Obama Administration Topples Pro-Life Laws Protecting Women From Dangerous Abortion Pill

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Apr 1, 2016   |   9:35AM   |   Washington, DC

A handful of states have been successful at protecting women from the abortion industry’s abusive off-label use of chemical abortion drugs. No more.

This week, profit-driven industry successfully lobbied the Obama administration to weaken FDA guidelines for the drugs, basically nullifying the protective laws.

Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses routinely used the abortion drug regimen RU-486 off-label, prescribing it later in pregnancy and using lower doses than the FDA recommended. These measures saved the abortion businesses money but put unsuspecting women in greater danger of complications.

In an effort to crack down on the dangerous practice, state legislators in Ohio, Texas, North Dakota, Arizona, Arkansas and Oklahoma passed legislation to require that abortion clinics follow FDA standards for chemical abortions. The regulations went into effect in Ohio, North Dakota and Texas, while court challenges have prevented the others from taking effect, according to KARE 11 News.

However, this week the abortion industry successfully lobbied the FDA to weaken its standards for chemical abortions, effectively wiping out the state laws. The new FDA decision expands the label use of RU-486 by allowing it to be administered up until 10 weeks of pregnancy instead of seven and by allowing smaller doses to be used. These expansions have been approved despite the FDA’s own studies showing RU-486 has high failure rates and risks to women’s health.

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The previous FDA standards were strict for good reason. An FDA study from 2011 showed that RU-486 is responsible for the deaths of at least 14 women in the U.S. and dozens more worldwide. In the April 2011 report, the FDA found that 2,207 women in the U.S. also were injured by the drug. A Planned Parenthood study also admits at least one woman is seriously injured from the abortion drug daily.

The clinical trial submitted to the FDA for approval explains why the FDA originally recommended the drug only up to seven weeks of pregnancy. The RU-486 regimen fails in 1 out of 12 women with pregnancies less than or equal to 49 days (seven weeks), according to the clinical trial. Those failures, however, increase to 1 out of every 6 women with pregnancies just one week advanced (50-56 days), and further still to nearly 1 out of every 4 pregnancies at 57-63 days gestational age. When using RU-486, 1 out of 100 women with pregnancies less than or equal to 49 days will require emergency surgery; however, this number increases dramatically to 1 out of every 11 women with pregnancies of 57-63 days gestational age.

Planned Parenthood celebrated the victory this week, crowing over the states whose laws are now basically meaningless.

“The benefit of this announcement will be most immediately felt by women and providers in Ohio, Texas and North Dakota — states where laws are in effect requiring that medication abortion be provided according to the regimen outlined on mifepristone’s label …” the abortion business said in a press release. “While it is widely accepted standard medical practice for medicines to be used in different protocols than those upon which the FDA issues approval, these laws compelled health care providers to use an outdated, inferior and less effective regimen.”

Planned Parenthood failed to give any data showing that the original FDA standards are “outdated” or “inferior.”

Randall O’Bannon, director of research for the National Right to Life Committee, explained how the weakened FDA standards will financially benefit Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses. He told the news outlet that the measure will increase abortion groups’ profits by requiring smaller doses of the drug and reducing the number of staff needed for patient care.

“It looks like this benefits the abortion industry and increases their potential customer base and revenues, but it’s not clear that anything here makes it safer for women in the long run, and certainly nothing about a chemical abortion makes it any safer for the unborn child,” O’Bannon said.

In December, Planned Parenthood challenged Arkansas’s law requiring abortionists to follow FDA standards for RU-486. Rose Mimms, executive director of Arkansas Right to Life, told LifeNews that the abortion drug has killed almost 2,000 unborn children since Planned Parenthood of the Heartland moved in to Arkansas in 2012.

“It is clear that Planned Parenthood of the Heartland came to [Arkansas] to perform abortions,” Mimms said. “In Arkansas they are the primary provider of abortion using the chemicals known as RU486, and they want to do it their way, not following the protocol that the FDA developed when the abortion drugs were first approved in 2000.”

Just last month, the Oklahoma Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision and upheld the protective state law. Abortion activists also challenged the Ohio law, but pro-lifers succeeded in defending the protective measure. Another court struck down the Arizona law in October.

RU-486 has claimed the lives of two million unborn children in the United States since its approval at the end of the Clinton administration.