Abortion Pill

US Catholic Bishops condemn FDA’s approval of abortion pill sale at pharmacies

catholic church abortion, reproductive freedom congregations, taxpayer funded abortion

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has issued a statement following last week’s announcement that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the sale of abortion pills at pharmacies with a prescription.

“The FDA should protect the life and health of both mothers and children, not loosen safety standards under industry or political pressures,” Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia, the chair of the bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, said Friday. “We call on the administration to correct its policy priorities and stand with mothers in need.”

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In the statement, Burbridge noted that the abortion pill continues to be dangerous to women, despite the fact that the FDA has loosened its restrictions. “The rate of serious complications after chemical abortion is considerably higher than after surgical abortion. Overturning the safety protocols around abortion-causing drugs to effectively make them available on demand at pharmacies, requiring no in-person medical supervision, facilitates the isolation of critically vulnerable pregnant women, and invites more risk, pain, and trauma. It may also result in new violations of conscience for pharmacy workers who cannot dispense such drugs.”

Often referred to as chemical abortion, the abortion pill is a two-step process that involves the drugs mifepristone, which blocks the action of the natural pregnancy hormone progesterone and starves the baby, and misoprostol, which is taken 25 to 72 hours after mifepristone and causes the uterus to contract and expel the baby. Studies have shown the abortion pill to be four times more dangerous than first-trimester surgical abortion, and it now accounts for more than half of the abortions that take place in the United States. 

According to the FDA, the abortion pill is associated with 28 patient deaths* and has caused the deaths of an estimated 5.6 million preborn children since it was first approved in 2000.

Following the FDA announcement, CVS and Walgreens both announced plans to make the abortion pill available in their pharmacies. Pro-life activists have announced a boycott and nationwide protests against the pharmacies to take place on February 4.

*THE FDA HAS RECEIVED REPORTS OF SERIOUS ADVERSE EVENTS IN PATIENTS WHO TOOK MIFEPRISTONE. AS OF JUNE 30, 2022, THERE WERE 28 REPORTS OF DEATHS IN PATIENTS ASSOCIATED WITH MIFEPRISTONE SINCE THE PRODUCT WAS APPROVED IN SEPTEMBER 2000, INCLUDING TWO CASES OF ECTOPIC PREGNANCY (A PREGNANCY LOCATED OUTSIDE THE WOMB, SUCH AS IN THE FALLOPIAN TUBES) RESULTING IN DEATH; AND SEVERAL FATAL CASES OF SEVERE SYSTEMIC INFECTION (ALSO CALLED SEPSIS). THE ADVERSE EVENTS CANNOT WITH CERTAINTY BE CAUSALLY ATTRIBUTED TO MIFEPRISTONE BECAUSE OF CONCURRENT USE OF OTHER DRUGS, OTHER MEDICAL OR SURGICAL TREATMENTS, CO-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITIONS, AND INFORMATION GAPS ABOUT PATIENT HEALTH STATUS AND CLINICAL MANAGEMENT OF THE PATIENT. A SUMMARY REPORT OF ADVERSE EVENTS THAT REFLECTS DATA THROUGH JUNE 30, 2022, IS HERE. THE FDA HAS REVIEWED THIS INFORMATION AND DID NOT IDENTIFY ANY NEW SAFETY SIGNALS. THE FDA INTENDS TO UPDATE THIS SUMMARY REPORT AS APPROPRIATE.

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