U.S. Supreme Court Restores In-Person Requirement for Chemical Abortions

For immediate release: Tuesday, January 12, 2021

WASHINGTON—Today, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a stay to a July 2020 decision by U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang that suspended the Food and Drug Administration’s rule, which among other things, requires a woman to have an in-person doctor’s visit before undergoing a chemical (“medication”) abortion during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Judge Chuang’s ruling would have allowed the abortion drug combination that includes mifepristone to be delivered or mailed to a woman’s home during the pandemic.

“We are pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court recognizes the serious nature of chemical abortions and the need for the FDA to have protocols in place to protect women from potentially life-threatening and devastating side effects,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life.

Under the FDA’s “Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy” (REMS), only FDA-approved entities can distribute mifepristone, one of the two drugs that make up the medication abortion technique.

When the FDA approved mifepristone as an abortion method, REMS restrictions were put in place because women face potentially life-threatening complications that have been associated with the use of the drug. An FDA record of nearly two dozen deaths and thousands of complications, including “adverse events” such as serious infections, severe hemorrhage, and the rupture of undiscovered ectopic pregnancies, has proved that the REMS restrictions are necessary to protect women.

“Chemical abortions put at-risk healthy women who are pregnant with healthy babies,” said Tobias. “Women are not guinea pigs and putting them at risk so abortion activists can score political points is abhorrent.”

Founded in 1968, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates and more than 3,000 local chapters, is the nation's oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement, NRLC works through legislation and education to protect innocent human life from abortion, infanticide, assisted suicide, and euthanasia.

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