April 13, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is reversing a Trump-era decision banning the dispensation of abortion-inducing drugs by mail, claiming the policy is justified due to COVID-19 restrictions in various states supposedly making in-person consultations more difficult or dangerous.
Politico reports that on Monday, acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock declared it safe to allow mifepristone, the first half of the chemical abortion cocktail RU-486, to be taken home without medical supervision, noting that it would reduce risks of contracting the coronavirus.
Under the Trump administration, the FDA had warned abortion-by-mail distributors that their flouting of the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program requirements, which ensure that providers can “assess the duration of the pregnancy accurately, diagnose ectopic pregnancies, and provide surgical intervention in cases of incomplete abortion or severe bleeding, or to have made arrangements for others to provide such care” — and give women “access to medical facilities for emergency care” — could expose themselves to regulatory action potentially “including seizure or injunction, without further notice.”
The abortion lobby sued the administration over the rule, and in January the US Supreme Court allowed the administration to enforce it, thought that ruling is mute with Joe Biden’s replacement of Donald Trump as President of the United States.
The National Abortion Federation reacted to Woodcock’s announcement with a statement that it was “excited” that “in states that allow the practice, NAF members can use telemedicine and start mailing mifepristone pills to patients immediately,” while simultaneously asking for fresh donations in the name of shipping expenses. Pro-lifers were far less enthused.
“Pro-abortion activists have exploited the COVID-19 pandemic from the beginning, working to eliminate safety precautions in order to expand the proliferation of dangerous chemical abortion drugs,” Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser responded. “This decision prioritizes abortion industry profits over the health and safety of women and puts the abortion extremism of the Biden-Harris administration on full display.”
“The Biden Administration makes catastrophic loss of life by mail its legacy in choosing to weaken the minimal health and safety in place to protect women from the deadly consequences of Chemical Abortion Pills,” Students for Life Action President Kristan Hawkins said. “Sending deadly pills through the mail without any pre-screening or follow up care is convenient and cost effect for Corporate Abortion, but women will pay the price along with countless preborn infants.”
An open letter last year from a coalition of pro-life groups to former FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn noted that the FDA’s own adverse reporting system says the “abortion pill has resulted in over 4,000 reported adverse events since 2000, including 24 maternal deaths. Adverse events are notoriously underreported to the FDA, and as of 2016, the FDA only requires abortion pill manufacturers to report maternal deaths.”