The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has implemented guideline changes that will allow Mifepristone, the first of two abortion-inducing pills, to be dispensed by regular pharmacies for the purpose of causing abortion. Thankfully, Texas already has a law in place that will prevent our states’ pharmacies from being affected, a law that can be a rubric for other Pro-Life states moving forward.
When the FDA first approved abortion pills in 2000 under the Clinton Administration, it was in an extremely limited capacity. Initially the abortion pill was only approved through seven weeks of pregnancy and had strict requirements that the pills only be provided in-person by clinics, medical offices, and hospitals and taken under the supervision of a physician.
Under the Obama Administration in 2016, the rules were loosened to permit chemical abortions through 10 full weeks of pregnancy. Later, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA started permitting abortion pills to be prescribed and sent via telemedicine, without so much as a visit to a doctor. This is extremely dangerous to the mother’s health, ignoring important checks for Rh factor or ectopic pregnancy, and bolstering chances of pills being used maliciously by human traffickers or abusive partners.
In its latest anti-Life political move, the FDA announced that regular retail pharmacies, such as CVS and Walgreens, could now opt-in to be able to fill prescriptions for mifepristone. This means that your local pharmacy would be able to keep a large bottle of abortion pills just behind the counter, to package and distribute after receiving a prescription.
In anti-Life states, this will tragically make abortion pills easier to access and thus more dangerous. Clearly, our bureaucratic agencies are more concerned with the politics of today than the safety of women and preborn children.
Thankfully, Texas is already prepared for this. Texas lawmakers recognized this troubling trend, and preempted any further damage that the FDA could do. The Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 4 (SB 4) in 2021 to tighten restrictions on lethal abortion pills. SB 4 returned the states’ limit for distributing abortion pills to 7 weeks, removed any connection to FDA requirements, and clarified the requirement for an in-person doctor visit before and after the provision of the pills.
Texas law states that physicians are the only individuals authorized to provide or in any way transfer possession of abortion-inducing drugs. Thus, pharmacies in Texas are not permitted to carry the drugs and fill prescriptions for the purpose of ending a pregnancy.
Thanks to the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health returning the abortion issue to the states, any sort of transfer or provision of abortion, including chemical abortion, is illegal under Texas’ pre-Roe statutes and the Texas Trigger Law. Nobody is permitted to transfer abortion pills in the state of Texas, regardless of the new Biden FDA changes. Even if Dobbs never happened, this FDA rule change still would not affect Texas, since our physician requirement cannot be sidestepped under SB 4.
The federal bureaucracy will continue to do everything in its power to subvert statewide efforts to save and protect preborn children. But, this FDA guideline is not a law or requirement. This means that it cannot supersede our state laws or make more Texas children vulnerable to abortion.
Since our federal government has clearly abandoned precious preborn children, these innocent little lives are entirely relying on the states for protection. Other states wishing to protect their preborn children from the deadly grasp of the Biden Administration would do well to implement similar laws.