December 18, 2019
U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), introduced legislation this week to protect the lives of women by controlling the distribution of chemical abortion drugs, which have high complication rates for incomplete abortions, infections, severe bleeding, and death.
The Support and Value Expectant (SAVE) Moms and Babies Act would prevent labeling changes for already-approved abortion drugs; prevent providers from dispensing these drugs remotely, by mail, or via tele-medicine; and prevent the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from approving new chemical abortion drugs.
“It’s disappointing when new medical advances are used to take life, not save it. The use of the abortion pill is growing around the world, yet these drugs’ complication rate is higher than any other available abortion method. On top of that, there are efforts to lessen FDA’s regulation of these pills, which would allow women to take these dangerous drugs without a doctor’s supervision or warning of the dangerous risks,” Inhofe said. “Not only would this bill prevent the dangerous movement of these drugs, it would also bar the FDA from approving any additional chemical abortion drugs, going a step further to protect the right to life for all people. I thank Sen. Hyde-Smith for her work and advocacy on behalf of future mom’s and children with the SAVE Moms & Babies Act.”
“Although abortion rates are declining nationwide, rates of chemical abortion are increasing dramatically. Increased use of abortion pills may give the impression that these procedures are safe, when in fact they are quite dangerous. Making chemical abortion pills more broadly available without proper medical oversight would endanger the lives of women. I am introducing this bill to codify the important FDA policy that protects women from dangers inherent in mail-order or do-it-yourself chemical abortions,” Hyde-Smith said.
In addition to restricting the availability of chemical abortion drugs, the measure would also retain the FDA-imposed Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) currently applied to these drugs due to known or potential serious risk associated with the medication. It would also require health care practitioners to report to the FDA adverse events experienced by patients using an abortion drug,
In 2017, chemical abortions made up 39 percent of abortions reported by the 32 states that require reporting on specific abortion methods, up from 5.5 percent in 2001.
Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List), March for Life Action, National Right to Life, Family Research Council, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops are among the groups that support the bill.
“We are grateful to Senator Hyde-Smith for championing legislation to fight the reckless expansion of chemical abortion,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “The abortion lobby has attempted to interfere with protective FDA regulations and flood the U.S. market with dangerous abortion drugs from overseas, threatening the health and safety of vulnerable women. On the heels of an abandoned study designed to discredit pro-life abortion pill reversal, which only proved the serious and potentially deadly risks inherent to abortion pills, the need for this bill could not be more pressing. We strongly support the SAVE Moms & Babies Act and urge Congress to pass it swiftly.”
A summary of the SAVE Moms and Babies Act is available here.