WASHINGTON, D.C. (08-21-13) – Americans United for Life Action partnered with 83 Oklahoma Legislators—the majority of both Chambers—to file an amicus curiae brief this week in the Oklahoma Supreme Court, supporting the state’s regulation of the dangerous RU-486 drug regimen, a regulation based on AUL model legislation and promoted by AUL Action. This matter is an issue before the U.S. Supreme Court following its grant of partial certiorari of the Oklahoma law in question and its order that the Oklahoma Supreme Court interpret how the regulation of RU-486 works based on state law. After the state supreme court rules, the matter returns to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Women have died when these deadly, life-ending drugs, are administered in ways not advised by the FDA, and yet the abortion industry lobbies and files suit to use them contrary to FDA protocol anyway,” said AUL Action President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “It is scandalous that Big Abortion puts its profits over the safety of women.”
Dr. Yoest noted: “Big Abortion openly flaunts its dangerous misuse of abortion-inducing drugs such as the RU-486 regimen. The FDA approved the drugs only through 49 days gestation—but abortion providers administer them up to 63 days. The drugs are to be taken in a clinic or doctor’s office—but abortion providers send women home to administer the drugs alone and away from medical supervision. Courageous Oklahoma legislators have joined together to protect women and girls from this dangerous and exploitative scheme, and AUL Action is proud to assist them.”
Since the Mifeprex (RU-486) 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 violated the approved FDA protocol.
In response to such serious complications, the Oklahoma Legislature passed a law in 2011 based on AULA’s “Abortion-Inducing Drugs Safety Act.” In addition to requiring the physician to administer the drugs only 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.
The Center for Reproductive Rights filed this case, Cline v. Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, in state court in 2011. A state trial court enjoined the law, and the Oklahoma Supreme Court affirmed the lower court based on an inaccurate interpretation of federal law. The State requested that the case be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, and AUL filed a brief in support of the State’s petition. The U.S. Supreme Court granted partial certiorari. After the state supreme court rules, the matter returns to the U.S. Supreme Court.
AULA joined a brief, available here, along with 83 Oklahoma Legislators, most of whom voted in favor of the RU-486 regulation when it was enacted in 2011. The brief demonstrates that it was the Legislature’s intent to require abortion-inducing drugs to be administered only as approved by the FDA.