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Abortion drugs: Requiring prescription is not a ban

A bottle and two pills of mifepristone, also known as RU-486, are seen in a handout photo.
A bottle and two pills of mifepristone, also known as RU-486, are seen in a handout photo. | REUTERS/NEWSCOM

The left is acting as if the reclassification of mifepristone and misoprostol — commonly used abortion medications — to Schedule IV controlled dangerous substances is banning them. It simply makes them a prescription medication that needs to be administered by a doctor.

Yes, it does make the medication harder to obtain, but if a woman is going to end the life of her unborn child, it should be a decision that is made with careful consideration and under the supervision of a doctor.

Even the federal government acknowledges this. Last year, the appropriations bill for Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration contained a provision prohibiting the mailing of the chemical abortion drug Mifepristone because of its dangers not only to an unborn child but also to the mother. The U.S. 5th Circuit Court last August ordered that it only be dispensed in person by a physician.

Making abortion drugs a controlled dangerous substance does not ban it. Controlled substances are classified by schedules I to V. A Schedule IV substance is not severely restricted because it has a low risk of misuse, although the potential exists. According to the National Center for Biotechnological Information, “Drugs in this class may be utilized for pain control as long as the provider deems the drug medically necessary and the patient would benefit.” They can be prescribed over the phone and refillable up to five times in a six-month period.

“Schedule IV substances include some narcotics; medications within the category of depressants, such as Xanax and Valium; muscle relaxants; sleep aids; and stimulants that can be used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and weight loss,” NBC News reported.

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So, abortion drugs aren’t banned; not even severely restricted, especially considering that abortion drugs end a life.

The legislation makes possession of these medications without valid prescriptions or orders from medical professionals punishable by up to five years in prison. Pregnant women who obtain the medications for their own consumption would not be subject to prosecution.

Even NBC News had to admit, “Abortion — both medical and surgical — is illegal in Louisiana, so it is already illegal to prescribe the medications to terminate pregnancies, except in very limited circumstances.”

So, why is the left upset? Because the legislation, if it becomes law, makes it a little bit harder to get an abortion. It slows the process and requires doctors to put their reputations on the line if they facilitate abortions. It makes a mother think twice about taking an irreversible action.

This is why the left is trying to stoke anger without information. The NBC story tries to scare women into believing that they are being stripped of a right. NBC pointed out that more than 250 doctors signed a letter saying that reclassifying the medications would create “the false perception that these are dangerous drugs that require additional regulation.”

If they want to talk about false perceptions, then why not talk about the dangers these drugs can pose and the mental and physical problems that women experience from abortions?

“While the Supreme Court said it is the purview of the states to restrict abortion, it remains the purview of all government (including the federal government) and all the citizenry, to protect all people without qualification,” says Rev. Jim Harden, CEO of CompassCare Pregnancy Services.

Jim Rada is an award-winning freelance writer in Pennsylvania who writes on a variety of topics.

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