The Dangers of Chemical Abortion Pills for Endangered Species Represents Another Risk, Argues Students for Life of America in Amicus Brief to the U.S. Supreme Court

Kristi Hamrick - 27 Feb 2024

“With the full support of the Democratic Party leadership, the FDA has been willing to ignore possible harms to endangered species from the pathological waste of Chemical Abortion Pills,” said Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins. “The reckless rejection of health & safety standards along with fast tracked approval has risked women and the preborn as well as ignored requirements to ensure that our environment is not also harmed. The pills’ dangers for the women who take them should be enough to pull them from the market. But as a matter of environmental justice, we should make sure that the deadly pills are not also ending aquatic and animal life.”


WASHINGTON D.C. (02-27-2024) – Students for Life of America (SFLA) filed an amicus brief in the case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Food & Drug Administration v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, that focuses on the harms of Chemical Abortion pills to women and young girls in particular, along with reasons to rethink the reckless approval process. SFLA’s 32-page brief discusses the way in which potential harms to endangered species were also ignored. “Five times the FDA failed to determine whether their increasingly lax health and safety standards for the deadly drugs might cause harm to endangered species,” noted SFLA President Kristan Hawkins. “On behalf of the Youth Vote, a generation motivated to protect the environment, we must rethink the lax and fast-tracked approval of deadly Chemical Abortion Pills.”

From the brief:

“The Endangered Species Act requires federal agencies to follow certain restrictions when undertaking “actions” that may harm listed species or habitats. This process has been thoroughly litigated and set out since 1973 and no federal agency is exempt from its provisions. Despite this, on at least five occasions the Food and Drug Administration did not conduct the statutorily required consultation with theUnited States Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) and National Marine Fisheries Service (“NMFS”) (collectively, “Services”) as it relates to Mifepristone …

“The current list of endangered species recognized by the Services contains nearly 1,500 different species and can be found on the Fish and Wildlife Service’s website. Multiple endangered species may be affected by the approval of Mifepristone, but the extent is unknown due to the FDA’s failure to consult as required by Section 7 of the ESA.”

This week, 40 pro-life leaders signed onto a letter drafted by Students for Life Action along with SBA Pro-Life America that calls on Congress to demand that the EPA track the forever chemicals in Chemical Abortion pills as part of their new initiative.

IN THE LETTER TO CONGRESSthe leaders note that no effort has been made to understand the environmental impact of the Biden Administration’s Chemical Abortion Policy. They write: 

“The safety of America’s drinking water demands that deliberate pollution be addressed, and pollutants tracked to the best of our nation’s ability. Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has begun monitoring a list of “forever chemicals” – substances that linger  in America’s drinking water and are determined to pose a risk to those exposed the them. In a recent letter sent to the EPAStudents for Life of America explained, “In recent years, and largely in 2023, the EPA has increased its efforts to regulate per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”). With rulemaking, guidance, published initiatives, newly established pollution standards, and more, the EPA has addressed concerns of pollution as a result of PFAS being released on large scales into the environment. The EPA’s increased understanding of the environmental harms these chemicals create has led it to take a closer look at the issue and ultimately implement new strategies and regulations to control the release of PFAS and monitor their impact more carefully. In implementing these new initiatives, the EPA has shown a commitment to monitoring and controlling the effect that a constant stream of chemicals and harmful substances – no matter how small those substances may be – may have on the environment.”

“In light of this effort, we urge you to direct the EPA to conduct regular and comprehensive environmental testing for the presence of the abortion drug mifepristone in the same manner as testing is conducted for “forever chemicals” or PFAS chemicals.

 CLICK HERE to read Hawkins’ op-ed, along with two state legislators, titled Stop Dumping Medical Waste, detailing environmental harms of Chemical Abortion Pills & solutions.

Students for Life Action and Students for Life of America have raised the issue of environmental justice and abortion for more than six years, with four citizen petitions filed at the FDA demanding that the harms of abortion to the preborn, women, endangered species, and water be addressed. 

Click here to learn more.

Earlier this year, SFLA’s Demetree Institute for Pro-Life Advancement/YouGov poll found that MORE THAN 9 IN 10 registered youth voters supported health and safety standards for the deadly drugs as well as environmental protections. 

From the Executive Report:

ON PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT: Women taking the abortion pills are instructed to flush the products of the abortion (placenta, the human embryo or fetus, blood) in the toilet. This healthcare or medical waste can be “hazardous if not disposed properly.” Additionally, given how one of the abortion pills (misoprostol) is administered/inserted, some of that medication could be passed into the toilet as well (see this website). All of this could then pass to the wastewater system, potentially affecting the fertility of animals and fish, according to an article by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“Asked about the importance of conducting studies on the potential environmental impact of waste and drugs related to abortion, more than 9 in 10 (91%) said that it was somewhat to extremely important to have environmental testing, with 37% saying extremely important – up from 30% last year.

“ON REQUIRING THE SAME KIND OF STANDARDS FOR MEDICAL WASTE DISPOSAL FOR ABORTION AS FOR OTHER MEDICAL WASTE: In doctor’s offices, clinics, and hospitals, medical waste of all types is collected in red or yellow bags and containers for medical waste to dispose of properly. These bags/containers are also sometimes used in the home setting, for the placenta from at-home births, for miscarriages, and to collect kidney stones, among other reasons. Considering the environmental impact noted above, how important is it to require those who distribute abortion pills to also provide medical bags/ containers to collect the products of abortion and return to the provider for disposal?

“9 in 10 supported requiring Red Bag Medical Waste disposal of the chemically tainted blood, placenta tissue, and human remains from abortion, with 33% saying this was extremely important, up from 30% last year.”

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The Pro-Life Generation (PLG) is an umbrella organization encompassing the most-cutting edge engagement opportunities for a Vote Pro-Life First Community. PLG includes Students for Life Action (SFLAction), a 501c4, along with its 501c3 sister organization, Students for Life of America (SFLA), that together make up the nation’s largest, pro-life youth organization, managing a grassroots political and policy operation engaging Americans of all ages but with a special emphasis on the largest segment of voters — the Youth Vote. Headquartered in Fredericksburg, VA, PLG/SFLA/SFLAction serves more than 1,400 groups on middle, high school, college, medical, and law school campuses in all 50 states. Our team has more conversations with this generation targeted by the abortion lobby than any other pro-life operation in the world, each week reaching more than 4 million across social media platforms and averaging 1.3 million video views. In addition to SFLA/SFLAction, PLG leads multiple initiatives to lead and serve  the future of the pro-life movement including the Campaign for Abortion Free CitiesStanding With You, and the Demetree Institute for Pro-Life Advancement . Over more than 17 years, PLG CEO Kristan Hawkins has grown the operation into a nearly $20M organization, now preparing for an abortion-free America.

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