Ohio Judge Backs Law Limiting Dangerous RU 486 Abortion Drug

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 24, 2011   |   7:02PM   |   Columbus, OH

A federal judge has upheld a law saying abortion centers in the state can’t put women’s health at risk by not properly using the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug as recommended by the FDA.

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. The Ohio Supreme Court affirmed the law in July 2009 and abortion advocates took their case to federal courts.

The law 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 abortion drug, also known as mifepristone, has been responsible for the deaths of dozens of 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.

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Dlott upheld the law against the lawsuit submitted by Planned Parenthood’s Cincinnati office. According to an AP report, Dlott dismissed Planned Parenthood’s arguments that the law is vague or violates the supposed right to abortion created under the Roe v. Wade decision. Planned Parenthood also claimed the law making it respect women’s health would force women to choose surgical abortions over ones with the abortion drug.

AP indicates Planned Parenthood is deciding whether or not to appeal the decision.

“The abortion pill has injured over 1,000 women, even leading some to death.  Regardless of what the court ruled, one thing is crystal clear: RU-486 hurts women.  With respect to protecting women’s health, the Ohio General Assembly got it right and the abortion industry didn’t,” said Mike Gonidakis, Executive Director for Ohio Right to life.  We sincerely thank Attorney General Mike DeWine for his steadfast commitment to protecting women and their babies.”

Pro-life advocates issued comments about the law and the Planned Parenthood challenge following the state Supreme Court decision.

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

“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.

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.”