by Steven Ertelt
December 7, 2005
Cincinnati, OH (LifeNews.com) — Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro says his state has an obligation to limit the use of the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug to FDA protocols because the health of women is at stake. Abortion advocates have taken an Ohio law to court saying they have to abide by them.
Both sides presented their arguments today at the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.
"We believe the state has a right and a duty to protect the health of Ohio citizens, and that this law is sensible and constitutional," Petro said in a statement Tuesday. "This is even more crucial in light of the questionable safety record of this drug."
Susan Wills, associate director for education for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Pro-Life Activities section, told the Cincinnati Post newspaper she agreed.
"Obviously, the moral issue is foremost in our mind. But the use of RU-486 is a lot more risky for a woman’s health than people have been led to believe," she explained.
Ohio is the only state to have such a law requiring abortion centers to follow FDA protocols and not use the drug past 7 weeks of pregnancy or tell women to use it vaginally. However, abortion advocates filed a lawsuit against the safety regulations, even though they may have prevented Ohio women from dying from the abortion drug.
U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott issued a temporary injunction against the law in September 2004, saying the abortion businesses would likely win their case. Petro appealed the decision to the 6th Circuit.
Planned Parenthood, with the help of the ACLU, says the law unfairly prevents some women to use the abortion drug. They’ve been joined in the lawsuit by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which takes a pro-abortion position.
Pro-life groups say the law is necessary to make sure abortion practitioners comply with FDA guidelines, especially in the case of whether women are instructed to use the drugs vaginally.
Planned Parenthood abortion businesses in California tell women there using the abortion drug to insert the second of the two pills vaginally. That has resulted in the deaths of four women who have contracted fatal bacterial infections as a result.
FDA officials say the "off-label" use of the drug by Planned Parenthood resulted in the deaths that the Ohio law is intended to prevent.
An abortion practitioner who violates the Ohio law protecting women could receive as much as an 18 month prison sentence.