Catholic medical and legal groups placed their support Friday behind a lawsuit that challenges the federal government’s approval of the dangerous abortion drug mifepristone, saying mothers and unborn babies both are valuable human beings.
The lawsuit from the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, Alliance Defending Freedom and others asserts that the FDA ignored evidence of safety problems and failed to properly study the risks when it approved the abortion drug mifepristone under the Clinton administration and later decided to drop safety regulations under the Biden administration.
A federal judge in Texas is considering the case, and abortion activists fear his ruling could block the sales of abortion drugs nationwide. The FDA approves mifepristone to abort unborn babies up to 10 weeks of pregnancy. About half of all abortions in the U.S. use abortion drugs, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
Late last week, the Catholic Bar Association, Catholic Benefits Association, Catholic Health Center Leadership Alliance and National Catholic Bioethics Center joined Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America in submitting an amicus brief in support of the lawsuit, the Catholic News Agency reports.
In the brief, they said the FDA failed to properly study the “safety of the drug when used by patients outside of a clinical trial.” What’s more, they said the agency no longer requires non-fatal complications to be reported, and “mifepristone’s sponsors have failed to demonstrate that mifepristone’s adverse events can be reliably reported by other means.”
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Joseph Meaney, president of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, told CNA that they believe women are not being properly informed about the risks of the abortion drug.
“We think that there are very serious ethical issues of informed consent not being properly obtained in providing abortions through mifepristone,” Meaney said. “Abortion is never ethical, but it is even worse to do it in ways that endanger those seeking it.”
His and the other organizations told the court: “A woman or girl cannot consent to a chemical abortion without knowing the specific risks that mifepristone poses to her life, health, and fertility. Voluntary consent is essential to genuine informed consent. Consent obtained through coercion is no consent at all. Abortion-inducing drugs are inherently different from other prescribed drugs because of the increased risk that women may be coerced to abort their children.”
They also raised concerns about the Biden administration’s recent decision to drop safety regulations and allow the abortion drug to be sold through the mail. As a result, they said the risk of forced or coerced abortions “is greatly increased” because “without in-person care, prescribing health care providers cannot adequately determine whether the patient is giving free consent without coercion or duress.”
Dr. Steven White, president of the Catholic Health Care Leadership Alliance, said every patient deserves to be protected, including mothers and their babies, born and unborn.
“CHCLA holds that all people are created in the image and likeness of God and that the dignity of each person must be respected under the law from conception to natural death,” White said. “The history of mifepristone use for abortion is fraught with problems and these issues need to be addressed.”
First approved under the Clinton administration, mifepristone is used to abort unborn babies up to about 10 weeks of pregnancy – although some abortionists use it later. It works by blocking the hormone progesterone and basically starving the unborn baby to death. Typically, abortion groups also prescribe a second drug, misoprostol, to induce labor and expel the baby’s body.
The federal judge is expected to rule on the case within the next few weeks.
Along with millions of unborn babies’ deaths, the FDA has linked mifepristone to at least 28 women’s deaths and 4,000 serious complications. However, under President Barack Obama, the FDA stopped requiring that non-fatal complications from mifepristone be reported. So the numbers almost certainly are much higher.
Despite the physical risks and the increased likelihood of coercion and abuse, the Biden administration recently began allowing abortion drugs to be sold through the mail without a check-up or in-person contact with the pregnant mother.
In England, which began allowing mail-order abortion drugs around the same time, new investigations show a huge increase in ambulance calls and reports of coercion and abuse. There also have been reports of late-term babies being born alive at home as a result of mail-order abortion drugs because their mothers did not realize how far along they were.
Studies indicate the risks of the abortion drug are more common than what abortion activists often claim, with as many as one in 17 women requiring hospital treatment. A recent study by the Charlotte Lozier Institute found that the rate of abortion-related emergency room visits by women taking the abortion drug increased more than 500 percent between 2002 and 2015.
Another new study from the University of Toronto, “Short-Term Adverse Outcomes After Mifepristone–Misoprostol Versus Procedural Induced Abortion,” published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that one in ten women who took the abortion pill had to go to the emergency room, according to Pregnancy Help News.