Boehner, Members of Congress Back Limits on Abortion Drug

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 11, 2012   |   5:43PM   |   Columbus, OH

Members of Congress have signed off on a legal brief Americans United for Life filed in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

The brief supports a law a federal judge has upheld 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 brief, with support from pro-life members and Speaker John Boehner, supports Ohio’s commonsense regulation of the dangerous abortion-inducing drug RU-486.

AUL President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest noted that the  filing was part of an on-going effort from AUL in the strategic legal case because “women’s lives hang in the balance.”

“Eight women in the U.S. have died from bacterial infection following the misuse of RU-486—a misuse advocated by Planned Parenthood,” said Dr. Yoest.  “Ohio’s law is simply a medical regulation aimed at promoting the safest use of a drug, as it was approved to be used by the FDA. Requiring the proper distribution of drugs should be an area of bipartisan agreement.”

“Protecting women’s lives should be something that can be achieved with bipartisan agreement,” she added.

The brief focuses on the medical data demonstrating that misuse of RU-486 is dangerous, and that U.S. Supreme Court precedent clearly demonstrates that the regulation imposes no “undue burden” on women. To read the document, click here.

The list of U.S. House and Senate members who are being represented by AUL include: Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner (OH), U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (OK), and U.S. Representatives Steve Austria (OH), Dan Benishek, M.D. (MI), Diane Black, R.N. (TN), Charles Boustany, M.D. (LA), Paul Broun, M.D. (GA), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (LA), Steve Chabot (OH), John Fleming, M.D. (LA), Bob Gibbs (OH), Andy Harris, M.D. (MD), Bill Johnson (OH), Jim Jordan (OH), Robert Latta (OH), Jean Schmidt (OH), Steve Stivers (OH), and Pat Tiberi (OH).

In the legal case, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Dlott upheld the law against the lawsuit submitted by Planned Parenthood’s Cincinnati office.  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.

“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

“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.

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.

The FDA shows the abortion drug RU 486 has killed 14 women, and injured 2,200.