“The real war on women takes place in abortion clinics across the country as the abortion industry fights for profits, for secrecy and for reduced protections for women and their unborn children,” said AUL’s Dr. Charmaine Yoest.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (10-10-14) – In an effort to protect women and girls from dangerous life-ending drugs used in chemical abortions, AUL filed an amicus curiae (“friend-of-the-court”) brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of 38 Arizona legislators. The brief is filed in Humble v. Planned Parenthood in support of a 2012 state law based on AUL model legislation and regulates the administration of life-ending drugs. The health and safety standard at issue in the case requires that life-ending drugs, such as the RU-486 regimen, be provided only as prescribed by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. “As the abortion industry fights for higher profits and lower standards, we continue fighting to protect women from the legal back-alley,” said Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “Chemical abortion drugs are dangerous. One study found that chemical abortion failed with 18.3 percent of women who are given it – that’s almost one in five – and women have died when given these deadly drugs by abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.”
She continued: “The real war on women takes place in abortion clinics across the country as the abortion industry fights for profits, for secrecy and for reduced protections for women and their unborn children.”
The Arizona law in question was challenged by Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers seeking to administer abortion-inducing drugs outside of restrictions put in place by the FDA. A federal district court refused to stay the law while litigation proceeds, but the Ninth Circuit reversed that determination and enjoined the law. Arizona is now asking the Supreme Court to grant certiorari to hear the case on appeal and reverse the Ninth Circuit’s decision.
Since the RU-486 regimen was approved, thousands of women have faced complications, many of them life-threatening. Both the FDA and the drug manufacturer have acknowledged the substantial risk of complications following use of the RU-486 regimen. In fact, the FDA acknowledged these risks when it approved the drugs under a special code section used for drugs that can be safely used only if distribution or use is restricted.
At least fourteen women are known to have died. Eight of these women died of severe bacterial infections that would not otherwise harm healthy women. All eight of those women were instructed to use the drugs in a manner that directly contravened the approved FDA protocol.
The Arizona law seeks to ensure that the RU-486 regimen is administered only in the way approved by the FDA. Rather than allowing providers to hand out dangerous drugs and send women home to self-administer away from physician oversight and beyond the gestational limit approved by the FDA, the law requires that the drugs be administered in a clinical setting within the gestational limit approved by the FDA.
AUL’s brief, available here, was filed on behalf of Senators Kimberly Yee (bill sponsor), Andy Biggs (President), Gail Griffin, (President Pro Tempore), Nancy Barto, Judy Burges, David Farnsworth, Al Melvin, Rick Murphy, Steve Pierce, Don Shooter, Kelli Ward, and Steve Yarbrough.
AUL also filed on behalf of Representatives David Gowan (Majority Leader), Rick Gray (Majority Whip), J.D. Mesnard (Speaker Pro Tempore), Andy Tobin (Speaker), John Allen, Brenda Barton, Sonny Borrelli, Paul Boyer, Eddie Farnsworth, John Kavanagh, Adam Kwasman, Debbie Lesko, David Livingston, Phil Lovas, Catherine Miranda, Darin Mitchell, Steve Montenegro, Justin Olson, Warren Petersen, Justin Pierce, Carl Seel, T.J. Shope, Steve Smith, David Stevens, Bob Thorpe, and Kelly Townsend. The brief demonstrates that the Ninth Circuit employed an improper legal standard in order to side with Planned Parenthood and ignored clear Supreme Court precedent giving deference to a state’s interest in regulating abortion to protect women’s health.