In a move as predictable as the sun rising in the East, pro-abortion Democratic women on the House Oversight Committee today wrote acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, asking that the FDA “lift the medically unnecessary in-person dispensing requirement for mifepristone.” In English, that means the eleven women want the FDA to ignore its policy of (a) requiring women to pick up mifepristone, one of the two drugs that make up “medication” (chemical) abortion, in person, and (b)requiring that mifepristone be dispensed only by certified health care providers and only in a hospital, clinic, or medical office.
Pro-abortionists particularly oppose Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) restrictions. They were put in place because women face potentially life-threatening complications that have been associated with the use of the drug. An FDA record of nearly two dozen deaths and thousands of complications, including “adverse events” such as serious infections, severe hemorrhage, and the rupture of undiscovered ectopic pregnancies, has proved that the REMS restrictions are necessary to protect women.
Pro-abortion groups insist the dangers are vastly exaggerated.
These organizations, as NRL News Today has reported, have long operated on two tracks in their campaign to achieve approval of webcam (or telemedical ) abortions with an at-home (DIY) mail delivery option.
One track is to challenge the REMS requirement. Period. The other track (as is the case here) is ostensibly more limited–to argue the requirement should be abandoned during the COVID 19 pandemic. In either case, the core arguments are that medication abortions are safe, safe, safe, and that the requirement discriminates against poorer women by making them come to a designated site.
The letter actually does a decent job summarizing the battles in court.
In brief, as we reported previously, in May 2020, ACOG sued to lift the in-person requirement and, U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang, a very receptive judge, obliged. A long series of legal back and forths ensued, including a trip to the Supreme Court which initially sent the case back to Judge Chuang.
Eventually on January 12, 2021, the Supreme Court granted the Trump Administration’s request for a stay on Judge Chuang’s injunction and the in-person requirement was reinstated.
Chief Justice John Roberts explained why the justices upheld the request to reinstate the FDA rule while it is being litigated in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.
“The question before us is not whether the requirements for dispensing mifepristone impose an undue burden on a woman’s right to an abortion as a general matter. The question is instead whether the District Court properly ordered the Food and Drug Administration to lift those established requirements because of the court’s own evaluation of the impact of the COVID–19 pandemic. Here as in related contexts concerning government responses to the pandemic, my view is that courts owe significant deference to the politically accountable entities with the ‘background, competence, and expertise to assess public health’ [quoting himself from a prior 2020 Supreme Court decision].”
But, of course, there is now a pro-abortion administration in power and no doubt there will be enormous pressure on the FDA to cave.
POLITICO, a reliably pro-abortion publication, wrote the following:
Though the FDA is a science-focused agency that’s supposed to weigh the drug’s safety and the risk of requiring patients to obtain it in-person during the pandemic, President Joe Biden’s eventual nominee to lead the agency will face pressure from Democratic-aligned groups to lift restrictions on abortion medication.
LifeNews.com Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. This post originally appeared in at National Right to Life News Today —- an online column on pro-life issues.