Abortion Pill

Pro-abortion Congressman falsely claims FDA never warned against buying abortion pills by mail

New Jersey Congressman Josh Gottheimer claims pro-life pregnancy centers are deceptive.

New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer has falsely claimed that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has “never issued a warning” against buying abortion pills online, which often occurs through the mail.

The pro-abortion activist lawmaker made the claim during a press conference outside a pro-life pregnancy resource center, where he besmirched the center’s credibility while unveiling plans to further target these life-saving centers as “deceptive.”

The press conference held on April 22, 2024, which aired live on the congressman’s Facebook page, took place outside one of the offices of the First Choice Pregnancy Center where the pro-abortion representative described the center’s business model as “deceptive and manipulative,” claiming they pose a “serious risk” to women’s “health care.”

The pro-life center clearly states online that “First Choice Women’s Resource Centers is an abortion clinic alternative that does not perform or refer for termination services” — something the United States congressman, who has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood Action Fund — even pointed out.

During the press conference, Gottheimer was critical of pro-life legislation which shutters profitable abortion businesses. Gottheimer then expressed fear that pro-life pregnancy help centers could become the only “clinics” available in the future. These centers, which operate for the most part thanks to local community donations, offer hope and free help to women who choose life-affirming alternatives instead of abortion — but many also offer resources for women who have chosen abortion, such as post-abortion counseling.

FACT CHECK: FDA Has Issued Warnings Against Online Purchases of Abortion Pills 

Standing proudly at a podium outside the pro-life pregnancy center, Gottheimer claimed that “Some of the information on [the pregnancy center’s] website is beyond misleading.”

He continued, “On one page they [First Choice Women’s Resource Centers] write, ‘Due to lack of regulations and unsafe medications, the FDA also issued a warning not to order pills by mail‘ — that’s completely wrong and made up,” Gottheimer claimed, adding, “The FDA has never issued that warning about mifepristone.”

Not so fast.

The FDA indeed has issued such a warning:

Image: FDA warns consumers to not buy abortion pills over the internet (Image: FDA)

FDA warns consumers to not buy abortion pills over the internet (Image: FDA)

In addition, an FDA page updated 3/3/23 entitled, “Information about Mifepristone for Medical Termination of Pregnancy Through Ten Weeks Gestation” states boldly [see image below] that the “FDA Does Not Recommend Buying Mifepristone Online.”

Clearly when you order online, you would be including the possibility that the pills will be sent through the mail.

The FDA warns against “purchasing mifepristone outside of the Mifepristone REMS Program – e.g. buying it online or personally transporting it from a foreign country,” which the FDA warns “would be bypassing important safeguards specifically designed to protect their health.”

Abortion supporters in the United States are currently trafficking in abortion pills from outside the United States, shipping potentially dangerous and unregulated drugs to unsuspecting women.

“The FDA does not have regulatory oversight of prescription medicines from outside the legitimate U.S. drug supply chain; therefore, the FDA cannot ensure the safety, effectiveness, or quality of those medications,” the FDA warning also reads.

FDA website warns against purchasing abortion pills online by foreign entites

FDA website warns against purchasing abortion pills online by foreign entities

It would appear that the Planned Parenthood endorsed congressman was in such a hurry to declare “deception” against the PRC that he failed to do the due diligence of investigating his own claims.

FirstChoice’s website reads:

Abortion Pills By Mail

The abortion pill comes with a black box label, which is the highest level of caution assigned by the FDA. Taking the abortion pill without seeing a doctor or having an ultrasound is never recommended. The side effects range from unpleasant (cramping, bleeding, nausea, headache, fever) to life-threatening (sepsis, rupturing of the uterus, undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy, and more). Due to lack of regulations and unsafe medications, the FDA also issued a warning not to order pills by mail.

It’s important to note that the link used by First Choice takes readers to a “Mifepristone information” page on the FDA’s website, which no longer shows the previously posted warning. But that FDA page was recently updated and the warning the pro-life center was referring to was removed once the Biden FDA expanded access to the abortion pill mifepristone via mail-order and now pharmacy dispensing.

So, instead of acknowledging what appears to be a simple oversight (a failure to note the FDA’s very recent removal of the warning), Gottheimer has accused the pregnancy center of deliberate deception.

FirstChoice Women's Resource Center NJ website accessed 042624

FirstChoice Women’s Resource Center NJ website accessed 04/26/24

Important to note:

  • The URL was previously https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/mifeprex-mifepristone-information
  • The FDA’s current URL is: https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/information-about-mifepristone-medical-termination-pregnancy-through-ten-weeks-gestation

As you can see in the image below, WayBackMachine is now redirecting that old URL to the current one, which is where the congressman was directed.

WBM redirect of the FDA page in question

WBM redirect of the FDA page in question

FDA Warning Clearly on Archived Page

Live Action News has previously captured that FDA warning several times (here and here). Had Congressman Josh Gottheimer investigated this properly, he would have discovered that the FDA’s warning can be found in an archived FDA website here.

Live Action News has uploaded an image of that FDA page and warning below:

FDA warns not to order abortion pills online (Archived FDA website)

To recap, the FDA has previously warned the public not to order abortion pills on the internet, which includes obtaining the pills through the mail.

