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Minority Leader John Boehner: A Champion for Women’s Health (Part I)

By Mailee R. Smith, Staff Counsel

Over the past year, the debate over healthcare reform – and specifically whether taxpayer-funded abortion should be part of health care reform — has focused a national spotlight on many men and women who can rightly be hailed as pro-life champions.

One such person is Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) of the U.S. House of Representatives. Throughout the health care debate, his words and actions steadfastly exuded his pro-life convictions.

Importantly, his pro-life beliefs did not begin or end with the debate over health care reform. For decades, Minority Leader Boehner has worked consistently and tirelessly to protect women and their unborn children.

For example, since 2004, the State of Ohio – Minority Leader Boehner’s home state — has been forced to defend a law requiring that physicians prescribing RU-486 abide by the FDA-approved protocol when dispensing this dangerous drug. The law was aimed at the abortion industry’s admitted failure to follow the tested protocol in prescribing and using the RU-486 drug regimen. According to the regimen approved by the FDA, a woman first takes three RU-486 tablets at a doctor’s office or abortion clinic. The woman is to return 36 to 48 hours later to take a second drug, misoprostol (a prostaglandin), which causes the woman to expel the baby. The woman returns for a third visit three weeks later for an exam to monitor bleeding and confirm the abortion.

However, abortionists are purposely misusing RU-486, directing women to take the second dose vaginally and at home—rather than orally and in an office or clinic—and completely bypassing any follow-up appointments. Misuse of RU-486 has devastating effects. Since 2001 when the FDA first approved RU-486 for use in the United States, at least eight American women have died after using the drug.

After Planned Parenthood filed a constitutional challenge to Ohio’s law, Minority Leader Boehner joined Americans United for Life in 2007 and again in 2008 in filing amicus curiae briefs before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals as well as the Ohio Supreme Court, urging those courts to protect women by upholding and allowing the enforcement of this unique and protective law. While some aspects of the law remain in litigation, both the Sixth Circuit and the Ohio Supreme Court – at the urging of AUL, Minority Leader Boehner, and others — have rejected Planned Parenthood’s basic claim that they should not have to abide by FDA-approved protocol and instead be permitted to provide RU-486 as they see fit.

AUL is thankful for the life-affirming leadership of Minority Leader Boehner and are proud to have partnered with him in this historic litigation.

The briefs in the above-mentioned cases:
Sixth Circuit brief
Ohio Supreme Court brief

For more information about the dangers of RU-486:
The Deadly Convenience Of RU-486 and Plan B