Pro-life Republican lawmakers urged a federal appeals court Tuesday to protect women and girls by keeping in place a block on the dangerous abortion drug mifepristone.
Their legal brief to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals supports a federal judge’s order blocking the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval and expansion of the abortion drug. Doctors with the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine sued the federal agency last year, saying the FDA put women’s lives at risk by skirting the review process and ignoring federal law.
Fox News reports U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Mississippi, and U.S. Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas, led the brief, signed by nearly 70 others, arguing that the abortion drug endangers the lives of women and girls as well as unborn babies.
“By approving and deregulating chemical abortion drugs, the FDA has not followed Congress’ statutorily prescribed drug approval process and has subverted Congress’ critical public policy interests in upholding patient welfare,” the Republicans lawmakers wrote. “The FDA’s lawless actions ultimately endanger women and girls seeking chemical abortions.”
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.
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According to the Guttmacher Institute, the drug now is used for more than half of all abortions in the U.S., killing nearly half a million babies a year.
The Republican lawmakers said more lives could be harmed if the drug remains available. They said the FDA’s decisions were “unlawful” as well as dangerous when it misclassified pregnancy as a life-threatening illness to skirt the regulatory process and, later, began allowing abortion drugs to be sold through the mail in violation of federal law.
The pro-life lawmakers said the appeals court should reject the Biden administration’s request to overturn the judge’s ruling.
“[We] urge the Court to deny the emergency motion for a stay pending appeal, which will allow the District Court’s Section 705 stay to go into effect and protect women and girls from the harms of chemical abortion drugs,” they wrote.
On Friday, U.S District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk agreed with Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine doctors that the FDA violated federal laws and ignored safety risks when it approved and later expanded use of the abortion drug mifepristone in 2000 and 2021.
“One thing is clear: the lack of restrictions resulted in many deaths and many more severe or life threatening adverse reactions. Due to FDA’s lax reporting requirements, the exact number is not ascertainable,” the judge wrote.
His decision to temporarily block the FDA’s approval of mifepristone goes into effect later this week, but the Biden administration is appealing.
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.
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.
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.
Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the pro-abortion movement has been pushing abortion drugs even more heavily, and some groups send the drugs to women in pro-life states illegally.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration has been trying to expand the life-destroying drugs even further, first by allowing mifepristone to be sold through the mail without any direct medical supervision, and, more recently, by allowing pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS and RiteAid to sell them.
In California, public colleges and universities also now are required to provide abortion drugs for free on campus, and other Democrat-run states are considering similar mandates.