Abortion Pill Has Killed Dozens of Women, Injured Thousands More. That Was Before the FDA Stopped Counting

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Dec 17, 2021   |   12:05PM   |   Washington, DC

Dozens of mothers have died along with their unborn babies after taking the abortion drug mifepristone, or RU-486.

Since the drug’s approval in 2000, thousands more have suffered serious complications and millions of unborn babies have been killed, according to data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

That much is known, but researchers warn that women’s injuries and deaths from the abortion drug are much higher – and the risks much greater – than what abortion activists and their political allies are saying. And one of the problems is the FDA is not collecting the data.

Late Thursday, Biden officials at the FDA rolled back vital safeguards on mifepristone, also known as RU-486 or Mifeprex, which is used to abort unborn babies up to 10 weeks of pregnancy.

Although abortion activists say abortion is between a woman and her doctor, the Biden administration removed any requirement for a woman to see a doctor before getting the abortion drug. Now, the abortion industry may sell deadly abortion drugs through the mail without ever seeing the woman in person.

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Supposedly, the reason for the Biden administration’s rollback is to help women. Abortion activists claim the drug is very safe, and the safeguards are an unnecessary hindrance to women seeking abortions. They point to studies and the FDA data to argue that the risks to women are very, very low. The FDA has linked the abortion drug to at least 24 women’s deaths and 4,000 serious complications between 2000 and 2018.

Fox News reports Janet Woodcock, Biden’s acting FDA commissioner, advocated for the removal of the safety regulations in April, noting that the agency did not see any huge increase in complication reports during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The small number of adverse events reported to FDA during COVID-19 … provide no indication that any program deviation or noncompliance with the Mifepristone REMS [safety protocol] Program contributed to the reported adverse events,” Woodcock said in April.

But that is not the whole story.

What the Biden administration did not mention is that under President Barack Obama the FDA stopped requiring that non-fatal complications from mifepristone be reported. So the numbers almost certainly are much higher.

Other evidence, ignored by abortion activists and the mainstream media, also shows that risks are much higher than abortion activists suggest.

A new study by the Charlotte Lozier Institute found that abortion-related emergency room visits by women taking the abortion drug increased more than 500 percent between 2002 and 2015. Researchers, looking at Medicaid code records, found “423,000 confirmed induced abortions and 121,283 subsequent ER visits occurring within 30 days of the procedure.”

Notably, they also found that abortion complications sometimes are miscoded as “spontaneous abortions,” or miscarriages.

Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, new government health data shows a massive hospitalization rate due to abortion drugs after the government began allowing mail-order abortion drugs in 2020. According to the data, more than 10,000 women who received the abortion drugs by mail needed hospital treatment in 2020, or about one in 17 women.

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.

Another study, published in “Issues in Law & Medicine” in January, found “glaring deficiencies” in reports documenting complications from the abortion drug in the U.S.

Mifepristone is an abortion drug used to abort unborn babies up to about 10 weeks of pregnancy. It works by blocking the hormone progesterone and basically starving the unborn baby to death. Typically, women also are prescribed a second drug, misoprostol, that induces labor and expels their aborted baby’s body.

Risks include excessive bleeding, severe abdominal pain, infection, hemorrhage and death. The drugs are especially dangerous for mothers with undetected ectopic pregnancies. For many years, the FDA required licensed medical professionals to provide mifepristone in-person after a medical exam – safety regulations that protect women from undetected and potentially life-threatening complications.

In April, however, the Biden administration used the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to stop enforcing these safety regulations. Then on Thursday, it did away with them altogether.

Nicole Hudgens, of the Family Policy Alliance, said it’s the billion-dollar abortion industry that benefits from the new rollback, not women.

“The Biden administration cares more about padding the wallets of their friends at Planned Parenthood than they do about the safety and health of women,” Hudgens said. “Despite the fact that abortion-inducing drugs are four times more fatal than surgical abortions, we continue to see the administration’s push for their expansion … with little to no safeguards.”