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Federal Court Upholds Abortion Pill Restrictions In ‘Significant’ Pro-Life Victory

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On Wednesday, a federal appeals court panel upheld key restrictions on deadly and dangerous abortion pills and ruled that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) failed to address major safety concerns when it loosened standards for the drugs’ use.

The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision affirms part of a ruling issued in April by Trump-appointed federal Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk. Kacsmaryk “stayed,” or suspended, the FDA’s 2000 expedited approval of the two-drug abortion pill regimen, mifepristone and misoprostol, and the FDA’s further loosening of restrictions in 2016, 2019, and 2021.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision reinstated the abortion pills’ 2000 FDA approval but also important limits that had been in place before 2016, like the rule dictating pills cannot be prescribed via telemedicine and dispensed to patients through the mail. 

“In 2016, the FDA expanded when girls and women could take the pill, changed its dosing, reduced the required number of doctor visits to obtain the drug, allowed more people than licensed doctors to prescribe the pill, and eradicated reporting standards for non-fatal complications from the pills,” reported The Federalist’s Jordan Davidson. 

According to the court, the FDA’s relaxing of restrictions on mifepristone “failed to address several important concerns about whether the drug would be safe for the women who use it,” “failed to consider the cumulative effect of removing several important safeguards at the same time,” and “failed to gather evidence that affirmatively showed that mifepristone could be used safely without being prescribed and dispensed in person.”

The court’s decision, which is expected to be appealed, is now in limbo until the Supreme Court decides whether to take up the case. If the high court upholds the Fifth Circuit Court’s ruling, the abortion pill will be subject to the FDA’s 2000 regulations. 

Erin Hawley, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing the pro-life side of the case, said this means that in addition to requiring three in-person doctor visits for the pills to be administered, chemical abortions will only be allowed up to seven weeks gestation, not 10 as it is now. 

“This is a significant victory for the doctors and medical associations we represent and, more importantly, the health and safety of women,” Hawley said.

As Boyd reported, a long-term study found that mifepristone is responsible for a 500 percent increase in abortion-related emergency room visits, and “chemical abortion is consistently and progressively associated with more postabortion ER visit morbidity than surgical abortion.” 

Polling shows the majority of Americans do not believe mail-order abortion drugs are safe, despite the FDA’s insistence to the contrary. Moreover, 75 percent of Americans believe the FDA should have performed studies focused on girls under age 18 before approving the abortion pill for minors.

While the physical risks of chemical abortions are undeniably great, the emotional costs, which have gone largely unstudied and disregarded, can be just as harmful. A pro-abortion TikToker named Paris Glass uploaded a now-viral series of videos discussing the emotional and physical trauma she experienced after chemically aborting her unborn baby. In the videos, Glass describes in explicit detail the excruciating pain and trauma she endured during her abortion alone in the bathroom for hours. Glass also detailed the emotional horror of “meet[ing]” her aborted baby that she had internally labeled a “clump of cells.”

“Even though logically I know it’s a clump of cells — it never felt anything — every emotional defense I had crumbled in one second,” said Glass. “Nothing and no one can make me hate myself more than I did in that moment.”

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