Ten states ask to be allowed to intervene in support of FDA rules regulating “medication” abortions

By Dave Andrusko

Ten states are asking to be allowed to intervene as supporters of the Food and Drug Administration’s protective regulations surrounding the use of mifepristone in chemical [“medication”] abortions against a challenge brought against the FDA by the pro-abortion American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

In their motion to intervene, Indiana, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma wrote to the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland that they “have a strong interest in protecting their citizens from the health and safety consequences that may result from unsupervised administration of mifepristone.”

Unable to appreciate the irony, on May 27, when the ACLU filed its suit on behalf of ACOG, the accompanying press release began, “At a time when we should all be looking out for one another’s health and safety, many of our leaders are focused on restricting abortion access in the pandemic instead.”

In ACOG’s cross-hairs is what the FDA calls its “risk evaluation and mitigation strategy” or REMS for drugs that may cause life-threatening side effects. Under REMS guidelines, the FDA requires that the two-drug mifepristone/misoprostol abortion-drug combination be dispensed in approved locations such as hospitals, medical clinics or doctor’s offices. It also requires that a woman receives the prescription from a certified healthcare provider and the provider must ensure that the woman understands the dangers and potential side effects.

There is a documented history of dangerous complications which includes nearly two dozen deaths and thousands of “adverse events” including serious infections, severe hemorrhage, and the rupture of previously undiscovered ectopic pregnancies. There is a real possibility that a woman experiencing any of these adverse events may end up in the emergency room because of hemorrhaging, severe pain, an incomplete abortion, or a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. 

All of this means nothing to the Abortion Industry whose objective is to make access to mifepristone easy to get—the end goal being to have it sent through the mail making possible “Do-It-Yourself” abortions. 

In their motion to intervene, the ten states argue

Intervenor States also have a strong interest in protecting their citizens from the health and safety consequences that may result from unsupervised administration of mifepristone. Mifepristone can have serious complications, including hemorrhaging, infection, and even death. These complications can be exacerbated if the physician does not perform an in-person examination. An in-person meeting also facilitates informed consent and prevents the diversion of drugs and mitigates the possibility of complications, which may in turn yield Medicaid claims.

The FDA’s position has been strongly supported by Members of Congress and pro-life and pro-family organizations, such as National Right to Life.

On April 14, Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) led 38 Senators and 121 House Members sent a letter to the FDA that read in part

“Despite claims that medication abortion is safe and easy, research proves that as many as five to seven percent of women who take abortion drugs will require follow-up surgery, and three percent could end up in the emergency room. Self-managed abortions from home are especially dangerous; in fact, half of abortion providers do not consider them safe, according to a 2019 survey published in the journal Contraception. Further, medication abortion becomes even more dangerous in situations where women cannot access emergency medical care. This is especially concerning during the COVID-19 pandemic as emergency rooms are currently being overwhelmed.”

In addition, National Right to Life joined more than four dozen pro-life and pro-family groups in a letter sent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration asking the FDA to take action against the illegal sale of abortion-inducing drugs.

“Internet sales of mifepristone have the potential to multiply the inherent dangers of the drug combination, further endangering women’s lives which are already at risk in the abortion procedure,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life.

“Mifepristone puts at risk perfectly healthy mothers who are pregnant with perfectly healthy babies,” said Tobias. “No woman’s life should be placed at risk because abortion activists are trying to score political points.”