Abortion: GOP Senators Ask FDA to Remove Abortion Pill from the Market

The headquarters of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in Silver Spring, Md. (Jason Reed/Reuters)

This afternoon, a group of 20 Republican senators, led by Texas senator Ted Cruz, sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration, calling on Commissioner Stephen Hahn to “classify the abortion pill as an ‘imminent hazard to the public health’ that poses a ‘significant threat of danger’ and remove this pill from the U.S. market.”

According to a copy of the letter provided exclusively to National Review, the senators applaud the FDA for instituting and attempting to enforce safety protocols around the chemical-abortion pill, also known as RU-486 or Mifeprex.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, abortion advocates and providers have undertaken a legal campaign to alter the FDA’s Risk Evaluation Mitigation Strategy for the abortion pill, which requires that a health-care professional prescribe the drug to women in person rather than via telemedicine. The pandemic, they argue, has made it more difficult for women to obtain chemical-abortion drugs and therefore that the FDA safety protocols are a violation of the supposed right to abortion.

Meanwhile, Democratic politicians have written to FDA leaders demanding that they cease enforcing those safety standards, and in July, a federal judge sided with the abortion lobby, suspending the FDA safety requirements and claiming that the COVID-19 outbreak has rendered them unconstitutional.

“We believe that this rogue judicial activism is a gross breach of the separation of powers, undermining the FDA’s statutory authority to ensure drug safety, while recklessly endangering American women and children,” the senators state, calling it an “opportunistic ploy to expand access to abortion under the fallacy that the REMS imposes an undue burden on women’s rights.”

The letter also notes that President Bill Clinton’s administration rushed the abortion pill through the FDA approval process under political pressure, saying it is “nakedly obvious that the abortion industry and its allies in the media, billionaire philanthropic circles, and special interest groups, have wanted an unregulated and demedicalized abortion pill since the moment the FDA first approved it in 2000.”

“We believe this deadly pill should never have been approved, yet the abortion industry was politically rewarded with an accelerated approval process normally reserved for high-risk drugs that address life-threatening illnesses like AIDS,” the senators write. “As you are surely aware, pregnancy is not a life-threatening illness, and the abortion pill does not cure or prevent any disease.”

In its conclusion, the letter points out that Mifeprex poses a higher risk of complication than surgical abortion in the beginning of pregnancy, and somewhere between 5 percent and 7 percent of women require follow-up surgical abortions. “While we support the FDA’s continued fight to defend the REMS, to monitor dangerous clinical studies, and to shut down illegal websites,” the senators write, “these measures alone fail to protect the thousands of women harmed even by compliant usage of this drug – or the millions of children killed.”

In the House, Representative Jody Hice (R., Ga.) led more than 70 congressmen in sending a similar letter to the FDA. The full text of the Senate letter can be found here.

Editor’s note: This post has been updated since its initial publication.

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