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Save Act seeks to stop mail-order abortion pills

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Legislation has been introduced in Congress that would prevent chemical abortion pills, which induce miscarriage in early stages of pregnancy, from being dispensed remotely by mail or telemedicine. Many pro-lifers worry remote access to abortion will remove regulations meant to protect women. According to the Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood, the abortion pill now accounts for 39 percent of all abortions — up from 29 percent in 2014.

“The dramatic rise in use of the abortion pill should worry pro-life activists and pro-abortion activists alike,” said Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, who introduced the bill in the House of Representatives Sept. 19. “Without proper medical oversight, it has resulted in hospitalizations, severe complications and several deaths. The SAVE Moms and  Babies Act helps ensure this abortion method is recognized for what it is: dangerous.”

The bill also would prevent the Food and Drug Administration from making labeling changes to the abortion pill, Mifeprex. According to a press release from Rep. Latta, “currently, Mifeprex has a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) label on it, indicating it is a dangerous drug with known serious risks. Chemical abortions, when compared to surgical abortions, have a higher complication rate and result in a higher rate of emergency room visits.

“If REMS is removed, patients won’t need ultrasound or medical examination before receiving this drug, and a single health care provider could mail out chemical abortion pills to women and young girls across the country, bypassing protections like parental involvement, waiting periods, and informed consent,” the release said.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops sent out an action alert about the bill, urging Catholics to ask their representatives to support it. Amy McInerny, director of the diocesan Respect Life office, hopes the bill passes.

“Abortion advocates are falsely claiming that abortion can be a simple matter of taking a pill. Nothing could be further from the truth,” said McInerny. “Women are required to be seen in person before being prescribed the abortion pill because they need to be examined to ascertain the age of the baby and to make sure the pregnancy is not ectopic. Moreover, when they are seen privately in a doctor’s office, the physician can and should screen for coercion. Virtual consultations with an abuser just off camera or someone else claiming to be the pregnant woman are serious threats to the health and safety of women — especially the very young and marginalized.

“Women deserve better, and more regulation reduces the opportunities to exploit women,” she said.

The bill has been referred to the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health. 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020

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