he Supreme Court announced today that it will not take a pending appeal from Oklahoma officials who are defending a pro-life state law that protects women from the dangerous abortion drug RU 486.
The law requires abortion business to follow FDA protocols that protect women by requiring an in-person visit with a physician before getting the abortion drug to ensure that the patient does not have an ectopic pregnancy, for example. An undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy has previously been responsible for women losing their lives when taking the mifepristone abortion pill.
The law also requires abortion centers to dispense the drug under FDA-required protocols rather than “off label” usage that has cost women their lives when businesses like Planned Parenthood fail to follow the FDA guidelines set forth when the abortion drug was approved at the end of the Clinton administration.
The Supreme Court had tentatively added this case to its docket, but put the case on hold waiting for the Oklahoma Supreme Court to issue another ruling. When the state Supreme Court held the law unconstitutional, the U.S. Supreme Court decided today not to move ahead with the case and tossed out Oklahoma’s appeal “as improvidently granted.” In a one-sentence order, the Court dismissed as “improvidently granted” the case of Cline, et al., v. Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice (docket 12-1094).
Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest recently said, “Oklahoma legislators acted to curb the dangerous misuse of life-ending drugs by requiring physicians to follow FDA protocols that better protect women’s lives and health. But once again, the Oklahoma Supreme Court put itself between the abortion industry and the U.S. Supreme Court by reverse-engineering statutory language to invalidate the Legislature’s common-sense regulation of life-ending drugs. The Court’s decision is a thinly-veiled attempt to shield its original opinion from further review.”
“This kind of legal maneuvering now exposes women to the increased dangers of life-ending drugs when misused by abortion profiteers,” she added.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court expressly ignored the language of the law that allowed RU-486 to be used when FDA protocols are followed, and it ignored legislative intent that the RU-486 regimen was approved under a unique approval process for powerful drugs that “can be safely used only if distribution or use is restricted.”
Under this process, referred to as Subpart H, the FDA can “require such post marketing restrictions as are needed to assure safe use” of the drug approved. To put this in perspective, out of almost 1,800 New Drug Applications (NDAs) approved between 1992 and 2011, only 70 were approved under Subpart H like RU-486. Subpart H approvals are rare, and these drugs are treated differently than the vast majority of drugs approved under regular FDA processes.
“This decision places women’s lives at risk while siding with an abortion industry bent on pushing women in and out of clinics quickly, without regard to their health or best interests,” said Yoest.
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Recognizing the risks, the FDA laid out a specific protocol and imposed restrictions on the use of abortion-inducing drugs, but Big Abortion has been ignoring these restrictions in order to “serve” more women in a day. It gives the drugs to women past the deadline approved by the FDA (49 days into pregnancy) and sends women home to self-administer the drugs—and hemorrhage—at home, alone, and without medical supervision. Of course, the more women “served,” the larger Big Abortion’s profit margin. And by sending women home to self-administer, it means physicians spend even less time with each woman and fail to evaluate her health throughout the procedure.
In 2011, the FDA reported that over 2,200 women had experienced complications following use of abortion-inducing drugs, with eight women dying from severe bacterial infection. In all eight deaths, the women had administered misoprostol, the second drug in the RU-486 regimen, in a manner approved by the FDA.