What’s the Worst that Could Happen?
Though the FDA is using public health and safety related to Covid-19 as its argument for changing the REMS, it is ignoring the public health and safety risks that arise by removing these protections. By eliminating the restrictions, women no longer have an ultrasound to rule out an ectopic pregnancy, or determine the gestational age of the unborn child before an abortion. Taking the Chemical Abortion cocktail also comes with severe health risks to the woman such as the potential for blood clots, hemorrhaging, and infection.
The near-elimination of the REMS opens the door for physicians to prescribe Chemical Abortions to out-of-state patients, skirting
state law, and without the patient ever actually seeing a doctor to discuss her pregnancy, condition, side effects, or options. Chemical Abortion supporters often support the continued use of the medication because it is safer than Tylenol, which is not subjected to REMS.
Chemical Abortions are not safer than Tylenol. Tylenol was not created to intentionally end the lives of preborn children. In the study that was done before the approval of Chemical Abortion in the U.S., 11% of women experienced complications. These included having to receive a blood transfusion, surgical intervention for excessive bleeding, and the Chemical Abortion being ineffective requiring the women to have a subsequent surgical abortion. In contrast, between 2000 and 2010, 1,567 deaths have resulted from Tylenol. This is a tiny fraction of the number of deaths compared to millions and millions of people who are taking it on a daily basis.
Many of these Tylenol related deaths were related to suicide attempts, as Tylenol is often used in suicide attempts. There is also not a reporting mechanism in place to track when people are buying Tylenol, or using it. Therefore, we don’t know the frequency of its use. This is very different than Chemical Abortions, which are being prescribed by a doctor. The doctor then is supposed to keep track of the amount being distributed, and report any adverse effects of the medication.
Now, women who are given Chemical Abortions are having them at home with no medical supervision. The lack of personal interaction with a licensed physician and the lack of detailed, written information being provided to these women who obtain abortion pills robs them of the opportunity to adequately learn about the risks to their own health. With Chemical Abortions being so easy to achieve, it has resulted in a shift in that they are now over half of the abortions that occur in the U.S. annually.