Americans United for Life filed a friend-of-the-court brief today on behalf of 147 Members of the U.S. Congress in support of pro-life doctors and medical organizations in a pair of cases before the Supreme Court, Danco Laboratories, L.L.C. v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine and U.S. Food & Drug Administration v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine. The brief urges the Supreme Court to allow the District Court’s order to go into effect putting on hold the Food & Drug Administration’s (“FDA”) 2016 deregulation of chemical abortion drugs and subsequent actions. This would reinstitute critical health and safety protections for women and girls seeking these risky drugs.

Among other actions that deregulated chemical abortion drugs, the FDA removed the in-person dispensing requirement in 2021, thus, allowing the use of telemedicine. As our brief highlights, this action flatly contravenes federal prohibitions on the mailing of abortion-inducing drugs, and undercuts patient safety. It is essential for women to receive an in-person medical examination. Ultrasounds are the most accurate method of dating the gestational age of the baby and ruling out an ectopic pregnancy, which is a contraindication for chemical abortions.

Women seeking abortion also face grave risks of domestic violence. For example, the prevalence of intimate partner violence is nearly three times greater for women seeking abortion than for women continuing a pregnancy. Telemedicine only exacerbates these risks of coercion and abuse, by minimizing a healthcare professional’s ability to identify and address domestic violence.

Chemical Abortion Drugs Should Not Be Deregulated

Americans United for Life urges the Supreme Court to hold the FDA accountable for its lawless actions that deregulated chemical abortion drugs, and to permit the District Court’s ruling to go into effect to protect patient health and safety.

“The Supreme Court has an historic opportunity to protect women and girls from the dangers of chemical abortion drugs,” explains Steven H. Aden, AUL Chief Legal Officer & General Counsel. “The FDA has deregulated these drugs at the expense of patient safety. Chemical abortions have more complications than surgical abortions, and emergency room visits for chemical abortion complications have skyrocketed 507% over a thirteen-year period. These drugs are risky, and the Supreme Court should allow patient safeguards to be reinstated.”

“The FDA must abide by the scope of its authorized power from Congress, including patient health and safety safeguards,” highlights Carolyn McDonnell, AUL Litigation Counsel. “Yet, the FDA has repeatedly subverted its statutory duties, instead promoting abortion-inducing drugs over the welfare of women and girls. We urge the Supreme Court let the District Court’s ruling to go into effect and reestablish patient protections.”

“The FDA’s de-medicalization of chemical abortion drugs has increased the risks of coercion and abuse,” discusses Danielle Pimentel, AUL Policy Counsel. “Women seeking abortion already face serious risks of intimate partner violence and reproductive control. The FDA has exacerbated these risks by completely disregarding patient safety. In order to protect women and girls seeking these dangerous drugs, the FDA must restore patient safeguards.”