Pro-life groups ask FDA to stop websites 'illegally prescribing’ abortion meds  

The headquarters of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is seen in Silver Spring, Maryland, November 4, 2009.
The headquarters of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is seen in Silver Spring, Maryland, November 4, 2009. | (Photo: Reuters/Jason Reed)

A coalition of dozens of pro-life groups have called upon the Food & Drug Administration to investigate websites that are prescribing abortion pills to women online.

In a letter addressed to FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn that was sent out on Monday, the groups argued that sites like Aid Access and Rablon were “illegally prescribing and/or selling mifepristone in the United States.”

“Just as FDA acted in December 2019 to protect Americans from websites advertising the sale of illicit vaping cartridges, we urge FDA to protect women from the distributers of abortion-inducing drugs who place lives at risk by circumventing your agency’s regulatory safeguards,” read the letter.

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“… these websites remain active and continue to dispense abortion-inducing drugs, including mifepristone, through internet prescriptions or orders that are purportedly filled by pharmacies in India, and then shipped to customers in the United States.”

The pro-life groups added that while they “appreciate that FDA is seriously defending the necessary safeguards contained in the Mifeprex REMS in litigation,” the measures are “meaningless” if groups “can sell abortion-inducing drugs over the internet with impunity.”

In March 2019, the FDA sent warning letters to Aid Access and Rablon over their selling abortion pills that the federal entity had deemed unapproved and mislabeled. 

The FDA cited examples, mifepristone and misoprostol, which were labeled “unapproved,” adding that “they are not generally recognized as safe and effective for their labeled use.”

“ facilitates the sale to U.S. consumers of unapproved mifepristone in a regimen with unapproved misoprostol labeled for the termination of pregnancy,” stated one of the warning letters from last year.

“No approved applications pursuant to section 505 of the FD&C Act are in effect for this product. Accordingly, its introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce violates sections 301(d) (21 U.S.C. § 331(d)] and 505(a) (21 U.S.C. § 355(a)] of the FD&C Act.”

The pro-life groups referenced the 2019 warning letters, but added that the aforementioned websites were still selling the abortion pills and called for further investigation by the FDA.

Signatories of the letter included Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List; Kristan Hawkins, president of the Students for Life of America; Catherine Glenn Foster, president & CEO of Americans United for Life; Lila Rose, president and founder of Live Action; Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life; Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life; and Eric J. Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League, among others.

For her part, Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, the founder of Aid Access, has stated that she opposes the FDA rules on abortion prescriptions.

"When U.S. women seeking to terminate their pregnancies prior to nine weeks consult me, I will not turn them away. I will continue to protect the human and constitutional right of my patients to access safe abortion services," stated Gomperts, as reported by Fox News.

"The FDA is violating the rights of all U.S. women seeking safe abortion by preventing them from accessing necessary medications."

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