The FDA’s archived warning reads:

You should not buy Mifeprex over the Internet because you will bypass important safeguards designed to protect your health (and the health of others). Mifeprex has special safety restrictions on how it is distributed to the public. Also, drugs purchased from foreign Internet sources are not the FDA-approved versions of the drugs, and they are not subject to FDA-regulated manufacturing controls or FDA inspection of manufacturing facilities. To learn more about buying drugs safely, please see Buying Prescription Medicines Online: A Consumer Safety Guide [PDF]

In addition, the FDA’s brochure, linked in the archived warning, also noted:

Some medicines sold online:
• are fake (counterfeit or “copycat” medicines)
• are too strong or too weak
• have dangerous ingredients
• have expired (are out-of-date)
• aren’t FDA-approved (haven’t been checked
for safety and effectiveness)
•aren’t made using safe standards
• aren’t safe to use with other medicine or products you use
• aren’t labeled, stored, or shipped correctly

FDA Website brochure warns abortion pill clients to not buy on internet

FDA Website brochure warns about buying prescription medicine on internet

In March of 2019, the FDA even sent a cease and desist letter to the online abortion pill group Aid Access, which at the time was claiming, “Aid Access supports women who are not able to access local services… The abortion pills mifepristone and misoprostol will be delivered to you by mail.”

In May 2019, Live Action News even contacted the FDA for a statement, and received the answer by email that the FDA “remain[ed] very concerned about the sale of unapproved mifepristone for medical termination of early pregnancy on the Internet, because this bypasses important safeguards designed to protect women’s health. Unapproved drugs purchased from foreign internet sources are not the FDA-approved versions of the drugs, and therefore, they are not subject to FDA-regulated manufacturing controls or FDA inspection of manufacturing facilities. Drugs that have circumvented regulatory safeguards may be contaminated, counterfeit, contain varying amounts of active ingredients, or contain different ingredients altogether.”

Since then, some virtual abortion pill dispensaries (which includes foreign entities not regulated by any U.S. agency) started selling abortion pills to women who were not even pregnant.

In response, in 2022, Politico reported a stern warning from the FDA about the dangers of prescribing the drug to women who are not pregnant, writing, “The FDA said health providers prescribing abortion medication to people who aren’t pregnant are acting without its authorization and that the practice is potentially dangerous for patients.”

Gottheimer Sponsors Anti-PRC Legislation

Just weeks ago, Rep. Josh Gottheimer, who has besmirched pro-life lawmakers as “ultra-right extremists” who are “declaring a war on women’s healthcare,” stood with Planned Parenthood promoting what he called the “Protecting Personal, Private Medical Decisions Act.”

According to his release, that act “affirms the Department of Justice’s memo explaining that the Comstock Act does not prohibit the lawful mailing of abortion drugs like Mifepristone and condemns restrictions on reproductive healthcare.”

Now, according to PIX11.com, Gottheimer is sponsoring legislation to stop 50 of New Jersey’s pro-life pregnancy help centers from allegedly “spreading false advertising about healthcare” and wants to “penalize organizations that spread disinformation on abortion services.”

A press release issued by the congressman’s office alleged that:

  • [Pregnancy centers] lie about the risks associated with abortion, use aggressive tactics to manipulate women into changing their minds based on no medical information, and deceive women into thinking they’re too far along to legally get the care they need.
  • [Pregnancy centers] promote dangerous medical misinformation such as abortion pill “reversal” — an unproven and unethical treatment. This so-called treatment can be potentially harmful by giving pregnant women misleading information that an abortion can be undone.

These claims are old talking points recycled from multiple pro-abortion organizations, like the National Abortion Federation, among others.

At this same time, both California and New York have filed legal actions against PRCs regarding the “abortion pill reversal” (APR) protocol.

Live Action News has previously debunked many of the sources against APR as biased here.


“In Congress, I’m working to stop crisis pregnancy centers like this one from intentionally deceptive practices and from getting in the way of women’s health care,” Congressman Gottheimer claimed in the previously mentioned press conference. By “health care,” Gottheimer is only referring to abortion, the intentional and violent poisoning or dismembering of a preborn baby, which the majority of the time is healthy.

“First, I’m [inaudible] the Stop Anti-Abortion Information Act, preventing Crisis Pregnancy Centers from spreading deceptive advertising about health care,” he said. “This legislation directs the Federal Trade Commissioner or the FTC to prohibit mis and disinformation relating to abortion services and authorizes the FTC to penalize organizations that break this rule.”

Rep. Gottheimer then vowed to “work around the clock” to defund what he called “ideologically driven” pro-life pregnancy centers by signing “a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, calling on him to stop the flow of federal tax dollars to Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs).”

He has also “urged his colleagues in Congress to vote against far-right extremist legislation that supports taxpayer dollars going to anti-choice Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPC),” his press release stated.

In 2020, the Charlotte Lozier Institute claimed that 22,972 abortions were reported in New Jersey. Their Pregnancy Center State Impact Report credited New Jersey pregnancy centers with serving 35,138 women, men, youth, and families in 2019, as well as providing free services and materials valued at nearly $3 million, as Live Action News previously documented.

Editor’s Note, 5/1/24: This post has been updated with additional FDA information.

The DOJ put a pro-life grandmother in jail for protesting the killing of preborn children. Please take 30-seconds to TELL CONGRESS: STOP THE DOJ FROM TARGETING PRO-LIFE AMERICANS.

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