In its first opportunity to weigh in on the constitutionality of medically appropriate regulation of chemical abortions, the U.S. Supreme Court has ordered the Oklahoma Supreme Court to make further rulings regarding an Oklahoma law based on Americans United for Life’s model legislation, the “Abortion-Inducing Drugs Safety Act.”
“Chemical abortions are dangerous. We know that women have died when given such drugs in a casual and unregulated manner,” said Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest.
She continued: “The health risks to women from the under-regulated practices of the abortion industry need to be front and center in our discussion of the abortion industry behavior. The Supreme Court has taken a first step toward protecting women and girls from the abortion industry’s callous disregard for their health and safety when using life-ending drugs.”
The FDA has reported that, since RU-486 was approved in September 2000, more than 2,200 cases of severe adverse events including hemorrhaging, blood loss requiring transfusions, serious infections, and at least 14 women’s deaths have occurred. At least eight of these women died from severe bacterial infections, and in every case the woman was instructed by an abortion provider to misuse this dangerous regimen.
AUL has been a leader in protecting women from dangerous chemical abortion drugs. Enacted in 2011 and supported by overwhelming majorities in both the Oklahoma House of Representatives and Senate, the ”Abortion-Inducing Drugs Safety Act” requires that abortion providers abide by FDA-approved guidelines when administering abortion-inducing drugs including RU-486. It also requires that a physician examine a woman before providing abortion-inducing drugs, to ensure that her pregnancy is not ectopic and that she is not too far along in her pregnancy.
An abortion industry challenge to these commonsense and medically appropriate regulations was filed in October 2011, just before the regulations were slated to go into effect. Later, in a cursory opinion released in December 2012, the Oklahoma Supreme Court invalidated the law.
“AUL’s model language is based on the best medical evidence and legal precedent, and works to prevent abortionists from hustling women in and out of an abortion provider’s office with instructions to misuse a dangerous drug regimen,” continued Dr. Yoest.
In addition to providing the statutory language to Oklahoma legislators, AUL attorneys have been actively involved in the case, Cline v. Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, since it was filed in October 2011. Most recently, in April 2013, AUL filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court on behalf of the majority of both chambers of the Oklahoma Legislature, arguing that its model language furthered the State of Oklahoma’s legitimate interest in protecting the health and safety of women and that the Oklahoma Supreme Court failed to properly respect and apply U.S. Supreme Court precedent.