“When the tobacco industry sponsored ‘studies’ finding their products did no harm, people responded skeptically,” noted AUL’s Clarke Forsythe. “This study from abortion industry advocates needs to be met with those same reservations.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. (08-30-16) – “A new study by abortion industry advocates released today should be met with the same skepticism we would give to tobacco industry findings that their products are ‘safe,’” said Americans United for Life Acting President and Senior Counsel Clarke Forsythe.  The Bixby Center at the University of California, San Francisco, funded by Warren Buffett, along with abortion advocates at Planned Parenthood and elsewhere today released a report on an Ohio law regulating chemical abortion.

“When considering a study, you have to consider the source, and in this case, the fact that abortion advocates argue against regulations of a deadly drug that have taken the lives of women as well as children is no surprise,” said Forsythe.  “Chemical abortions can be very dangerous for women, and it’s appropriate to for state officials to protect women’s lives with life-affirming legislation.”

While the Ohio law featured in the report was not based on AUL model legislation, AUL presented evidence of the medical data that supports the regulation of chemical abortion in an amicus (friend of the court) brief filed in the case challenging the constitutionality of the law, Planned Parenthood v. Dewine.

In the brief, AUL explained that the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) 2011 report accounting for at least 2,207 severe adverse events (complications) in the U.S. related to the use of RU-486—including hemorrhaging, blood loss require transfusions, serious infections, and death—fails to reflect all adverse events or the severity of the complications. The brief notes,  “This high number of serious adverse events is even more troubling in light of widespread and consequential inadequacies in reporting on drug-induced abortions.”

It’s interesting to note that in the Bixby report, several factors are listed as potentially impacting the results – such as missing medical records or a proportion of women who took the drugs but did not come in for follow up appointments. In fact, the researchers themselves note, “There may be alternative explanations for the increased rates of interventions and side effects found in this study after the law change.”

In addition, the sample size was shockingly low, especially considering the very sweeping recommendations made that would impact public health, and the bias in the “study” was obvious in that conversations women had with medical practitioners were deemed to be an undesired outcome.

“Knowing that chemical abortions are dangerous and an increasing segment of the abortion industry’s sales, it’s vital that states continue to look at ways to protect women from predatory practices,” said Forsythe.

The study underscores a need for all states to enact specific reporting requirements for drug-induced abortions and their complications to facilitate more extensive medical research into and study of these deadly drugs.