From the SFLA Blog

What the FDA’s Appeal Against Online Abortion Pill Sales Means for Women

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SFLA Staff - 04 Aug 2020

The abortion industry’s recent attempt to exploit a pandemic for profitable gain proves once and for all that abortion is not healthcare. Last month, a federal ruling from U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang in Maryland blocked a regulation from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that required women to see a doctor to obtain abortion pills. Opening the door for the abortion pill to be sold online would benefit abortion sales teams, but it would do nothing to prioritize the safety of women. 

 Fortunately, the FDA has filed an appeal against the decision, noting, “Defendants will also suffer irreparable harm in the absence of a stay because they will be unable to enforce requirements that FDA has determined, based on its experience and scientific expertise, are necessary to ensure safe use of Mifeprex … Requiring patients to obtain Mifeprex at a clinic—as has been required for years—does not deprive women of the ‘ability to make a decision to have an abortion.'”

With or without COVID-19, the abortion lobby’s efforts to reduce the amount of time a woman spends with a physician during a chemical abortion places women in danger. Chuang’s argument that in-person visits are a “serious burden” to abortion patients is incredibly flawed. 

Here are just some of the ways women’s health would be at risk if the visitation requirement were overturned: 

  • It would be impossible to screen for coercion without an in-person consultation to see if a woman is being forced to abort her pregnancy. 
  • Without an ultrasound exam, life-threatening conditions like an ectopic pregnancy may go undiagnosed. Or, the gestational age may be more advanced than she thought, which increases the likelihood the abortion pill will fail
  • Rh-negative women typically need to have an Rh immunoglobulin injection if there’s a chance of them coming into contact with their child’s blood. This is because antibodies may build up if the baby is Rh-positive and the mother has been exposed to her child’s blood during delivery, an accident, or an abortion. If a woman becomes pregnant again without having an injection that prevents her body from making these antibodies, these antibodies may attack her unborn child’s blood cells, resulting in the child’s death. 
  • Chemical abortions have four times the complication rate of surgical abortions, and today, about 40% of all abortions are done by the pill. Making it so women never come into contact with anyone during a chemical abortion offers her no protection against the risk of infection, bleeding, or death. 

So far, it seems the FDA does not agree that the abortion industry has the “standing” to file a lawsuit on behalf of women. The FDA pointed out in their appeal that an in-person visit does more than track complications. The purpose is to allow patients to be counseled about the side effects of taking Mifeprex, and reducing the level of contact between women and their provider does not ensure patients receive their prescription in a timely manner. 

Hopefully, the FDA will continue to push back against the abortion industry’s latest efforts to boost its abortion pill sales by endangering the lives of women.

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