The abortion industry apparently doesn’t sell enough abortions, so it got a judge to allow it sell women abortion pills by mail, using the coronavirus as an excuse to bypass the in-person visit the FDA has required for years to ensure that a woman receives a proper medical evaluation from a doctor beforehand.
The decision will not only put more women’s health at risk but result in the deaths of additional unborn babies.
In a lawsuit filed in May, the ACLU argued that the FDA should allow abortion drugs to be mailed to women, rather than prescribed in person at an abortion facility or doctor’s office.
It claimed the regulations on the abortion drug mifepristone could cause “life-threatening risks” to patients, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.
The rule has “particularly severe implications for low-income people and people of color, who comprise a disproportionate share of impacted patients and who are already suffering and dying from COVID-19 at substantially higher rates,” the ACLU argued in the lawsuit.
The FDA requires that mifepristone be provided in-person by a medical professional to a woman who is up to 10 weeks pregnant. The drug is dangerous and can be deadly to the mother as well as her unborn baby.
But a judge U.S. District judge in Silver Spring, Maryland, ruled that in-person visits to hospitals, doctor offices or healthcare clinics for those seeking abortions are unconstitutional in the pandemic:
The judge concurred that this ruling aligns with the CDC’s advisory to avoid in-person contact and extraneous travel.
“Particularly in light of the limited timeframe during which a medication abortion or any abortion must occur, such infringement on the right to an abortion would constitute irreparable harm,” wrote Judge Theodore Chuang in the July 13 ruling.
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Healthcare providers nationwide will be able to mail or deliver mifepristone, which is used in combination with misoprotosol to perform an abortion, to patients for the duration of the Covid-19 public health emergency, though they must comply with the respective state rules on abortion.
Indiana, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma asked to intervene in the suit, arguing that it would impact their own regulations around mifepristone. Justice Chang rejected their entrance into the suit in June, saying that states would be able to continue to regulate the drug “above and beyond” the FDA requirements, according to ABC News.
Leading pro-life advocates noted how the decision will hurt women and babies.
Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins noted that while U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang in Maryland may have said that it was the COVID-19 crisis which justified dropping health and safety standards, “It’s not lost on the pro-life movement that the abortion lobby went to court fighting for a faster Chemical Abortion pill sale as their solution to lives being lost to COVID-19. If they want to save lives, let’s work together on adoption legislation and family and medical leave.”
She said the purpose of the health and safety standards is to screen women for risks before taking chemical abortion pills. Women who take the pills later in pregnancy or are experiencing an ectopic pregnancy face extreme dangers.
Hawkins pointed out numerous medical concerns for women:
“For the about 5 percent of women whose babies are not killed and expelled by the drugs, a surgery is required basically to save the woman’s life as infection can set in if the dead infant or tissue remains in a woman’s womb to fester. In the first trimester, when chemical abortions are supposed to take place, the pills cause 4x the complications as surgical abortion. In fact, ‘the risk of death appears to be 10 times greater with medical abortion (chemical abortion) than with surgical abortion,’ according to medical journal report in MedGenMed.
According to the FDA, “Cramping and vaginal bleeding are expected effects of the treatment regimen. In some cases, very heavy vaginal bleeding will need to be stopped by a surgical procedure … Other common side effects of the treatment regimen include nausea, weakness, fever/chills, vomiting, headache, diarrhea, and dizziness in the first day or two after taking the two medicines.”
Already the FDA has reported that women have died taking the chemical abortion pills, usually because of an ectopic pregnancy or when later in pregnancy, sometimes from ‘severe systemic infection (also called sepsis).’”
Students for Life has also noted that when women are not screened for their blood type, whether Rh negative or Rh positive, they may never be able to have a future child because of antibodies that form and must be treated within days of an abortion or birth. Without that treatment, the mother’s antibodies will attack and usually kill all future preborn babies.
The dangers of de-regulating the abortion drugs are being seen in England. In March, the British government temporarily allowed the abortion drugs to be mail-ordered during the pandemic. And already there are numerous reports of health and safety problems. In one case, authorities are investigating how a woman who was 28-weeks pregnant received the abortion drugs in the mail and used them to abort her viable, late-term unborn baby.
In the United States, 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 and hemorrhage.
A 2009 study “Immediate Complications After Medical Compared With Surgical Termination of Pregnancy,” in Obstetrics and Gynecology found a complication rate of approximately 20% for the abortion drugs compared to 5.6% for surgical abortions. Hemorrhages and incomplete abortions were among the most common complications.
Pro-abortion groups are not just aiming for a temporary suspension of the regulations either.
The plaintiffs insist that the COVID-19 outbreak is the reason for the suit, but in reality they are using the pandemic as cover to push for a policy they already wanted.
It is difficult to imagine that such a policy, if enacted, actually would be reversed when the COVID-19 outbreak dissipates. It is far easier to imagine that, if the policy were enacted and later reversed, the ACLU would then sue the government a second time. In fact, the ACLU already has a separate lawsuit pending against the Health and Human Services Department pushing to remove the safety regulations entirely.
The abortion drugs are used up to 10 weeks of pregnancy, and the FDA recommends 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.
Even pro-abortion President Barack Obama did not entirely do away with the regulations for mifepristone. His administration did loosen the regulations by allowing the drug to be prescribed later in pregnancy and allowing non-doctors to provide it, but it kept other regulations in place to protect women’s safety.
Pro-life leaders have been urging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to protect lives by keeping the safety regulations in place. They also have raised concerns about the abortion drugs being used for forced abortions. A Wisconsin man is facing charges after he allegedly bought abortion drugs online and tried to force his girlfriend to take them.
The ACLU lawsuit is on behalf of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, New York State Academy of Family Physicians, SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, and a doctor.