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Bicameral Letter Details FDA’s Dangerous Decisions to Approve Abortion Drugs & Weaken Safeguards by Mail and Telemedicine

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo and Congressmen Mike Simpson and Russ Fulcher joined 73 of their colleagues from the Senate and House of Representatives in calling for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reverse its illegal actions in promoting mail-order chemical abortion drugs.

In a  detailed letter to FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, the lawmakers explain the policy and legal faults in the FDA decision to approve chemical abortion drugs and then further eliminate the in-person dispensing in an attempt to make the do-it-yourself abortion drugs available by mail.

“The FDA’s action promotes dangerous do-it-yourself abortions by mail and telemedicine without ever seeing a doctor in person, and turns brick-and-mortar pharmacies and post offices into abortion centers.  Through this abuse of discretion, the FDA has put the profits and political agenda of the abortion industry over the science and clear evidence that abortion drugs present grave dangers to pregnant mothers and their unborn babies,”  the lawmakers wrote.

“We call on the FDA to remove mifepristone from the market, or, at minimum, promptly restore and further strengthen the initial basic health and safety requirements for abortion drugs, and cease permitting the mailing and shipping of abortion drugs in violation of Federal criminal law,”  they wrote.

The lawmakers describe the FDA’s Jan. 3 action as “dangerous, reckless, and illegal” in that it:

  • Threatens the health and safety of pregnant mothers by eliminating the requirement for in-person dispensing, increasing risks of potentially life-threatening complications without an in-person screening.
  • Violates the FDA’s legal obligations to protect the safety of women and girls.
  • Violates longstanding federal criminal laws barring the mailing and shipping of abortion drugs.
  • Imperils the conscience rights of pharmacists by failing to provide protections for pharmacists who do not want to participate in abortion.

“Through its decision to permit no-test, mail-order abortions after a telemedicine visit, the FDA has abandoned its dual obligations to protect the public and vulnerable populations from harm and to comply with Federal law, including Federal requirements to protect patient safety and longstanding Federal criminal laws which expressly prohibit the mailing and shipping of abortion drugs,”  the lawmakers concluded.

In addition to Risch and Crapo, the letter was signed by U.S. Senators Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-Kan.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah), John Thune (R-S.D.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), and Josh Hawley (R-Ind.).

In addition to Simpson and Fulcher, fifty-one House members signed the letter.

The letter has been endorsed by the SBA Pro-Life America, Americans United for Life, CatholicVote, March for Life, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Right to Life, Concerned Women for America, Heritage Action, Students for Life of America, Family Research Council, Scholars with the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Family Policy Alliance, and Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

Read a signed copy of the letter  here.

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