Why do-it-yourself abortion pills are so dangerous

(The Daily Signal) – The Biden administration continues removing safety measures for the distribution of do-it-yourself abortion pills, turning local pharmacies into abortion clinics….

(The Daily Signal) – The Biden administration continues removing safety measures for the distribution of do-it-yourself abortion pills, turning local pharmacies into abortion clinics. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration is being sued for approving these dangerous drugs in the first place.

After the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization struck down Roe v. Wade, many states have passed protective pro-life laws. But unless state and federal policymakers take action, mail-order abortion pills will continue freely flowing across state lines. These drugs undermine pro-life progress and kill unborn children and hurt women and girls in the process.

Much is said about chemical abortion pill health risks. And for years, we’ve watched the Obama and Biden administrations slowly chip away at the safety measures that provided modest—but important—limits on where and how to get these dangerous drugs. For two decades, doctors at least had to see women in-person to rule out life-threatening complications like ectopic pregnancy or accurately date a pregnancy by doing an ultrasound to ensure that the pills were not used past a certain gestational age. But now, the Food and Drug Administration has put a stamp of approval on telemedicine abortions and sending abortion pills through the mail.

There’s another aspect of abortion pill policy that isn’t talked about as much, but it deserves our attention and decisive action. Fewer safety protocols mean more chances for women and girls to be abused, coerced, given abortion pills without their knowledge, or forced to take pills against their will.

Think this is a hypothetical problem? Think again. Sadly, there are far too many of these things happening to women and girls all over the country. It happens in pro-life states and in pro-abortion states. And these are only the cases we know about. In these cases, the perpetrator was caught. But what about those perpetrators who aren’t?

Men have laced women’s drinks with pills. Crushed them up and put them in food. Held a woman at gunpoint and forced her to take pills. Men have also taken minors that they’ve gotten pregnant to Planned Parenthood and posed as parents to get pills. And they’ve swapped abortion pills with other medications.

Telemedicine abortion and pills-by-mail will enable even more coercion and abuse. Think about it: When a woman sees a provider in person, she has a chance to speak freely, one-on-one. Any woman who’s gone to the doctor’s office has seen the fliers in the bathroom, waiting area, and exam rooms advertising phone numbers and confidential resources for women experiencing domestic violence and abuse.

When a woman talks to a doctor about getting abortion pills via video chat, that doctor has no idea who’s in the room with her just out of the camera’s sight. Or worse, online pharmacy websites will ship abortion pills anywhere in the country after someone fills out a questionnaire. The pharmacist doesn’t even know if that person is the pregnant woman she claims to be. It could be anyone.

Surely, even those who support legalized abortion should agree that no one should be coerced or forced to have an abortion against her will. So why is the Biden administration and its pals in the abortion industry working overtime to remove any and all safety measures for abortion pills? Because with Roe v. Wade rightly overturned, they know that abortion pills are their best bet at undermining pro-life progress.

We need to fight back. We should protect women, girls, and unborn children—not empower abusers.

What can state and federal policymakers do?

Prohibiting telemedicine and mail-order abortions should be at the top of our to-do list. Many states already have such bans, and Congress can do this nationwide either through standalone legislation or the appropriations process.

States should also strengthen informed consent requirements. They should be crystal clear that any woman having an abortion knows that she cannot be coerced or forced to have an abortion against her will.

States can strengthen or enact laws that specifically prohibit abortion coercion, they can strengthen or enact parental consent laws for minors, and they can ensure that laws regarding forced abortion seek justice for both victims—unborn children and their mothers.

Congress should prohibit any federal dollars from being spent on research for new abortion drugs or over-the-counter availability. And Congress should prohibit the FDA from ever approving—or even reviewing an application for—an over-the-counter abortion pill.

As long as abortion pills are on the market, women, girls, and unborn children will suffer. The abortion lobby is clear that it wants all safety measures abolished and for these drugs to be available over the counter.

It’s troubling enough to imagine a woman or girl walking into a local pharmacy and buying abortion pills as easily as she can buy antacids or cough syrup. But in a world of over-the-counter abortion drugs, an unsupportive husband, boyfriend, trafficker, or abuser could do the same.

We should not sit back and let the abortion industry push our culture further on its slow march toward death. It’s not too late to act. But policymakers need to act fast.