Ohio Ruling Upholding Abortion Drug Safety Law Applauded by Pro-Life Groups

State   Steven Ertelt   Jul 3, 2009   |   9:00AM    WASHINGTON, DC

Ohio Ruling Upholding Abortion Drug Safety Law Applauded by Pro-Life Groups

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
July 3
, 2009

Columbus, OH (LifeNews.com) — An Ohio Supreme Court decision saying abortion centers in the state could no longer put women’s health at risk by not properly using the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug is earning praise from pro-life groups. The Alliance Defense Fund and Americans United for Life say the decision is good news.

At issue was a state law making sure abortion businesses follow FDA guidelines when they give out the drug.

“A woman’s life and health is worth more than Planned Parenthood’s bottom line,” Senior Legal Counsel Steven H. Aden told LifeNews.com Thursday.

“This Ohio statute simply requires abortionists to abide by FDA-approved guidelines for the abortion drug RU-486, yet Planned Parenthood wants the freedom to exceed those guidelines when they wish to, even though there’s evidence that some women may even have died when the guidelines weren’t followed. Planned Parenthood may say it cares about the health of women, but if that was true, it wouldn’t be fighting against this law," he added.

Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest told LifeNews.com that the ruling helps pro-life advocates win an important battle.
"We applaud the Ohio Supreme Court for cutting through Planned Parenthood’s self-serving rhetoric that it did not need to follow the protocol tested and approved by the FDA when administering RU-486," she said.

Yoest added: "For far too long, Planned Parenthood and its enablers have thought themselves above the law. Today the Ohio Supreme Court put a decisive end to that."

Americans United for Life filed an amicus brief in the case on behalf of several members of Congress supporting the law.

AUL staff attorney Mailee Smith also chimed in on the decision.

"The fact that Planned Parenthood readily admits to routinely disregarding the FDA-approved protocol and actually argued it was entitled to dispense RU-486 in an untested and dangerous manner is appalling," she said. "It is further confirmation that Planned Parenthood is not the protector of women’s health and welfare it holds itself out to be."

The law has been embroiled in a legal battle since an abortion business took it to court following its approval by the state legislature in 2004.

It tells abortion practitioners not to encourage women to use the abortion drug vaginally, which experts say could be responsible for why the RU 486 abortion drug killed four women in California. It also says the abortion pill can’t be used after the seventh week of pregnancy.

The case will now return to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals for a decision of whether the statute, as interpreted by the Ohio Supreme Court, is constitutional.

The abortion drug, also known as mifepristone, has been responsible for the deaths of at least a dozen women worldwide and it has injured more than 1,200 women in the United States according to FDA figures from 2007.

The FDA has placed its highest black box warning on the abortion drug because of the deaths and injuries to women and issued dosage guidelines and said it should not be used after 49 days of pregnancy.

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