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Top U.S. Pharmacies To Offer Abortion Pill After FDA Loosens Regulations—What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
Imagine walking into a local CVS and Walgreens to pick up a snack or Advil, and alongside you, a pregnant woman might be collecting prescribed drugs to kill her growing yet unborn child (6 min read).
Once the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) loosened its “abortion pill” distribution regulations, it was only a matter of time before top U.S. drugstore chains announced plans to dispense drugs that end unborn lives within the first ten weeks of pregnancies.
Initially, the FDA announced it would lift longstanding restrictions on “abortion pills” in December 2021, allowing physicians to prescribe such killer drugs and have them dispatched directly to patients or sent to a local pharmacy.
Fast forward to early January 2023, and the FDA updated its guidelines to allow pharmacies outside a medical facility to dispense mifepristone—a drug that, when used alongside misoprostol, would end preborn lives during the earliest phase of pregnancy—thus widening abortion access in states where the act remains legal.
Soon after, Walgreens and CVS announced that their companies would undergo a certification process to gain approval for dispensing mifepristone. Both companies, which reign as the largest U.S. retail pharmacies, must complete a “Pharmacy Agreement Form” before being legally permitted to carry the lethal drug. In addition, according to The New York Times, CVS and Walgreens would distribute mifepristone in compliance with state and federal laws.
Making access to the drug as easy as possible
In the likely case that Walgreens and CVS obtain the certification, Americans shopping for everyday items like candy, Advil or Tylenol could soon be picking up drugs prescribed to end the lives of their unborn children.
Despite pregnant women still needing a prescription to access the lethal pill, the revised FDA guidelines provide them with the option of collecting the drug at their local pharmacy, thus adding a layer of convenience to the steps needed to stop a heartbeat in their womb.
Talking of convenience, the loosened regulations allow physicians to prescribe mifepristone via telemedicine without determining the stage of pregnancy or verifying whether the woman in question is pregnant in the first place.
Health risks for women who take mifepristone
An activist movement known as Students for Life of America (SFLA) has stressed that these “abortion pills” are also dangerous to women’s health, besides killing preborn human life. The SFLA had circulated a petition to “restore health and safety standards to chemical abortion pill regulations,” expressing that the FDA has intentionally ignored the health risks for women who take mifepristone.
Indeed, the FDA has previously linked the killer drugs to at least 24 women’s deaths and 4,000 serious complications in 2018. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom (U.K.) reportedly saw a spike in hospitalization rate after its government permitted similar drugs by mail in 2020. According to U.K. health data, over 10,000 women who received such drugs—that’s about one in 17 women—required hospital treatment in 2020.
Furthermore, dating as far back as 2009, a Finnish study published in “Obstetrics and Gynecology” revealed a complication rate of approximately 20 percent for “medical abortion” involving mifepristone compared to 5.6 percent for “surgical abortions,” after which hemorrhages and incomplete abortions were most commonly observed.
It must be stressed that the SFLA’s petition was rejected, and the group’s president Kristan Hawkins expressed the following in an early January press release:
“In a week in which we learn that [President] Biden’s FDA admits more women have died after taking Chemical Abortion Pills, they reject restoring health and safety standards designed to protect women. The FDA doesn’t seem to care who dies after taking Chemical Abortion pills, as long as a baby’s life is also ended.”
Advocating to protect unborn life
With every push, there is an equally opposite pull. With every legal punch, there is an equally strong but perhaps different kind of lawful reaction.
As a result, advocates who support unborn human life will be flocking to demonstrate outside Walgreens and CVS in early February (including cities such as Washington, D.C.) Their demonstrations will likely express disapproval of the recent FDA guidelines. Undoubtedly, the protests will raise a degree of awareness amongst the locals where a Walgreens or CVS is based, and perhaps even highlight a campaign to boycott the chains.
Caroline Smith is the leader of a group known as the Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising, and she didn’t mince her words lightly when she said:
“We want people to be uncomfortable going into a CVS that has a demonstration going on and to consider going to a different pharmacy. We also want to put enough pressure on the companies to retract this decision and not get certified to sell abortion pills.”
To what extent such activism in the form of demonstrations will impact women who are determined to take the life of their unborn child, who will ignore hooting and horns and head straight into that pharmacy store to collect mifepristone—remains to be seen.
States banning the dispensing of mifepristone
Given the overturning of Roe v. Wade, pharmacies across eighteen states are barred from dispensing mifepristone due to strict regulations on protecting unborn human life or because pregnant women can only collect the lethal drug directly from a physician. Moreover, several states, such as Missouri, could also proceed to ban the dispensing of mifepristone by mail delivery.
Furthermore, pro-life activists are vocalizing the suggestion of legal action against pharmacies that choose to dispense the drug amidst pending lawsuits seeking to ban their use across the United States.
Kristi Hamrick is the vice president of policy for SFLA. “If Walgreens wants to learn anything from more than 50 years of our abortion activism, it’s that we will not give up,” she said. “They should be concerned about the kind of liability they will face.”
Indeed, the updated guidelines by the FDA around mifepristone would require pharmacies to obtain additional certification. To this end, the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) have expressed uncertainty about how many pharmacists will proceed through the further bureaucracy.
Ilisa Bernstein is the interim CEO of APhA. “The safety of pharmacy teams is really important, and that’s something they’re going to take into consideration when they decide whether or not to become certified,” she said. “In some communities, that may be more of a concern than others, but it is a concern.”
Ronna Hauser, the senior vice president of policy and pharmacy affairs for NCPA, expressed that individuals concerned with manufacturing, regulating and distributing mifepristone are attempting to “avoid a single database” containing patient and physician data.
It remains to be seen, albeit highly suspect, whether the amount needed to begin a medication abortion, around $75 for the average retail price of one mifepristone tablet, will deter women desperate to end a growing life from within themselves.
The battle to cherish unborn human life is, ultimately, a moral and spiritual battle. Many women may believe they are removing “a clump of cells.” And others may secretly know or even admit they are taking the life of their growing child.
As the late Andrew Breitbart stated, “politics is downstream of culture.”
Change the culture. Change the politics. Change the policies.
In fact, imagine a culture where the very act of “abortion” becomes almost redundant because women and their significant other are choosing to have and raise children within the bonds of a committed marital relationship.
Now that’s a totally radical idea, right?