More than 100 members of Congress urged the Biden administration this week to restore important safety regulations that protect women seeking abortions.
Led by U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, of Mississippi, and U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, of Ohio, the pro-life lawmakers sent a letter to FDA Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock expressing alarm at her decision not to enforce long-standing safety regulations for the abortion drug mifepristone.
“Allowing this drug to be available without medical supervision will have dire consequences for women and children,” they wrote. “Although there are many disagreements about the ethics of abortion, there must be total agreement that pregnant women deserve the highest standard of medical care.”
Earlier this month, the Biden administration announced that it will no longer enforce safety regulations requiring doctors to provide mifepristone to women in person. The action means abortion facilities may sell the drug, used up to 10 weeks of pregnancy, through the mail without ever seeing the woman in person.
The abortion drug is used for about 39 percent of all abortions in the U.S., according to the Guttmacher Institute. With the safety regulations gone, that number likely will increase.
Pro-life leaders warned that the change will put women’s and unborn babies’ lives at risk and increase the likelihood of coercion and abuse.
SUPPORT LIFENEWS! To help us stand against Joe Biden’s abortion agenda, please help LifeNews.com with a donation!
“The FDA should not remove or weaken the existing REMS [safety regulations] on mifepristone when the insufficient data available suggests that mifepristone endangers women’s health,” pro-life lawmakers responded this week. “Requests to remove the in-person requirements for chemical abortion look the other way on women’s health and scientific data for the sake of advancing a political agenda.”
In the United States, mifepristone has been linked to dozens of women’s deaths and thousands of serious complications. Risks include excessive bleeding, severe abdominal pain, infection and hemorrhage.
A 2009 study “Immediate Complications After Medical Compared With Surgical Termination of Pregnancy,” in the journal “Obstetrics and Gynecology” found a complication rate of approximately 20 percent for the abortion drugs compared to 5.6 percent for surgical abortions.
To protect mothers and unborn babies, Hyde-Smith and Latta recently introduced the SAVE Moms & Babies Act, federal legislation to stop the expansion of the dangerous abortion drugs.
According to the Susan B. Anthony List, Montana, Texas, Oklahoma, Indiana, Arizona, Arkansas and Ohio also are considering legislation this spring to protect women and babies by enacting safety regulations for abortion drugs.
“We are thankful to Senator Hyde-Smith, Representative Latta, and our pro-life allies in Congress for raising alarm bells surrounding the administration’s continued exploitation of the COVID-19 pandemic to benefit the abortion lobby,” SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement. “The FDA’s decision to abandon safety regulations for abortion drugs is purely political, and prioritizes abortion industry profits over the health and safety of women.”
Abortion groups are specifically marketing the drugs to African American and Latino women and women in rural areas, vulnerable groups who are less likely to have access to good medical care. This raises serious concerns about what would happen when women experience complications at home while aborting their unborn babies.
Without the FDA safeguards, there also is an increased risk of coercion and abuse. LifeNews has reported many stories of women and girls who were pressured or forced to abort their unborn babies. In one recent case, a Wisconsin man was accused of buying abortion drugs online illegally and slipping them into his pregnant girlfriend’s drink after she refused to have an abortion.
Last spring, the British government also allowed the abortion drugs to be mail-ordered during the pandemic. Soon afterward, numerous reports of health and safety problems surfaced – including at least two women’s deaths. In another case, authorities investigated 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.
Significantly, pro-abortion President Barack Obama’s administration did not do away with the FDA regulations when it had the chance. His administration reviewed and later loosened the regulations by allowing the abortion 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.
Risks of mifepristone include prolonged, heavy bleeding, infections and incomplete abortion. If the drug is taken by a woman with an undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy, it can be fatal for her as well as her unborn baby.