Pro-life leaders sent a letter Monday urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to stop pro-abortion websites from illegally sending dangerous abortion drugs to women in America.
The letter, signed by dozens of pro-life leaders, asks the FDA to shut down the Aid Access and Rablon websites after both received warning letters from the agency in 2019 for putting women at risk, Fox News reports.
“We are writing to urge you to seize the website domains for AidAccess, Rablon and any other entities illegally prescribing and/or selling mifepristone in the United States, and to further investigate their practices,” they wrote in the letter to FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn.
On March 8, 2019, the FDA sent letters to AidAccess and Rablon demanding that they “immediately cease” selling abortion-inducing drugs to women over the internet. The agency said the pro-abortion groups are putting women at “significant health risks” by providing the drugs in violation of health and safety regulations. It noted that the abortion drugs are dangerous even when provided legally, writing, “… the drug carries a risk of serious or even life-threatening adverse effects, including serious and sometimes fatal infections and prolonged heavy bleeding …”
But pro-life leaders said both abortion groups are still operating.
“[T]hese websites remain active and continue to dispense abortion-inducing drugs, including mifepristone, through internet prescriptions or orders that are purportedly filled by pharmacies in India, and then shipped to customers in the United States,” their letter states. “Their actions brazenly flout FDA-required protections for women using abortion-inducing drugs.”
Under the FDA Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS), the abortion drug mifepristone must be provided to a woman in-person after seeing a medical professional.
Dr. Christina Francis, chair of the American Association of Pro-Life OBGYNs and one of the letter signers, told Fox News that the abortion drugs are “very dangerous,” and the FDA has strict regulations in place to protect women. She pointed to a 2009 study published in “Obstetrics & Gynecology” that found one in five women experienced complications from the abortion drugs, and about 6 percent required surgery.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, who also signed the letter, said the abortion industry is misleading women about the safety of the drugs.
“While the abortion industry and its allies promote these drugs as the safe, easy, near painless way to have an abortion, the truth is that women have experienced intense pain, severe and heavy bleeding, and even death as a result of chemically-induced abortions,” Dannenfelser said.
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More than 50 pro-life leaders signed the letter, including LifeNews.com editor Steven Ertelt.
Pro-life leaders raised concerns about potential abuses as well.
“[FDA] requirements also protect women and unborn children from predators who would force or trick pregnant women into taking” abortion drugs, the letter states. “Tragically, internet access to abortion-inducing drugs has enabled these crimes.”
As LifeNews reported previously, a Wisconsin man is facing charges for allegedly buying abortion drugs online and trying to slip them into a pregnant woman’s drink after she refused to have an abortion.
LifeNews first reported about the pro-abortion website Aid Access in the fall of 2018. The same abortion activists who run Women on Web, a Netherlands-based abortion group that ships abortion drugs to women across the world, often illegally, set up the site specifically for American women. The leader is Rebecca Gomperts.
After receiving the FDA warning, Gomperts told Mother Jones that she will “not be deterred.” Then, in September, she filed a lawsuit against the agency, claiming it is undermining women’s access to abortion.
Meanwhile, abortion activists are pushing the FDA to deregulate the abortion drugs and make them more easily available to women.
Abortion drugs are dangerous and can be deadly to the mother as well as her unborn baby. The abortion drug mifepristone has been linked to at least 24 women’s deaths and 4,000 serious complications. Risks of mifepristone and misoprostol, the most common abortion drugs taken together to abort and then expel an unborn baby from the womb, include excessive bleeding, severe abdominal pain, infection, hemorrhage and death.
The drugs are used up to 10 weeks of pregnancy, and the FDA requires that they be provided in-person by a licensed medical professional. In-person exams are important for dating the pregnancy; the abortion drugs do not work well later in pregnancy and potentially could lead to more complications. Exams also can detect ectopic pregnancies, which can be deadly on their own but especially so if the woman takes the abortion drugs.