The D.C.-based pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List called on Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney Thursday to reverse his position on former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert Califf’s nomination to reclaim the chief role at the FDA.
“Just days ago, Senator Romney appeared virtually at the national March for Life to support the sea of Americans gathered to represent the millions of voiceless unborn children killed and women wounded by abortion in our nation,” said SBA List Vice President of Government Affairs Marilyn Musgrave. “Senator Romney’s tribute to the pro-life cause is vastly out of sync with the course he is on to back a top abortion industry ally, Robert Califf, for FDA commissioner.”
Earlier this month, Romney was one of four Republicans who voted to advance Califf’s nomination past the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Others included Sens. Richard Burr of North Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
Prior to the committee vote, the SBA led a coalition letter of roughly 50 pro-life groups urging senators to reject Califf’s nomination to his old post held under President Barack Obama in 2016 for expanding abortion access.
“Under Califf’s leadership during the Obama Administration, the FDA significantly undermined the reporting and safety requirements on medication abortion, also known as chemical abortion,” they wrote in the Jan 12. letter. “In several states, chemical abortion has become the primary method of abortion, and other states are on pace to do the same. With this rapid shift by the abortion industry toward chemical abortion, the weakened reporting requirements for adverse events have obscured the full scope of complications.”
In the group’s press release Thursday, the SBA List wrote of particular concerns over the Biden administration’s aggressive expansion of chemical abortion by mail.
“The administration policy allows for dangerous at-home, do-it-yourself abortions without necessary medical oversight,” the group wrote. “Califf is expected to permanently authorize mail-order abortions if confirmed to lead the FDA.”
Pro-life leaders in Romney’s home state have similarly condemned their senator’s support for an abortion advocate at one of the nation’s preeminent public health agencies.
“Robert Califf has a record of putting the abortion lobby’s extreme agenda ahead of women’s safety and the lives of unborn children,” said Mary Taylor, the president of Pro-Life Utah. “There is no doubt he would fast-track approval to distribute dangerous chemical abortion drugs to mothers by mail — at great risk to their health and safety and at the expense of their unborn children.”
Gayle Ruzicka, president of the Utah Eagle Forum, voiced similar concerns.
“Chemical abortions are lethal to the unborn child and dangerous to his or her mother,” Ruzicka said, citing a study which found a 500 percent spike in abortion drug-related emergency room visits since the early 2000s, when the drugs had only been just approved. “If Senator Romney wants to truly represent the people of our pro-life state then he should oppose Robert Califf’s nomination to the FDA.”
Califf’s nomination comes at a desperate time for abortion advocates awaiting a Supreme Court decision expected over the ensuing months with the potential to overturn the court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade.