With 9th Circuit decision, FDA protocol for RU-486 no longer mandated in Arizona

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked a law that held abortionists in Arizona to the FDA protocol for dispensing the RU-486 abortion drug (aka “medication abortion,” or chemical abortion”).

The 9th Circuit is one of the most liberal circuit courts when it comes to abortion; the same court encompasses the rabidly anti-life state of California. A federal judge had previously upheld the law, and precedent has been established for circuit courts (i.e., the 5th and 6th circuits) to uphold FDA protocol on chemical abortion procedure. Nevertheless, in this case the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the 2012 law holding abortion mills in Arizona to the same standard.

In a chemical abortion, a pregnant mother is administered a combination of pills which act to first starve her unborn child and then expel him or her, lifeless, from the mother’s body. This abortion process takes time and carries significant risks (including maternal death). FDA protocol therefore mandates that a physician must administer the drug in-person. Read more about the function of the RU-486 (which is different from emergency contraception) here.

Abortion advocates continue to decry common-sense safety regulations on any type of abortion, including chemical abortion, claiming they are safe and essentially harmless. A cursory look at FDA safety information for the drug, however, suggests a grim reality with which these proponents are out-of-touch:

As previously reported by the agency, several of the women who died in the United States died from sepsis (severe illness caused by infection of the bloodstream) after medical abortion with mifepristone and misoprostol.  Sepsis is a known risk related to any type of abortion.  Most of these women were infected with the same type of bacteria,  known as Clostridium sordellii

Many abortion mills have adopted a dangerous “telemed” business, whereby a woman is given the drug after seeing an  abortionist — in some other location — appear on a video screen. But this method of administering the drug violates FDA protocol.  The 9th Circuit Court’s ruling effectively strips any safety precautions away from how, by whom, and when the drug is given to a pregnant mother.

Related: Physicians have developed a technique to reverse the RU-486 abortion process for women who change their minds after beginning a chemical abortion. 

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