Senate Confirms Joe Biden’s Radical Pro-Abortion FDA Nominee Robert Califf Thanks to Republican Votes

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 15, 2022   |   2:30PM   |   Washington, DC

The Senate voted today to confirm Robert Califf, Joe Biden’s radically pro-abortion FDA nominee. Senators voted 50-46 for his nomination, with a handful of Republican lawmakers joining most Democrats to support his confirmation.

Six Republicans joined with Democrats to invoke cloture and end debate: Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Richard Burr (N.C.), Mitt Romney (Utah), Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania) and Roy Blunt (Missouri).

Collins and Murkowski are no surprise given that they support abortion, but Burr, Romney, Toomey and Blunt are usually pro-life votes in the Senate and pro-life groups, which lobbied hard against Califf’s nomination, are disappointed with their votes.

SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser told LifeNews after the vote: “We’re deeply disappointed in the result of today’s vote. Robert Califf’s confirmation to lead the FDA paves the way for permanent authorization of mail-order abortion drugs, at a dire cost to women’s health and safety and the lives of countless unborn children. We urge our allies in the states and Congress to take swift action to stop the flow of these dangerous drugs to post offices and pharmacies across America. SBA List will continue to monitor the FDA’s actions to expand chemical abortion drugs and expose the extremism of the abortion lobby and the pro-abortion Biden administration. We will never stop fighting to ensure that unborn children and their mothers are protected under the law.”

SBA List previously announced that it will score against the vote on Califf. In addition, a coalition of nearly 50 pro-life groups spearheaded by SBA List sent a letter to the Senate citing Califf’s role in weakening safeguards on chemical abortion drugs.

Jeanne Mancini, President of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, also condemned the vote, adding: ​“Despite the research and science which includes thousands of documented adverse events caused by chemical abortion drugs, Dr. Califf has acted to advance a pro-abortion political agenda. Under his leadership in 2016, the FDA recklessly loosened reporting requirements associated with these dangerous drugs at a time when increasing health and safety oversight was needed. Women deserve better than a FDA that prioritizes politics over their health and safety.”

A coalition of 49 pro-life groups, including, have written to senators urging a no vote on his confirmation because he was instrumental in opening up sales of the abortion pill, which has killed dozens of women, injured thousands more and killed millions of unborn babies.

Califf also served in the role under President Barack Obama. Under Califf’s leadership, the FDA weakened safety regulations for the drug, also known as RU-486 or Mifeprex.

Now, the Biden administration is considering getting rid of even more of the safety regulations, and several Republican senators wanted to know if Califf would support such changes as allowing abortion businesses to sell abortion drugs through the mail without ever seeing the woman in person.

ACTION ALERT: Contact your members of the Senate to respond to their vote on Califf’s nomination.

During his confirmation hearing, U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, R-Indiana, asked Califf about his abortion actions under the Obama administration and if he supports weakening the safety regulations even more.

Sen. Roger Marshall, an OB-GYN from Kansas, also confronted Califf about the dangers of de-regulating the abortion drug.

“Unfortunately, I’ve had to take care of patients with complications from it, typically in the emergency room,” Marshall said. “These patients not only have physical complications, hemorrhaging and bleeding, but certain psychological challenges after they’ve had that abortion, this kind of remorse afterward. I’m very troubled by HHS’s casual attitude about prescribing RU-486.”

In the United States, the FDA has linked the abortion drug to at least 24 women’s deaths and 4,000 serious complications. Notably, however, under Califf, the FDA stopped requiring that non-fatal complications from mifepristone be reported to the government. So the numbers very well could be higher.

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.

For many years, the FDA has required licensed medical professionals to provide mifepristone in-person after a medical exam – safety regulations that protect women from potentially life-threatening complications.

In April, however, the Biden administration used the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to stop enforcing these safety regulations. Now, it is considering doing away with them altogether.

Pro-life leaders warned that doing so would put even more women’s and unborn babies’ lives at risk.

“It’s clear that reckless change is in the works,” Students for Life Action president Kristan Hawkins said.

Hawkins urged the U.S. Senate to oppose Califf’s nomination. Her organization also recently filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to find out if the Biden administration is colluding with the abortion industry to end safety regulations on the abortion drug.

She pointed to a new study by Dr. James Studnicki and a team of experts at the Charlotte Lozier Institute, which found a 500-percent increase in abortion-related emergency room visits among women taking abortion drugs between 2002 and 2015.

Growing research shows the abortion drug is not safe for mothers or their unborn babies.

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. The most common complications included a failed abortion, an incomplete abortion (meaning part of the unborn baby or placenta remained in the womb), infection and a missed ectopic pregnancy, according to the research.

Many also are concerned that the change will lead to more coercion and abuse. LifeNews has documented numerous stories of women who were forced or coerced into aborting their unborn babies or abused because they refused to do so, and studies show high rates of coercion and abuse among women who have abortions. 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.

ACTION ALERT: Contact your members of the Senate to respond to their vote on Califf’s nomination.