By Senator James Lankford (R-OK)
It sounds so simple. Take these pills, and your problem will be over—except, it isn’t. People do not forget an event so significant. A few months ago, social media went into a frenzy when Britney Spears shared that she was pressured by her boyfriend 20 years ago to take abortion pills. After two decades she still described the chemical abortion as “one of the most agonizing things I have ever experienced in my life.” She is not alone.
The abortion industry has worked overtime to convince women that chemical abortions are “very safe”—even making the claim that they are safer than Tylenol. They attempt to conflate chemical abortions with contraceptive pills to push them on moms as a “safe” way to end a pregnancy. But the drugs used in a chemical abortion are far more dangerous.
A chemical abortion is a procedure administered by a series of pills, followed by excruciating pain and severe bleeding. The first pill thins the uterine lining and cuts off nourishment to the baby so he or she starves in the womb. The second pill is given to expel the child from the womb. This cocktail of drugs not only takes the life of an unborn child, it also puts moms’ lives at risk.
For example, if a mom is further along in her pregnancy than she thought by just a few weeks, her risk of needing life-saving surgery can increase over six times. Or, if the woman took the two drugs without first having an ultrasound to determine whether she had an ectopic pregnancy, what she thought were the normal severe pain and bleeding from the drugs could actually be a life-threatening ruptured ectopic pregnancy.
As if that isn’t enough, some studies show that chemical abortion drugs can be four times as dangerous as surgical abortion procedures, which are already dangerous. That’s why chemical abortions were originally administered by a doctor over the course of three in-person visits. A recent series of rules from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) phased out the requirement to see a doctor altogether and allowed the drugs to be requested online or through a phone call, then shipped in the mail.
Relaxed oversight has transformed chemical abortions into a “do-it-yourself” procedure. Life-saving screenings to check for gestational age, ectopic pregnancies, and other considerations have all been sacrificed to make abortions easier to obtain. Of course, it also makes it easier for human traffickers and domestic abusers to force these drugs on women since they never need to talk to a doctor in person.
Doctors who are concerned about the harms of these drugs have challenged the lack of regulations in court. While we await a decision from the Supreme Court on the legality of the deregulation of chemical abortions, I am continuing to prioritize policies that support moms and affirm the value of every child. I am focused on ways to give moms the ability to receive child support payments during their pregnancy, legislation to make adoption more accessible, and calling out attempts to take away resources from pregnant women.
I’ll be joined by hundreds of thousands in Washington, DC, this Friday around an empowering message of life: with every woman, for every child. The annual March for Life brings together students, volunteers, adoption advocates, abortion survivors, moms, dads, and children to celebrate every child and every woman.
Every day we can love, serve, and work toward a future where we each stand with every woman and for every child.