In March of this year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) changed the requirements for prescribing mifepristone (Mifeprex), the abortion pill. The change allows women to use the mifepristone further into their pregnancies and reduces the number of required visits to their healthcare provider from three to two.
When the FDA initially approved the abortion pill, it was only to be used within the first 7 weeks of pregnancy. But in March the FDA extended the time period to 10 weeks. This should concern the pro-life community. Though the FDA is supposed to be a “politically neutral” agency, the question that begs to be asked is whether this was a political move on the part of the FDA under pressure from the current administration and Planned Parenthood.
Why should anyone question the integrity of the FDA? There is good reason to raise questions.
1. It is well known that this administration has intentionally deceived the American Public in the past.
2. So many in top leadership positions within Congress and the current administration, including the President himself, openly support abortion rights and pro-abortion organizations, especially Planned Parenthood. In fact, President Obama was honored by Planned Parenthood when he became the “first sitting president to address Planned Parenthood.”
During a speech to Planned Parenthood in 2013, President Obama said:
As long as we’ve got to fight to make sure women have access to quality, affordable health care, and as long as we’ve got to fight to protect a woman’s right to make her own choices about her own health, I want you to know that you’ve got a President who’s going to be right there with you fighting every step of the way.
The Susan B. Anthony organization called President Obama “The Most Pro-Abortion President Ever.”
3. The head of the FDA, Dr. Robert Califf, was appointed by President Obama in 2015. Prior to his appointment to the FDA, Dr. Califf worked for Faculty Connection, a company that ”brings together physicians and researchers from leading academic institutions with pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device clients…. [W]e provide rewarding collaborations between academia and industry.”
This relationship raised a red flag and criticism from some, such as Dr. Michael Carome, director of the Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, because of Dr. Califf’s close financial ties with the pharmaceutical industry and a company that provided them with regulatory consulting, including expertise in FDA regulatory submissions.
Senator Bernie Sanders voted to block Dr. Califf’s appointment to the FDA, stating, “Dr. Califf’s extensive ties to the pharmaceutical industry give me no reason to believe that he would make the FDA work for ordinary Americans, rather than just the CEOs of pharmaceutical companies.”
4. In 2006, Judicial Watch released information they obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which revealed that President Bill Clinton had ordered the FDA and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to coordinate the approval and marketing of RU486, known today as Mifepristone, the abortion pill. In fact, their report made it clear that the FDA bypassed five standard requirements necessary for certifying the safety and efficacy of a new drug, and assisted in the negotiation between pharmaceutical firms and the abortion rights groups in order to push RU486 through the approval process and into the market.
5. The FDA’s decision is suspect because it came unexpectedly at a time when tax funding to Planned Parenthood was being threatened as a result of the videos exposing their alleged selling of fetal body parts. By adding three weeks gestation, the number of women who are candidates for the pill increases, and, at about $800/per patient treated with the abortion pill, the increased revenue could be substantial.
Keep in mind that some states do not require a physician to prescribe the abortion pill and it does not require surgical skills. Therefore, nurse practitioners and physician assistants as well as non-surgical physicians may be able to prescribe it. Again, increasing the number of providers able to provide medical abortion increases the number of patients that can be seen and prescribed the pill, in-turn increasing revenue.
The FDA guidelines state, “Mifeprex may only be dispensed in clinics, medical offices, and hospitals by or under the supervision of a certified healthcare provider.” They do not specify a physician. Healthcare providers are required to register with the FDA, sign an agreement form, and to provide their patients with a medication guide. Though these are important steps for patient safety, (the medication does have potential side effects and risks), these requirements do not limit the number of medical abortions.
Mifepristone is a stealth abortion procedure. Women will abort at home, in a more private, secret manner, which may be easier for the public to accept since the clinics won’t have the fetal body parts to market or dispose of. Unfortunately, the woman herself will now have to cope with seeing and discarding the ‘products of conception’ (the first trimester pregnancy, up to 10 weeks of development). Former abortionist, Dr. Anthony Levatino, explains the procedure in this video from AbortionProcedures.com:
The abortion pill poses a challenge in tracking abortion data and statistics. It has been difficult to accurately track the number of abortions, whether surgical or medical (pill), as abortion data is not required to be reported, but is instead often voluntary. Several of the states with the largest Planned Parenthood clinics do not require reporting (e.g. California, Maryland, New Hampshire).
Whether the abortion is medical (pill) or surgical, in both the heart is stopped, a life is ended. The pro-life community must not let medical abortions continue under the radar. Nor should we take our eyes off of agencies that influence public policy on life and are vulnerable to political manipulation and pressure. We must hold them accountable!