159 Congressmen ask FDA to continue enforcing abortion pill regs during pandemic
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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 17, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – 159 pro-life members of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate have called on Stephen Hahn, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “to continue to robustly enforce” the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy for the abortion pill.
As the members of Congress pointed out in a letter dated April 14, “there are some who seek to exploit this time of crisis to push for the weakening or overturning of critical Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) association with medication abortion drugs, which would put women at significant risk.”
The signers of the letter were referring to a letter by 21 state attorneys general who asked Hahn on March 30 “to request that you increase access to reproductive healthcare, including safe and legal abortion, during this pandemic.”
“[W]e urge you to waive its Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS), or use FDA enforcement discretion, to allow certified prescribers to use telehealth for Mifepristone, the medication abortion prescription drug,” the Attorneys General continued.
The pro-life legislators responded by recalling the rules currently in place.
“The FDA has approved chemical abortion for use up to 10 weeks gestation, but due to the attendant risks to the mother, FDA requires that only a certified prescriber dispense the drugs after confirming the gestational age, ruling out ectopic pregnancy, and that the woman herself sign and retain a copy of the prescribers agreement.”
The term “ectopic pregnancy” refers to an embryo attaching outside the uterus.
The letter added, “The involvement of a physician or other certified prescriber, who knows the state of a woman’s pregnancy and health, is critical for patient safety.”
A medical abortion is performed by taking mifepristone, followed by misoprostol 24 to 72 hours later. Mifepristone is a progesterone receptor blocker causing separation of the placenta from the uterus. This leads to the death of the embryo or fetus. Misoprostol then causes the uterus to contract and expel the dead child.
The members of Congress listed several dangers associated with medical abortions.
Research proves, they pointed out, “that as many as five to seven percent of women who take abortion drugs will require follow-up surgery, and three percent could end up in the emergency room.”
“Self-managed abortions from home are especially dangerous; in fact, half of abortion providers do not consider them safe,” they explained.
Nevertheless, abortion supporters, including the 21 attorneys general in their March 30 letter, are pushing for just that: self-administered medical abortions.
“Logical consistency is no object,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, remarked. Ironically, “abortion proponents argue it’s too dangerous to leave home, but not to take abortion drugs without medical supervision.”
“The advantages of chemical abortion to the abortion industry are obvious: reduced overhead and accountability. The risks to women’s health and safety, and to everyone else during a global pandemic, are profound,” said Dannenfelser.
According to the pro-life congressmen, “medication abortion becomes even more dangerous in situations where women cannot access emergency medical care. This is especially concerning during the COVID-19 pandemic as emergency rooms are currently being overwhelmed.”
“While hospitals are being pushed to their limits because of the growing number of people severely ill as a result of COVID-19, we should minimize, not increase, unrelated pressures on our health care providers,” they emphasized.
For that reason, several states banned abortions as non-essential services during the current pandemic. However, in many cases, federal courts overturned the states’ measures to conserve scarce medical resources in the fight against the coronavirus.
Even though the political initiative of the pro-life legislators to stay strong on the abortion pill is important, Dannenfelser wanted to see “the most innovative response the pro-life movement can muster, focusing new efforts on social action and information. Women must be warned about the reality of what it entails, versus abortion lobby spin.”
“Many will still choose it,” she admitted, “but many will regret that choice. Our response must empower women, and all those who observe these heartbreaking scenes. Women must hear the truth and know that, in times of crisis, the abortion industry seeks to profit from their pain, while the pro-life movement offers them hope.”
In addition to asking the FDA to enforce the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy for the abortion pill, the members of Congress also encouraged the government agency “to conduct oversight into ongoing studies to remotely dispense medication abortion to women, which is a violation of the REMS.”
Unbeknownst to many, medical abortions are actually reversible for a short period of time. To reverse the medical abortion, women take progesterone, orally or as an injection, as soon as possible after taking mifepristone, but before taking misoprostol.
A whole website is dedicated to helping women with an abortion pill reversal.
LifeSiteNews reported yesterday on a powerful story of an abortion pill reversal, shared by Matt Walsh, a cultural and political commentator at The Daily Wire.