The following is a letter from Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life of America and Students for Life Action, to members of the Senate:
On behalf of our nearly 1,300 active groups and of the more than 127,000 student activists we’ve trained across the nation, I urge you to strongly scrutinize and oppose the nomination of Dr. Robert Califf to head the Food and Drug Administration.
Dr. Califf previously held this position during the Obama Administration in 2016. Under his leadership, the FDA significantly weakened the health and safety standards, known as Risk Evaluation and Mitigation System (REMS), for Chemical Abortion pills, allowing them to be used as late as 10 weeks in pregnancy, when the pills are less “effective.” Additionally, women were no longer required to ingest the Chemical Abortion pills at the abortion facility dispensing the drugs. Instead, women were encouraged to take the drugs at home, essentially acting as an amateur abortionist and DIY-ing their own abortion. The FDA even removed the mandated complication report, leaving the abortion drug distributors accountable for only deaths, not harm.
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Now, the FDA is posturing to expand the reckless distribution of Chemical Abortion pills even further. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the abortion industry insisted that abortion access was inhibited, leading to the FDA dropping the REMS completely. This only benefitted Corporate Abortion, making Chemical Abortion more lucrative because of the saved time, money, labor, and other resources. The FDA will announce whether they intend to permanently drop these REMS on December 16th.
The absence of basic health and safety requirements has allowed abortionists to prescribe dangerous Chemical Abortion pills without examining the woman before or after the abortion, in addition to being absent during the abortion itself. Women are often told to expect bleeding and cramping, sit on the toilet until their deceased baby is expelled from the womb, don’t look, and flush. These vulnerable women are abandoned by the abortion industry, left to discern how much pain and bleeding is lethal.
We know that more than 20 women have died after taking the Chemical Abortion pills. Many more have suffered from physical and emotional effects such as fever, immune system inhibition, infection, septic shock, grief, regret, isolation, substance abuse, insomnia, nightmares, depression, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts. Failure to examine a woman before a Chemical Abortion can also lead to severe issues such as a life-threatening undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy and infertility due to lack of blood type screening.
With nearly 40% of abortions currently being committed using Chemical Abortion pills, this is a major issue that you, our representation on Capitol Hill, must not overlook. Even if you are in favor of abortion, Dr. Califf’s championing of Chemical Abortion without medical oversight – knowing the risks – proves he is motivated by political power, not the safety and wellbeing of the Americans he seeks to serve. Given the opportunity to lead the FDA once again, we fully expect Dr. Califf to continue his abuse of power and act as a radical abortion activist, disregarding the wellbeing of the American people. We strongly urge you to reject this blatantly partisan nomination. The lives of women and their children depend on it.