By Dave Andrusko
Just guessing (although I think it’s an educated guess), Sue Halpern may know as much as any pro-abortion journalist does about the “abortion pill”—mifepristone—original tagged as “RU-486.” (To be clear, almost from the beginning, the drug’s been used in conjunction with a second drug, a prostaglandin, typically misoprostol.)
Halpern first wrote about RU-486 for Ms. Magazine in 1987! Her most recent contribution appears this week in the New Yorker and is titled “The Latest Attack on the Abortion Pill Is Forty Years in the Making.”
Aside from some interesting historical investigation, the bulk of her nearly 1,600 word story is about the lawsuit brought by Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine. “They allege that the process the FDA used decades ago to evaluate and approve the drugs used for medication abortions…was unlawful and should be revoked,” according to Chloe Atkins writing for NBC News.
It is a given for Halpern and all other pro-abortion scribes that mifepristone is incredible safe. She won’t settle for the usual—it’s “safer than Tylenol.” She does them one better: “Its safety profile is comparable to ibuprofen, penicillin, and Viagra.”
Really? Before the pro-abortion Biden/Harris administration took office that was by no means the consensus at the FDA. “The Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) are rules that the FDA has put in place to ensure that certain drugs with 4 serious safety concerns (like mifepristone) can be used in a way designed to reduce those risks,” as Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon, NRL Director of Education & Research, has written.
“However, at the request of the newly installed Biden administration, in May of 2021, the FDA conducted a review of the regulations regarding mifepristone. Upon completion of that review in December of 2021, the FDA announced that it was revising the REMS to drop the requirement that the drugs be dispensed in person to the patient. The FDA also said that it would no longer limit distribution to prescribers and their offices: pharmacies would now also be allowed to stock and dispense the abortion drug.”
(Be sure to read the White Paper authored by Dr. O’Bannon for a full explanation.)
Dr. Christina Francis is CEO of American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG). “Women and girls are being endangered and injured every day in our country through these dangerous chemical abortion drugs,” she has said. “I am a board-certified OB/GYN and I practice in an in-patient setting and I, personally, along with many of my colleagues, have seen women and girls come in through our emergency rooms with severe complications from these drugs. Complications that should be being addressed by the FDA. Complications like heavy bleeding and hemorrhage and the need for emergency surgery, the need for admission to the hospital for blood transfusions and infections, and even one of our members took care of a woman who likely will not be able to have children in the future because of major complications that required two major surgeries to correct these complications due to these chemical abortion drugs.”
On another occasion, Dr. Francis wrote
One of the largest studies to date, which analyzed high-quality registry data obtained from nearly 50,000 women in Finland, found that the overall incidence of immediate adverse events is four-fold higher for medical abortions than for surgical abortions. The same study showed that nearly 7% of women will need surgical intervention — a significant number when you consider there are nearly 900,000 abortions per year in the U.S., 40% of which are medication abortions. [Underlining added.]
Conclusion? It simply is not true that “everyone agrees” that mifepristone is safe, safe, safe.