WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — Republican U.S. Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey, co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, denounced the FDA’s “illegal approval process” for the abortion pill that’s at the center of last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision to allow the lethal drug to remain on the market as a lawsuit proceeds through the lower courts.
The pro-abortion ruling, which was not explained, was decided in a 7-2 vote, with Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito as the dissenting voices. In an April 21 press release responding to the decision, Smith said, “Attention now turns to the Fifth Circuit Court, which is set to hear oral arguments on the merits of the case regarding the Federal Drug Administration’s (FDA) illegal approval process for mifepristone.”
Smith highlighted the fact that the way the abortion pill works is to literally starve the baby to death, carrying with it further risks to the health of the mother. “Mifepristone was created to starve unborn babies to death — that’s how it works — and poses significant risks to the mother’s health,” Smith stated. “Beginning with President (Bill) Clinton, the FDA — supposedly our gatekeeper for drug safety — has actively promoted the abortion poison/baby starvation pill and failed to strictly adhere to its own testing protocols that should have been designed to protect women and girls.”
Denouncing the FDA’s actions, Smith declared, “Tragically, the FDA has instead enabled the abortion industry to prey on women and girls during their most vulnerable moments of need and has gone so far as to classify pregnancy as an ‘illness.’ Today, ‘adverse’ health events — complications — aren’t even reported to the FDA. That is outrageous and does a grave disservice to women.”
Citing the complaint filed in the case by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), Smith noted the significant health risks to women posed by the pill in addition to the starvation of the baby:
- Chemical abortion has a complication rate four times higher than surgical abortions — with chemical-abortion-related ER visits increasing over 500% between 2002 and 2015;
- One in five women who undergo a chemical abortion will suffer a complication, including life-threatening hemorrhage, infection, need for emergency surgery, inability to have future successful pregnancies, or even death; and
- Taking mifepristone with an unknown ectopic pregnancy is life-threatening. An ultrasound is the best way to confirm the baby’s age and to make sure the pregnancy is not ectopic, which mifepristone cannot treat; however, the FDA has never required an ultrasound prior to a chemical abortion.
Expressing support for the doctors who have filed the case against the FDA to get the abortion pill taken off the market on the grounds that the proper legal regulations were not followed when it was approved, Smith said, “Since the FDA failed to uphold its duty, the group of highly ethical doctors in this case have been relentlessly pursuing the truth in their efforts to hold the FDA accountable and I am grateful for their tenacity over the past 20 years.”
“After trying to hold the FDA accountable for more than two decades, these doctors are finally getting their day in court and the safety of women and girls is finally taking priority,” he added. “We will continue to support these life-affirming doctors as this case moves forward to address the merits — with arguments scheduled in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on May 17th.”
A 2020 open letter from a coalition of pro-life groups to then-FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn noted that the FDA’s own 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.”
Pro-lifers warn that with the Biden administration eliminating requirements that abortion pills be taken under any medical supervision or with medical support close by, those events are certain to increase.