HomeHealth Care NewsAGs Warn Drug Chains Against Mailing Abortion Pills

AGs Warn Drug Chains Against Mailing Abortion Pills


Abortion pills under fire.

Twenty state attorneys general, led by Missouri Republican Attorney General Andrew Bailey, sent a letter warning the pharmacy retail giants against mailing abortifacient drugs.

 “The text could not be any clearer,” the letter reads. “Federal law expressly prohibits using the mail to send or receive any drug that will ‘be used or applied for producing abortion.’ The FDA declared in January that pharmacies could stock abortion pills for customers with a prescription and even mail them, leading both CVS and Walgreens to announce they would participate in the program.

Previously, a group of 22 attorneys general sent a letter to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert Califf requesting that the agency reverse its decision to authorize pharmacies to provide abortion pills.

“The Food and Drug Administration’s decision to abandon commonsense restrictions on remotely prescribing and administering abortion-inducing drugs is both illegal and dangerous,” that letter reads.

 The FDA itself expressed concern in October about abortion pills being provided to women who are not pregnant. Mifepristone must be taken during a narrow window of gestation – one reason a physical visit had long been required for dispensation. There have been 6,158 adverse event reports involving mifepristone between 2000 and 2019, according to a report in Issues in Law & Medicine (Volume 36, Number 1, 2021). Of those 20 resulted in death and 529 were described as “life-threatening.”

Mailing Prescriptions Drugs

Existing USPS standards dictate that prescription drugs may be mailed by “drug manufacturers or their registered agents, pharmacies, or other authorized dispensers” in compliance with applicable laws.

 President Biden issued a presidential memorandum in January to protect access to abortion pills in the states. Timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Vice President Kamala Harris announced the memo during a speech in Tallahassee, Florida.

 The memo “directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS), to consider new guidance to support patients, providers, and pharmacies” in providing or obtaining mifepristone.

 The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced in December that, under its interpretation of the law, mailing abortion pills is legal. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) had asked the DOJ to clarify whether the two-drug series, mifepristone and misoprostol, used in chemical abortions could be legally mailed or whether doing so would violate the Comstock Act of 1873.

   That law criminalized the sending of “obscene, lewd or lascivious,” “immoral,” or “indecent” publications by mail, including “instruments” that could lead someone to use contraception or undergo abortion.

‘Public Health Emergency’

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra is considering declaring a public health emergency over access to the drug,  reported Axios on January 31.  Doing so could increase access to abortion by triggering more funding and relaxed regulations surrounding chemical abortions.

 “HHS has the authority to declare a public health emergency when the Secretary determines that a ‘disease or disorder presents a public health emergency,” said Rik Mehta, a former Consumer Safety Officer who now teaches health law at the Georgetown Law Center. “The Supreme Court has already made it clear that abortion is not a right protected by the Constitution. This would be an egregious violation of separation of powers to infringe on the authority of the judicial branch.”

 The public health emergency declaration raises flags, says Ryan Bomberger, the co-founder and chief creative officer of The Radiance Foundation.

  “Biden has no use for the separation of powers but loves promoting the violent separation of child from mother,” said Bomberger. “In direct violation of the Constitution, Biden wants to deny States’ and the People’s rights to ensure that the violence of abortion is easily accessible,” said Bomberger.

Safety Second, Not First

“Health agencies are a money-making business,” said Bomberger. “On abortion, they have long abandoned medical fidelity and chosen politics and profits over people.”

 The FDA is supposed to be protecting the public says Ingrid Skop, M.D., an obstetrician and senior fellow and director of medical affairs at the Charlotte Lozier Institute.

  “Unfortunately, the FDA has a long history of removing restrictions designed to improve safety, relying on biased or incomplete studies published by the abortion industry, and ignoring higher-quality international studies which document frequent failures of chemical abortion,” Skop said. “The FDA’s record speaks for itself.”

  In December 2021, the FDA made permanent a COVID-19 measure that lifted the requirement for patients to receive abortion pills in person from a physician.

  Skop says the move can be summed up in a few words, a “trojan horse to remove the in-person restrictions of mifepristone.”

Should Mifepristone be Banned?

The FDA first approved mifepristone in 2000, an action for which the regulatory agency and the HHS are currently being sued. A Texas judge is expected to decide soon whether to suspend approval of the drug. Lawsuits challenging abortion restrictions, with mifepristone as a central focus of both suits are also underway in North Carolina and West Virginia.

 According to the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion rights research organization, chemical abortions make up more than half of all abortions in the U.S.

 Skop says chemical abortions are far more dangerous than surgical abortions.

“The chemical abortion regimen has four times more complications than surgical abortions, with approximately one in 20 women requiring surgery for hemorrhage or retained tissue, even when used under the FDA’s prior requirement of in-person supervision,” Skop said.

 Distribution of the abortion pill without physician supervision may increase the failure rate.

“The abortion pill does not help women,” said Skop. “It was developed and promoted to benefit the abortion industry, which has trouble actively recruiting physicians to perform surgical abortions. Most physicians do not want to actively destroy human life.”

Harry Painter (harry@harrypainter.com) writes from Oklahoma.

Harry Painter
Harry Painter
Harry Painter (harry@harrypainter.com) writes from Oklahoma.


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