House Republicans have proposed legislation to overturn recent FDA regulation changes that allowed for more widespread access to pharmaceutical abortion.
The FDA issued a regulation modification in early January that allows retail pharmacies to sell mifepristone — the first tablet in a two-drug pharmaceutical abortion regimen — in-store and by mail order, though patients would still require a prescription from a licensed health care professional. At the same time, the FDA formally eliminated the in-person restriction for mifepristone from its regulatory rule book, implying that women will still be able to acquire an abortion pill prescription via telemedicine.
If approved, the GOP measure would void those rule modifications and ban the FDA from enacting comparable rules in the future. The measure was filed by Rep. Diana Harshbarger (R-TN) and 13 other members of the Republican Study Committee.
“The FDA’s policy revision for mifepristone is the latest evidence of President Biden’s drive for abortion on demand at any price, even at the expense of women’s health,” Harshbarger said.
According to Harshbarger, the prospect of “life-threatening consequences” with abortion medications implies that “every woman in America ought to know the heightened risks connected with chemical abortions before making a life-altering decision.”
“My measure reinstates logical and adequate safety prescriber criteria for the distribution of these lethal abortion medications,” she continued.
The bill was introduced only days after 22 state attorneys general wrote to the FDA pushing it to rescind its rule revisions.
“Most crucially, the FDA has abandoned its obligation to safeguard health and safety by choosing a hazardous pro-abortion policy over women’s health. Though there are hazards to a woman using these treatments at any stage of pregnancy, abortion-inducing chemicals are the most dangerous when taken later in pregnancy,” the letter states. “This implies that establishing the exact date of pregnancy is crucial for women’s safety. And only in-person ultrasonography will provide a precise diagnosis.”
Dr. Anthony Levatino, a former abortionist, described several abortion techniques and how drug-induced abortions work in his videos. Mifepristone, the first medicine, inhibits the activity of progesterone, which the mother’s body generates to sustain the fetus. When progesterone is blocked, the lining of the mother’s uterus deteriorates, and blood and nutrients traveling to the developing fetus are cut off, causing the baby to die inside the mother’s womb. The medication misoprostol, often known as Cytotec, then induces bleeding and contractions to push the child out of the mother’s uterus.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, mifepristone medicine is used in more than half of all abortions in the United States. In 2020, the medicine was responsible for 53% of all abortions, up from 39% in 2017.