Mississippi lawmakers request FDA resume chemical abortion pill oversight 

Published 2:47 pm Monday, February 21, 2022

Mississippi lawmakers were among 126 Senate and House leaders calling for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to restore stringent oversight of chemical abortion bills, including the in-person dispensing requirement the FDA suspended in December.

On Friday the group issued a letter to newly-confirmed FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf to cite studies affirming the increased health risks to women who use the chemical abortion drug mifepristone. The FDA removed in-person dispensing requirements in December from the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS), clearing the way for widespread mail-order distribution of the drug.

“In addition to taking the life of an unborn child, the dangerous nature of the chemical abortion drug mifepristone creates a serious risk to the lives of women,” Congressman Michael Guest (R-MS District 3) said Monday. “The lack of oversight surrounding mail-order abortion pills has the potential to create very serious side effects for women. In order to save the lives of children and protect the health of women, it’s imperative that the FDA create strict regulations around this drug.” 

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The letter stated, in part, that “indefinitely eliminating the REMS in-person requirement eliminates the minimal guardrails established to protect women’s health. This action promotes mail-order abortion-on-demand and … abandons vulnerable pregnant women to the reckless and predatory actions of the abortion industry.”

The letter cites research showing the increased serious risks associated with mifepristone, including a first-of-its-kind longitudinal study published in November 2021 that found the rate of abortion-related emergency room visits following a chemical abortion increased by more than 500 percent from 2002 through 2015.

“In addition to the loss of the unborn child, chemical abortion drugs present serious risk to the health of the mother, including severe bleeding, infection, the need for surgical intervention, and even death,” the letter stated. “In fact, chemical abortions are four times more dangerous than surgical abortions. These health risks necessitate, at minimum, in-person screening by a physician.”

Overall, the letter was signed by 35 Senators and 81 members of Congress, including Guest, U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), U.S. Representatives Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) and Trent Kelly (R-Miss.).

Read the letter to Califf here.