The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released updated guidelines yesterday for abortion-inducing drugs. As anticipated, the new measures pushed by the anti-Life Biden administration strip commonsense protections and further endanger preborn children and their mothers. The new FDA guidelines remove requirements for in-person dispensing of the drugs, enabling pregnant women to access them via telemedicine or through the mail and with fewer basic safeguards for maternal health. Thankfully, these anti-Life changes will not have much of an impact in Texas.
Abortion-inducing drugs include mifepristone and misoprostol. The first drug interrupts progesterone in the mother’s body, cutting off nutrients to the developing baby. The baby is then starved to death, and, when the drugs work lethally as intended, the second drug is administered to expel the deceased baby from her mother’s body. However, the regimen carries many risks for the baby and mother, sometimes failing to end the baby’s life or failing to fully expel the baby’s body, running the risk of deadly septic infection in the mother.
The updated FDA guidelines removed the in-person requirement for women to obtain the lethal pills, enabling women to access them via telemedicine or through the mail. The FDA also no longer will require that only certain health care settings dispense mifepristone, now expanding that even specially certified pharmacies may dispense them. No in-person visit is required to get the pills, which puts mothers at risk because without an in-person assessment, the abortionist cannot verify the age of the baby being killed in the abortion or rule out the possibility of ectopic pregnancy, which can be fatal for mothers. The risk of complications from the abortion pill increases as the gestational age of the child increases.
Abortion activists have long tried to expand the use of these deadly drugs with some activists advocating for self-managed, “DIY,” abortions. The Covid-19 pandemic offered abortion activists an opportunity to push forward unpopular measures to expand these dangerous, unsupervised abortions. As Pro-Lifers long suspected, once abortion activists succeeded in expanding the use of abortion-inducing drugs, they are unlikely to allow the reinstatement of basic protections for preborn babies and their mothers.
Texas will largely be unaffected by the new regulations. Texas law requires that women have an in-person examination before any abortion, chemical or otherwise. Only physicians may distribute abortion-inducing drugs, which rules out the drug being dispensed from Texas pharmacies. Texas also already prohibits telemedicine abortions and the mail or delivery of abortion-inducing drugs.
While much of the legal discussion about abortion has focused on the age and development of the preborn child, the reality is that abortion at any stage of pregnancy ends a human life and is gravely unjust. Whether the abortion is committed with surgical instruments or the administration of deadly drugs, the result of a successful abortion is a mother whose child has been killed. The top-down power grab by the anti-Life Biden administration highlights how important state and local Pro-Life protections are. Even though these anti-Life updates from Biden’s FDA will thankfully not have much of an impact in the Lone Star State, Texas Right to Life will continue defending preborn children and their mothers from anti-Life efforts coming from any level of government.
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