The Corner

Health Care

The FDA Doesn’t Care about Risk When It Comes to Abortion

The headquarters of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in Silver Spring, Md. (Jason Reed/Reuters)

News broke this morning that the Food and Drug Administration, as well as the Centers for Disease Control, are calling for a halt in the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after six individuals experienced severe blood clotting as a side effect. About 7 million Americans have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine thus far, an enormous number compared to the six affected individuals.

At the same time, the FDA announced that it is gutting safety requirements for the two chemical-abortion drugs — mifepristone and misoprostol — in response to a pressure campaign from pro-abortion activists and Democratic politicians.

As FDA officials surely are aware, the drugs used in a chemical abortion carry the risk of significant side effects and complications for women who ingest them. Somewhere between 5 percent and 7 percent of women who obtain a chemical abortion require a follow-up surgical abortion because the drugs fail to fully kill or evacuate the unborn child. One survey found that up to 8 percent of women who underwent a chemical abortion required emergency-room admission to manage complications.

And yet, because of political pressure from the abortion industry and abortion-advocacy organizations, the FDA has altered its safety protocol that heretofore required doctors to prescribe the chemical-abortion drug to women in person. Women will now be able to obtain the two chemical-abortion pills via mail after a telemedicine appointment, never having consulted with a doctor in person prior to taking them.

In the past, justifying the safety policy, the FDA argued that not seeing a doctor in person to obtain the drugs would make it harder for a woman to access follow-up care later on if she experienced any of the side effects that chemical abortions can entail.

It turns out that the FDA is perfectly fine with Americans taking on significant health risks — just as long as those risks are in service of expanding legal abortion, not in service of choosing to protect oneself against a deadly disease.

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