“Lives have been lost through cavalier use of dangerous, life-ending drugs. This is a law that the abortion
industry would championif they really cared about women,” said AUL’s Dr. Yoest, in Oklahoma.
WASHINGTON, D.C./OKLAHAMA CITY, OK — (04-08-13) – Americans United for Life filed an amicus brief today before the U.S. Supreme Court supporting an Oklahoma regulation, based on AUL model legislation, requiring physicians to dispense abortion-inducing drugs only as approved by the FDA. From Oklahoma, AUL President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest noted, “Lives have been lost through cavalier use of dangerous, life-ending drugs. This is a law that the abortion industry would champion if they really cared about women,”
AUL’s brief was filed on behalf of 79 Oklahoma legislators, representing the majority of each Chamber of the Oklahoma Legislature, including Representative Randy Grau and Senator Greg Treat, the original sponsors of the protective legislation. Dr. Yoest commended the lawmakers Monday during events noting Oklahoma’s pro-life efforts in this legislative session.
“Big Abortion openly flaunts its dangerous misuse of abortion-inducing drugs such as the Mifeprex (RU-486) regimen,” Dr. Yoest observed. The FDA approved the Mifeprex regimen only through 49 days gestation—abortion providers administer it up to 63 days. While the drugs are to be taken in a clinic or doctor’s office—abortion providers send women home to self-administer the drugs alone and away from medical supervision.
“The abortion industry’s motivation in adopting protocols that endanger women and girls is as transparent as it is chilling. Their flagrant misuse of abortion-inducing drugs means abortion providers can push these drugs on more women and pocket larger profits than they would receive if they followed the protocols put in place by the FDA. Oklahoma’s law was enacted to stop this dangerous and exploitative scheme.”
Since the Mifeprex regimen was approved in 2000, thousands of women have faced complications, many of them life-threatening. Both the FDA and the drug manufacturer have acknowledged the substantial risk of complications following use. Fourteen women have died, and eight of those women died of severe bacterial infections that would not otherwise harm healthy women. All eight of those women were instructed to use the drugs in a manner that directly contravened the approved FDA protocol.
The Oklahoma law at issue is based on AUL’s “Abortion-Inducing Drugs Safety Act.” In addition to requiring the physician to administer the drugs in the way approved by the FDA, the law also requires that the physician physically examine the woman to establish gestational age and rule out ectopic pregnancies and other factors that might endanger the woman.
In December, the Oklahoma Supreme Court invalidated the law in a cursory, three-paragraph opinion based upon a flawed interpretation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. On March 4, 2013, Oklahoma filed a petition for review with the U.S. Supreme Court.
AUL’s brief, available here, demonstrates that under the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Gonzales v. Carhart, the state legislature should be given “wide discretion” to enact legislation protecting women’s health especially when, as with the Mifeprex regimen, there is medical uncertainty about the safety of a particular abortion method.
For more information on AUL’s model legislation, click here.