Today, Ohio Right to Life urged Attorney General Mike DeWine to expedite the litigation against Planned Parenthood and its practice of off-label prescribing the abortion pill RU-486 (mifepristone) in Ohio. This request comes in light of 42 reports of failed uses of the drug in the state.
The Food and Drug Administration recommends that RU-486 (commonly referred to as a chemical abortion) be administered in two doses orally and in the presence of a physician. The FDA approved RU-486 only through 49 days of pregnancy. However, contrary to FDA protocol, Planned Parenthood prescribes chemical abortions through 63 days (9 weeks) of pregnancy. Furthermore, the organization sends women home to complete the chemical abortion themselves without a physician present.
Recently, Ohio Right to Life, via a public records request, obtained 42 reports of botched RU-486 attempts in Ohio. Several involved moderate to severe bleeding and included incidences of hematometra (an accumulation of blood in the uterus). Thirty-five total cases involved incomplete abortions. Women were required to return to the abortion clinic to have the abortions completed surgically.
“Planned Parenthood’s reckless, off-label prescribing of RU-486 is no better than the ‘back alleys’ that the abortion industry references to scare women into supporting abortions on demand,” said Laura Beth Kirsop, Director of Communications at Ohio Right to Life. “These reports sadly showcase the hazards that at-home and unsupervised, chemical abortions pose to women’s health. Yet Planned Parenthood remains in direct and reckless conflict with the FDA, carelessly sending women home for unsafe, ‘do-it-yourself’ abortions.”
In the case that RU-486 fails, Planned Parenthood informs women that they will need to undergo a surgical abortion. This is because the chemical abortion can cause serious birth defects if the pregnancy continues.
One of the public documents noted that one woman never returned to Planned Parenthood for a follow-up to confirm that the abortion was completed. Regarding this report, Kirsop said, “I have to ask the frightening question of where that child is today. Was she born? Maybe not, but maybe. And if she was born, what kind of birth defects would she have sustained because of Planned Parenthood’s recklessness? The point is, according to public documents, Planned Parenthood doesn’t know, and thanks to their scandalous fight against the enforcement of FDA protocol in Ohio, they don’t have to know.
In 2004, the Ohio Legislature passed a law requiring that physicians comply with FDA guidelines for RU-486. The law remains embroiled in the courts because of challenges brought by Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio. In October 2012, a panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the 2004 Ohio law. Planned Parenthood of Ohio has since challenged the decision, asking for reconsideration.
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“RU-486 has already killed fourteen women and injured more than 2,000 women in the U.S.,” said Kirsop. “The longer Planned Parenthood dodges the enforcement of FDA protocol, the more women’s lives and health are put at risk. Ohio Right to Life urges Attorney General Mike DeWine to put an end to Planned Parenthood’s game and expedite the litigation of the chemical abortion case.”