WASHINGTON, D.C. (04-23-14) – Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest applauded heroic efforts by Oklahoma legislators as Governor Mary Fallin signed HB 2684, which addresses a state supreme court decision on abortion-inducing drugs stemming from the case Cline v. Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice. The case dealt with an Oklahoma law designed to protect women from the misuse of dangerous, life-ending drugs when prescribed in ways that the FDA does not advise. The law, first passed in 2011, was based on AUL model legislation and supported in court by AUL amicus curiae briefs filed on behalf of the majority of Oklahoma legislators. The new bill addresses concerns the Oklahoma Supreme Court raised when considering the original law.
“We know that women have died after being given life-ending drugs such as RU-486 against the restrictions imposed by the FDA,” noted Dr. Yoest. “But the Big Abortion lobby works to keep profits high, risking women’s lives by going against those protocols and handing drugs out to women later and later in pregnancy. Heroically, Oklahoma Representative Randy Grau and Senator Greg Treat worked to pass this life-saving legislation which addresses the court’s misconceptions and will allow the state to once again regulate these drugs in a meaningful manner.”
The bill addressed two erroneous conclusions by the Oklahoma Supreme Court: that the language did not specifically allow the use of misoprostol according to the FDA-approved protocol in the Mifeprex label, and thereby prohibited its use altogether, and that it did not explicitly include a definition of “abortion” that excludes ectopic pregnancy. The newly signed law clarifies these misconceptions.
“The legal battle over this case illustrates the need for state legislatures to include legal findings about how a law will work and the problems it addresses when developing legislation,” Dr. Yoest said. “The courts that debated the original bill pointed to the lack of findings as a way to discount the Legislature’s intent in enacting the law. As a result, findings are included in HB 2684 to explicitly reflect the Legislature’s concern for maternal health and the dangers of chemical abortions. This kind of legal documentation should become a regular component of state legislative efforts.”
Recognizing the risks of chemical abortions, the FDA laid out a specific protocol and imposed restrictions on the use of abortion-inducing drugs, but the abortion industry has been ignoring these restrictions, giving the drugs to women past the deadline approved by the FDA (49 days into pregnancy) and sending women home to self-administer the drugs—and hemorrhage—alone and without medical supervision. The FDA also requires a physical examination before administering the drugs, because women later in pregnancy or experiencing an ectopic pregnancy face risk of death.
In 2011, the FDA released a report providing details on complications since the drug regimen was improved. Over 2,200 women had experienced complications following use of abortion-inducing drugs, with eight women dying from severe bacterial infection. In all eight deaths, the women had administered misoprostol, the second drug in the RU-486 regimen, in a manner not approved by the FDA.
For more information on the case, click here.
For more information on the health risks of abortion for women, click here.
For more information on AUL model legislation, click here.