(Washington Examiner) Democrats on the House Oversight Committee are asking the Food and Drug Administration to eliminate “immediately” the requirement that the abortion drug mifepristone be administered in person by a certified healthcare worker. The medical reality is that the need to safeguard the health of vulnerable patients justifies and even demands the FDA requirements. A victory for pro-abortion activists in this arena would seriously compromise the safety of women and girls.
Mifeprex or mifepristone, the “abortion pill,” is only one of several dozen medications that the FDA’s Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies regulates. Some, such as Accutane, are strictly controlled because they cause birth defects in the children of pregnant women. Others, such as opioids, are heavily regulated due to the great hazards of addiction and overdose. In the case of mifepristone, REMS was instituted because the drug poses a significant risk of life-threatening complications related to maternal infection and hemorrhage. Young, healthy women have, on many occasions, bled to death or died of sepsis after a medication abortion, and many more have endured disabling complications but survived.
To mitigate the well-known and documented risks of mifepristone, the FDA requires that a specially trained and certified healthcare provider administer the drug directly. This ensures that a professional has every opportunity to determine the age of the embryo and its location. Medical terminations of embryos over 70 days old or growing ectopically, or outside of the uterus, are extremely dangerous for the mother. That’s not all. The FDA also demands that the physician prescribing the abortion provide adequate personal follow-up — including facilitating access to emergency medical care for the transfusions and emergency surgeries that are lifesaving in the case of complications.
A telemedicine abortion or internet-click-and-deliver abortion does not empower women and girls but puts them in great peril. It is difficult for a woman to date her own pregnancy accurately — even more so for a girl. And ectopic pregnancies are impossible for anyone to self-diagnose. In fact, most careful doctors rely on obstetric ultrasound to determine the exact age and location of the embryo before any intervention, especially termination. The importance of a direct follow-up cannot be overstated. Complications such as sepsis and hemorrhage require immediate attention if maternal mortality is to be averted. The early signs of sepsis and even hemorrhage can be subtle and difficult for a woman suffering the considerable cramping and bleeding of a “normal” abortion to detect without help. Asking women and girls to self-manage the procedure safely is insane.
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Given how sensible the restrictions instituted by the FDA for the use of Mifeprex are, it may seem surprising that those who want to see them abandoned or disregarded should proclaim themselves the champions of women. They seem, rather, to be champions of the abortion industry and its leader, Planned Parenthood, which both stand to make fortunes by selling the drugs without proper oversight.
The FDA should withstand these demands from pro-abortion Democrats, no matter how strong the pressure, and continue to protect consumers from those who would put ideology and profit ahead of the health and safety of women and vulnerable girls.
Editor's note: Grazie Pozo Christie is a policy adviser for The Catholic Association and co-host of its podcast, Conversations with Consequences. This article was published at the Washington Examiner and is reprinted with permission. Heartbeat International manages Pregnancy Help News, Option Line and the Abortion Pill Rescue® Network. More information on Abortion Pill Reversal is available HERE. For assistance 24/7 with unplanned pregnancy or any pregnancy-related issue visit OptionLine.org, call 1-800-712-4357 or text “HELPLINE” to 313131.