By Peyton Majors
Christian Action League
November 22, 2023
A prominent pro-life organization this month asked the U.S. Supreme Court to require the FDA to uphold “basic safeguards” for the abortion pill regimen that were removed in recent years to the detriment of women’s health.
The Human Coalition filed its friend-of-the-court brief in a case, Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, challenging the FDA’s approval of the abortion pill, which is a two-drug regimen. It’s sometimes called a “chemical abortion.”
The Human Coalition’s brief asserts that the FDA is endangering not only the lives of unborn children but also women.
“Beginning in 2016, the FDA removed several necessary safeguards designed to protect women from dangerous complications associated with mifepristone,” the brief says, referencing one of the two drugs. The other is misoprostol.
The FDA in 2016, the brief says: 1) “eliminated the in-person examination following the medication abortion,” 2) “increased the maximum gestational age from seven to ten weeks,” 3) “removed the in-person dispensing requirement for misoprostol,” and, 4) “eliminated the reporting requirement for non-fatal adverse events.”
In 2021, the FDA “eliminated the in-person dispensing requirement for mifepristone.”
“Now, medication abortion can be administered without any preventive testing such as a physical exam, diagnostic ultrasound, blood tests, or interaction with the abortion provider,” the brief says. “The entire abortion can now take place within a woman’s home, without any physician oversight.”
The lack of oversight by the FDA will lead to increases in undetected ectopic pregnancies and misdiagnosis of gestational age, all of which can lead to severe and even fatal complications, the brief says.
“Such complications can be avoided if a woman visits a physician in-person before and after her medication abortion,” the brief says.
Politics has driven the FDA’s decisions, the brief says.
“Politics should never trump the lives of women,” the brief says. “But when the FDA approved the medication abortion regimen — and later removed basic safeguards to protect mothers from the harms of a dangerous drug — it chose politics over the health of women.”
The FDA’s changes already have had a devastating impact on women, Human Coalition says.
“The FDA data shows that 12.5% of the total deaths reported to the FDA were recorded during the last 6 months of 2022,” the brief says. “During this period, women were not required to visit an abortion provider to obtain a medication abortion.”
Human Coalition “sees firsthand the damage medication abortion” causes to the “physical health of women,” the brief says.
“[Human Coalition] serves mothers who report they were ill-informed about the severe risks involved with undergoing medication abortion,” the brief says. “Human Coalition clinics also assist women who suffered life-threatening complications due to medication abortion.”
Mifepristone blocks the hormone progesterone, causing the lining of the uterus to break down in order to kill the unborn baby. Misoprostol sparks contractions and a delivery of a dead fetus. The two drugs can be taken only early in the pregnancy.
The brief includes testimonies from women who regret their chemical abortion.
“We are committed to advocating for the millions of victims of abortion pills — the children whose lives were violently snuffed out, and the women who were misled about the physical pain, severe bleeding, and trauma they would suffer from taking abortion pills,” said Chelsey Youman, national director of public policy for Human Coalition.
“Our brief recounts real women who were ill-prepared for life-threatening complications and the trauma of seeing the body of their deceased child from an at-home abortion. The FDA understood these risks when it placed the abortion pill on its REMS protocol — reserved for high-risk drugs — because of serious adverse experiences for women. Then they rolled back basic safety protocols because they prioritized politics over the well-being of women and girls. Women deserve better than the lies that abortion is health care.”
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