Article

The FDA is cracking down on mail-order abortion pills

Apr 29, 2019

Recently, I searched the aisles of my local pharmacy for DayQuil to help with a cold I was fighting. At check out, I was surprised when the cashier asked for my ID. It had been a few years since I’ve purchased cold medicine, and I wasn’t aware of this requirement, but I didn’t mind digging around in my purse for ID. The precaution was helping to prevent teenagers from purchasing excessive amounts of cold medicine, with which they’d use to get high. Cough syrup overdoses result in thousands of trips to the emergency room every year.  

Compare the strict guidelines for cold medicine to the lack of restrictions on abortion inducing drugs, and the deadly impacts of those pills. Not only do the abortion drugs stop the heart of a baby in the womb, by inducing a miscarriage, they’ve also resulted in the death of women who use these harmful pills. Within recent weeks, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a letter holding a website called AidAccess accountable for their nefarious practices.  

“The sale of misbranded and unapproved new drugs poses an inherent risk to consumers who purchase those products. Unapproved new drugs do have the same assurance of safety and effectiveness as those drugs subject to FDA oversight. Drugs that have circumvented regulatory safeguards may be contaminated; counterfeit, contain varying amounts of active ingredients, or contain different ingredients altogether.

FDA requests that you immediately cease causing the introduction of these violative drugs into U.S. commerce.”

While it’s encouraging that the FDA has sought to hold AidAccess, and others accountable for their actions, it doesn’t take long to understand why abortion inducing drugs are becoming more in vogue within the abortion community. Recently, the Department of Health and Human Services finalized a rule on Title X funding. The rule would prohibit the use of Title X funds to perform, promote, refer for, or support abortion as a method of family planning. Abortion providers, such as the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood will begin losing funds, if they refuse to comply with new regulations. Abortion advocates and providers will inevitably find creative ways to continue providing abortions.

Agencies such as the FDA and HHS are enforcing policies that affirm that abortion is not health care. True health care promotes the health and wellbeing of both the woman and her unborn child.    

Aid Access was started by a Dutch activist named Rebecca Gomperts, who fulfills her orders from pills are shipped from India. Let’s pause and notice the irony - India, a country that cruely practices sex selective abortions on little girls in the womb. A country where 239,000 girls under the age of five die each year due to neglect, simply because they are girls. India has one of the highest levels of persecution of their women and girls, and they are helping to harm little women in the womb and their mothers, by filling abortion pill order.  

In the United States, the reasons for obtaining an abortion are vague, and most people can obtain one for almost any reason. Holly Patterson’s story is equal parts chilling and heartbreaking.  

Holly had barely turned 18, when she went to a clinic with her boyfriend to obtain medical abortion inducing pills, commonly referred to as the Abortion Pill. However, at the clinic, she was given an alternative abortion pill that wasn’t approved by the FDA. She was given painkillers, and instructed to return after a week to confirm termination of the baby.  

A few days after she took the pills, she called the clinic’s hotline because of severe cramping. Instead of being directed to go immediately to an ER, she was instead told to take the clinic prescribed painkiller, and if the symptoms still didn’t improve, then to go to the ER. Finally, on the fourth day after the procedure, still in pain, Holly went to the ER, where she was sent home after an injection. However, her pain continued, and she finally went back to the hospital. She died that afternoon.  

Other women have died from taking abortion drugs, but the data isn’t strong, mainly because the reporting mechanisms aren’t strong. If a woman who’s suffering extreme pain because of the abortion pills, AidAccess instructs her to tell the hospital that she thinks she’s having a miscarriage - with no mention of the abortion inducing drug.  

The FDA is correct in holding these companies accountable, and should enforce penalties if they fail to abide by the law. Our women and unborn babies deserve better than abortion and our laws should reflect those values.  

Chelsea Patterson Sobolik

Chelsea Patterson Sobolik serves as a Policy Director in the Washington, D.C. office of the ERLC. Previously, she worked in the U.S. House of Representatives on pro-life policies, domestic and international religious freedom, adoption, and foster care issues. Chelsea is... Read More