By Sara Smith, YWA Ambassador in North Dakota
The case Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been making headlines recently as a district court in Texas granted a stay of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of mifepristone (a.k.a. the abortion pill). Though the Supreme Court has allowed mifepristone to remain widely available while the case progresses, the lawsuit marks an important step in the fight to protect the lives of the unborn as well as the health and safety of women.
To understand the importance of this case, one must first understand the severity of chemical abortion drugs. Chemical abortions often lead to dangerous consequences, including hemorrhage; blood clots; undetected ectopic pregnancy (which is life-threatening); permanent infertility (if an Rh-negative mother is not administered RhoGAM as is done with dangerous “no-test” abortions and telemedicine chemical abortions); and maternal death. In fact, a study from the British Medical Journal found that out of 1,000 women who attempted a chemical abortion, 93 reported experiencing symptoms for which they were advised to seek medical advice. By illegally approving the chemical abortion regimen and removing key safeguards, the FDA sacrificed the safety of women on the altar of political ideology and enabled the sale of extremely dangerous drugs.
Though abortion is often labeled as “pro-women,” this court case further exposes evidence that, as Mother Teresa wisely said, “Abortion is profoundly anti-women.” The U.S. District Court in Texas found that the challengers were likely to win in their claim that the FDA failed to protect the safety of women by removing key restrictions placed on the chemical abortion drugs and violated the law by ignoring plaintiffs’ petitions for over 16 years. In addition, the court also found it likely that they would prove the FDA’s use of emergency procedure (which allows for the accelerated approval of new drugs for a life-threatening illness) was inappropriate as pregnancy is not an illness. One of the most recent restrictions removed by the FDA allows women to simply obtain a prescription with an online consultation, after which the drugs will be mailed to their homes. This change is yet another example of the FDA’s blatant disregard for the safety and well-being of women.
Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration presents a challenge to the politicization of FDA procedures in an effort to hold the FDA accountable for disregarding the health and safety of women and girls and enabling the distribution of abortion drugs without proper approval. Let’s hope the legal procedure moves quickly. Women deserve better than what the FDA has given us up to this point. If this drug is as safe as they claim, why not go through the proper trials and develop the proper safety data instead of using emergency procedures to bypass ordinary safety protocols? All women, regardless of political persuasion, should welcome this sort of scrutiny, as it will only strengthen women’s safety and ensure no corners are cut in the name of political expediency.