The Biden administration quietly signaled late Friday that it may end safety regulations on the dangerous abortion drug mifepristone, which has been linked to the deaths of millions of unborn babies and dozens of mothers.
The ultimate goal of this, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, is to “expand access to medication abortion.”
The announcement came in the form of a court filing in a case involving the ACLU, according to a press release from the organization. In the document, the Biden administration said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is conducting a review of the restrictions on the abortion drug mifepristone to determine if they are still necessary. The ACLU and other pro-abortion groups claim they are not.
The FDA requires that mifepristone be provided in-person by a medical professional after an examination to protect women from significant safety risks. The drug, one of two taken together to abort unborn babies up to 10 weeks of pregnancy, has been linked to two dozen women’s deaths and thousands of serious complications.
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In April, the Biden administration temporarily lifted the safety regulations for the duration of the pandemic, allowing abortion facilities to sell the drugs through the mail without ever seeing the woman in person. But the new review likely will lead to their permanent end.
“The FDA’s decision to review these senseless restrictions on mifepristone — though long overdue — is a critical move towards ensuring that patients can access this safe, effective medication without needless obstacles,” Julia Kaye, staff attorney at the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, responded in a statement.
Actually, it has been only about five years since the FDA reviewed them. And while President Barack Obama’s administration did loosen the safety regulations in 2016 after its assessment, it did not do away with them entirely.
But pro-abortion groups persist in claiming that the regulations are “outdated, medically unnecessary restrictions” with “no safety benefit.” The ACLU even argued that the safety regulations cause “serious harm” because they may prevent women from getting abortions.
“The evidence is crystal clear that these restrictions provide zero safety benefit while severely burdening patients’ ability to access care,” Kaye said. “It is long past time for the FDA to heed the calls of leading national medical organizations and remove these unjustified barriers.”
Again, it has only been five years, and the Obama administration, which was strongly pro-abortion, recognized a need for some safety regulations to remain in place.
Meanwhile, pro-life leaders warned that the Biden administration’s actions are putting women’s health and safety at risk.
The Biden administration is “abandoning its responsibility to protect women and girls from these dangerous drugs,” U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and Dr. Ingrid Skop of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists responded over the weekend.
Chemical abortion takes much longer, causes more pain and bleeding, and often results in emotional trauma from visualization of a woman’s deceased child, who often has easily identifiable organs such as eyes, ears, hands, and feet. Additionally, the risk of complications is 4 times greater with chemical abortion compared to surgical abortion, affecting as many as 1 out of 5 women. These complications can be serious or even fatal for women without immediate access to emergency medical care.
Chemical abortion first cuts off hormonal support, causing fetal death, and then induces uterine contractions to expel the dead baby. The abortion pill can fail to evacuate all the tissue, putting women at risk of infection and hemorrhage, often resulting in the need for surgery.
Skop also noted that the FDA no longer requires abortion providers to report complications from the abortion drug unless it results in the woman’s death, a change under the Obama administration.
“Abortion advocates publish biased studies that claim there is no risk to women, similar to the studies published by the tobacco industry denying an association between smoking and lung cancer,” Skop wrote.
The abortion drug currently 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.
In the United States, mifepristone has been linked to at least 24 women’s deaths and 4,000 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 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-lifers also are concerned about increased risks of coercion and abuse. In one recent case, a Wisconsin man was accused of buying abortion drugs online and slipping them into his pregnant girlfriend’s drink after she refused to have an abortion.