The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an emergency appeal Thursday to require the abortion industry to follow federal safety regulations when it sells abortion drugs to women.
The justices’ decision not to rule immediately on the Trump administration’s appeal means abortion facilities may continue to ignore Food and Drug Administration safety requirements for the aboriton drug mifepristone, or Mifeprex.
Pro-abortion groups are challenging the FDA rules in court, claiming that, because of COVID-19, the in-person requirement puts patients at greater risk. A federal judge agreed and blocked the Trump administration from enforcing the safety measures in July.
The Trump administration appealed to the Supreme Court, but, on Thursday, the justices refused to suspend the judge’s order, the news service UPI reports. The high court asked the judge for more information and encouraged him to modify his nation-wide ruling.
“We are disappointed by the lack of a ruling,” Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said. “Chemical abortion poses serious complications for women that can include heavy bleeding, intense and prolonged pain, infection, and even death. Every day of delay is a day that unborn children and their mothers are at risk from these dangerous drugs.”
Dannenfelser thanked the Trump administration for defending the safety regulations and fighting to protect women and children.
Two Supreme Court justices, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, also disagreed with the ruling. In a strongly-worded dissent, they said the court had “no legally sound reason for this unusual disposition,” according to SCOTUS Blog.
They said the decision is not consistent with the court’s rulings on other COVID-19-related matters, and the court should have approved the Trump administration’s emergency appeal.
They also accused federal Judge Theodore Chuang of Maryland of using “the pandemic as a ground for expanding the abortion right recognized in Roe v. Wade.”
The AP reports the majority justices asked Chuang to review his ruling and issue a new order within 40 days.
Chuang’s ruling is broad; it “applies indefinitely in all 50 states, even if COVID-19 rates improve in some states,” according to the blog.
The FDA requires that mifepristone be provided in-person by a medical professional to a woman up to 10 weeks of pregnancy. The drug is dangerous and can be deadly to the mother as well as her unborn baby, especially if she does not have a medical examination first.
England also de-regulated the abortion drug during the pandemic and saw disastrous consequences. There have been numerous reports of health and safety problems, including two women who died after taking the drugs. In another 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 percent for the abortion drugs compared to 5.6 percent for surgical abortions. Hemorrhages and incomplete abortions were among the most common complications.
Pro-abortion groups that filed the lawsuit claimed COVID-19 is the basis of their concern. However, they are not just aiming for a temporary suspension of the regulations.
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.
Even pro-abortion President Barack Obama did not entirely end the safety regulations for the abortion drug. 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. In 2019, a Wisconsin man was charged after he allegedly bought abortion drugs online and tried to force his girlfriend to take them.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit 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.