By Pushing Abortion Pills, Democrats Have Failed Women For Decades

By Kristan Hawkins, originally published May 10, 2024, updated May 13, 2024, Newsweek – Opinion

As someone whose family once proudly embraced the Democratic Party, I mourn the decision by three Democratic presidents to make the loss of life made into a business by unleashing the chemical abortion pill on the U.S. market. Chemical abortion pills, which end hundreds of thousands of lives annually, represent the dark legacy of Presidents Bill ClintonBarack Obama, and now Joe Biden. Their administrations’ actions allowed the pills to be sold in ways known to harm women and girls as a financial gift for a powerful interest group: the abortion industry.

The business of chemical abortion pills in America is a federal issue. Reversing the neglect and abuse of power by federal agencies will demand leadership and key appointments to undo Democrats‘ gift to the abortion industry.

President Clinton manipulated the levers of federal power, working behind the scenes to bring the drug to the U.S. market in 2000 with assurances that protecting women’s safety would be a priority. To fast-track this means of abortion, the FDA deemed pregnancy an illness and death by abortion pills a treatment.

Health and safety standards (known as REMS—risk evaluation, and mitigation strategies) put in place to protect mothers in 2000 came under attack during Barack Obama’s tenure. Obama’s head of the FDA, Dr. Robert Califf, supported efforts to make it easier to sell the life-ending pills. President Joe Biden followed in those footsteps, appointing a legal attack dog against pro-life groups and policies—former California Attorney General Xavier Becerra—to head the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He also brought Califf back to the FDA for an encore performance.

The FDA knows these pills can kill women. But under the last three Democratic administrations, that fact became politically irrelevant in the push for policies that allow for a quick online sale.

For example, chemical abortion pills will not end an ectopic pregnancy, which is when a human in embryonic form implants outside of the womb. While the combination of the two pills sold for abortions in the U.S. will cause bleeding, leading a woman to believe her pregnancy has ended, in fact, the life-threatening ectopic pregnancy continues. Requiring that pregnant women have an ultrasound to determine the location and length of pregnancy would save lives, but that requirement is missing from the REMS issued by Biden’s FDA.

Also missing is any requirement for blood testing and treatment of Rh-negative status. About 15 percent of the population is Rh-negative, which means that a mixing of blood between mother and child during birth, miscarriage, or abortion can lead to antibodies forming in the mother that can attack future pregnancies, effectively leading to infertility without an injection of Rh immune globulin. But abortionists and illegal chemical abortion pill distributors don’t provide that treatment, since there’s no blood tests in the world of online distribution.

And then there is the reality that anonymous online distribution makes chemical abortion pills the dream drug for abusers and sex traffickers, who have used them against mothers without their knowledge or consent.

The risks of chemical abortion pills—injury, infertility, empowered abusers, and death—also include environmental harm. When the pills were rushed onto the U.S. market, Clinton’s FDA accepted an environmental assessment report from the pro-abortion Population Council that basically said littering was the only potential problem.

But today, chemically tainted blood, placenta tissue, and human remains from more than 6 in 10 abortions are flushed into America’s waterways. That is why Students for Life of America has filed citizen petitions with the FDA to stop abortion pollution and led a coalition effort of more than 40 organizations to demand that the Environmental Protection Agency track the chemicals released by chemical abortion pills.

Donald Trump has said he will soon announce his position on chemical abortion pills. To address Democrats’ abuse of federal power, Trump should take these steps in a second term:

  1. Make key appointments from the vice presidency to Health & Human Services, the FDA, and the Department of Justice to reverse and review the weaponization of policy.
  2. Demand that the Environmental Protection Agency track the forever chemicals of chemical abortion that have been flushed into America’s waterways.
  3. Require the FDA to do clean water and endangered species testing, which have been ignored every time the chemical abortion REMS have been changed.
  4. Champion health and safety standards for in-person care to address known harms to women and add environmental protections, like common-sense red bag medical waste disposal requirements to prevent tainting waterways.
  5. Instruct the Drug Administration Agency and the Federal Trade Commission to address the illegal, online abortion pill vendors operating in the U.S. in violation of state laws.
  6. End the Justice Department’s attacks against states and pro-life individuals, prioritized in the Biden administration, including using pro-life laws on the books, such as the Comstock Act.
  7. Cut taxpayer funding to schools distributing the deadly drugs as well as abortion vendors profiting from their reckless distribution.

Confronting perhaps the most politically protected business in America, shielded from prosecution, from scrutiny, environmental oversight, and legal compliance, will require a champion who cares more about women, girls, and the preborn than the expedited sale of a deadly two-drug cocktail. But the abuse of federal power to push abortion pills must come to an end.

Kristan Hawkins is president of Students for Life of America and Students for Life Action.