For Immediate Release
July 2, 2009
Chicago, IL — Pro-life forces won an important battle yesterday when the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that abortion providers, under a state law regulating the administration of RU-486, must strictly comply with the FDA-approved protocol for the dangerous abortion drug.
The ruling came in Rogers v. Planned Parenthood, a challenge by Planned Parenthood to a 2004 state law requiring that those administering RU-486 comply with the FDA-approved treatment protocol for the “abortion pill” and, consistent with the drug’s safety and efficacy data, restrict its use to pregnancies at or under 49 days gestation. In short, the law simply requires abortionists to abide by the rules approved by the FDA when it first made RU-486 available in the United States in September 2000.
Dr. Charmaine Yoest, AUL President & CEO said, “We applaud the Ohio Supreme Court for cutting through Planned Parenthood’s self-serving rhetoric that it did not need to follow the protocol tested and approved by the FDA when administering RU-486. For far too long, Planned Parenthood and its enablers have thought themselves above the law. Today the Ohio Supreme Court put a decisive end to that.”
Americans United for Life (AUL) filed an amicus brief in the case on behalf of several U.S. Representatives supporting the State and the law. AUL’s amicus brief, filed on behalf of House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio) and nine U.S. Representatives — Roscoe Bartlett (Md.), Dan Burton (Ind.), Steve Chabot (Ohio), Trent Franks (Ariz.), Jim Jordan (Ohio), Robert E. Latta (Ohio), Joseph R. Pitts (Pa.), Jean Schmidt (Ohio), and Chris Smith (N.J.) — is available at
AUL Staff Counsel Mailee Smith said, “The fact that Planned Parenthood readily admits to routinely disregarding the FDA-approved protocol and actually argued it was entitled to dispense RU-486 in an untested and dangerous manner is appalling. It is further confirmation that Planned Parenthood is not the protector of women’s health and welfare it holds itself out to be.”
Planned Parenthood argued the law was unconstitutional and that its requirements were unclear. The State of Ohio and AUL argued that the Ohio law is definitive in its requirement that abortionists can use the RU-486 drug regimen only in the way in which it was tested and approved by the FDA, as is clearly laid out in the manufacturer’s label that accompanies the drug.
The case will now return to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals for a decision of whether the statute, as interpreted by the Ohio Supreme Court, is constitutional.
About Americans United for Life
Americans United for Life (AUL) is a nonprofit, public-interest law and policy organization whose vision is a nation in which everyone is welcomed in life and protected in law. The first national pro-life organization in America, AUL has been committed to defending human life through vigorous judicial, legislative, and educational efforts at both the federal and state levels since 1971. The Wall Street Journal has profiled AUL, and PBS’ Frontline program chronicled AUL’s successful efforts in Mississippi.