females).

  • http://agrumer.livejournal.com/ Avram

    As for the lawyers—aren’t they supposed to be agents of the court and blow the whistle on abuse of the legal system if such is occurring?

    I’m pretty sure that no, they aren’t. Attorney-client privilege means that they are forbidden from revealing what they’ve learned by being asked by a client for legal advice. Think of it as sort of like the seal of the confessional. (Though the details vary from state to state.)

    There’s also doctor-patient privilege. I don’t know exactly what you mean by “shrinks”, but if you’re talking about a psychiatrist or other licensed medical professional talking with a patient, that’s also privileged information that the doctor isn’t supposed to share. (Again, varies by state.)

  • http://www.geocities.com/hohjohn John L. Hoh, Jr.


    “Think about it: You walk past a guy smoking a cigarette. No big deal, right, who cares. But wait — the guy is a famous anti-smoking activist, who has crusaded to get smoking banned from public places. Now it’s something you might want to tell your friends you saw, right?”

    Actually, your analogy rings so very true in Wisconsin. The Democrats have led the anti-smoking, anti-tobacco lobby, even extorting millions from tobacco companies.

    Then we find out a Democratic operative came to Wisconsin to buy the votes of the homeless. The payment? Packs of cigarettes. LOL and ROTFL!