FDA advises against prenatal abortion drugs

FDA advises against prenatal abortion drugs

After having previously lifted limitations on the prescription, the Food and Pill Administration (FDA) is issuing a warning about the dangers of health providers prescribing an abortion drug to women before they become pregnant.

In reaction to state abortion limitations resulting from the Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, some abortion doctors are engaging in “advance provision” of certain abortion medicines.

An FDA spokeswoman told Politico on Friday, “The FDA is concerned about the advance prescribing of mifepristone for this use.” “Mifepristone is not licensed for advance medical abortion provision.”

The agency’s remarks follow the December removal of distribution limitations on mifepristone. The judgment permitted doctors to prescribe the medications online and send the tablets to patients, enabling pregnant women to undergo early abortions without leaving their homes.

In 2000, the FDA initially approved mifepristone, which is combined with misoprostol, for early abortions. This abortion method, which is FDA-approved for usage up to 10 weeks of pregnancy, is also known as abortion with pills, chemical abortion, medication abortion, and telemedicine abortion.

This type of abortion accounts for more than half of all abortions in the United States, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a former affiliate of Planned Parenthood that conducts reproductive research.

Dr. Ingrid Skop, senior fellow and head of medical affairs at the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), reacted to the FDA’s latest comments.

“I was astonished to hear the FDA say this because when they allowed the provision of mifepristone without in-person prescribing last December, they paved the way for this to occur,” she told CNA.

According to Politico, a representative for the FDA denounced advance provision because it prevents abortion physicians from ensuring safety and effectiveness. The news source reported that the FDA raised concern about pregnant women taking mifepristone before a medical practitioner assesses if a pregnancy is intrauterine or ectopic and the age of the fetus.

Skop, who has more than 25 years of experience as an OB-GYN, raised similar concerns regarding the use of mifepristone by women when it is not provided by a physician.

“It is uncertain how far along she is [with her pregnancy]. We rely on her estimation, which is frequently inaccurate,” Skop added, “and mifepristone-misoprostol is not particularly effective after roughly 10 weeks of pregnancy.”

She also mentioned ectopic pregnancy, a potentially fatal condition in which an embryo implants outside the uterus or womb, typically in one of the fallopian tubes.

She emphasized that Mifepristone does not function on ectopic pregnancies. “This pregnancy could continue to develop, and the tube could rupture. This is a common cause of maternal mortality.”

A further risk is that the individual requesting the abortion pills may not be the individual taking them.

“This can leave the door open for coercion and for others to gain access to the medication and administer it to a woman who may not necessarily want an abortion,” she said.

She emphasized that “we’re really seeing more and more potential for issues” as the FDA relaxes regulations on mifepristone and advocated for a new approach.

“Rather than providing a potentially harmful prescription that may be abused, this would be the ideal time to have a proactive discussion about how to prevent an unwanted pregnancy,” she said.

In anticipation of the FDA’s ruling from the previous year, CLI published a paper by Skop and other specialists concluding that greater availability to abortion pills poses a threat to public health.

“According to an examination of Medicaid claims data, the rate of abortion-related emergency room visits following a chemical abortion soared by almost 500% between 2002 and 2015,” the news release stated. During the same time span, the proportion of chemical abortions in the studied population increased from 4.4% to 34.1%.

The study also revealed that the rate of abortion-related emergency room visits is rising more rapidly for chemical abortions than for surgical abortions, and that chemical abortions make subsequent abortions more dangerous.

The FDA had no comment at the time of publication.

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