Here Are The Democratic Candidates Who Support Over-The-Counter Abortion Drugs

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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Seven Democratic 2020 presidential candidates want to make the abortion drugs misoprostol and mifepristone available over the counter.

The New York Times surveyed Democratic presidential candidates on whether they would “make misoprostol and mifepristone available over the counter.” Of the 16 candidates included in the survey, seven said they would make the abortion drugs available over the counter for use.

2020 candidates Michael Bennet, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren, Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang each responded “yes,” while former Vice President Joe Biden did not answer the question and 2020 candidates Kamala Harris’s, Bernie Sanders’s, Julian Castro’s and Tulsi Gabbard’s stance on the question is “unclear,” according to the Times. The publication conducted the survey before 2020 Democrats Michael Bloomberg and Deval Patrick entered the race.

Misoprostol and mifepristone are two medicines used in an “abortion pill” to “end a pregnancy,” according to Planned Parenthood’s page on “The Abortion Pill.” (RELATED: Here Are Democratic Candidates Who Want To Ban Abstinence-Only Sex Ed As President)

“Mifepristone blocks your body’s own progesterone, stopping the pregnancy from growing,” Planned Parenthood says. “Then you take the second medicine, misoprostol, either right away or up to 48 hours later. This medicine causes cramping and bleeding to empty your uterus. It’s kind of like having a really heavy, crampy period, and the process is very similar to an early miscarriage.”

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - FEBRUARY 17: The abortion drug Mifepristone, also known as RU486, is pictured in an abortion clinic February 17, 2006 in Auckland, New Zealand. The drug, which has been available in New Zealand for four years and is used in many countries around the world, is expected to be available to Australian women within a year after parliament yesterday approved a bill which transfers regulatory control of the drug to the Therapeutic Goods Administration, a government body of scientists and doctors that regulates all other drugs in Australia. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

The abortion drug mifepristone, also known as RU486, is pictured in an abortion clinic Feb. 17, 2006 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Planned Parenthood notes that the abortion pill is “very effective,” adding that the abortion pill works about 94-98 out of 100 times for mothers who are 8 weeks pregnant or less, 94-96 out of 100 times for mothers who are 8-9 weeks pregnant, and 91-93 out of 100 times for mothers who are 9-10 weeks pregnant. The pill’s effectiveness weakens depending on how far the mother is into her pregnancy.

Bennet added in the survey that he supports making the abortion drugs available over the counter with “an optional pharmacist consultation,” while Buttigieg suggests ignoring the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) applied to mifepristone. REMS is a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) drug safety program that the FDA requires “for certain medications with serious safety concerns.”

Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion advocates have called for the removal of REMS from mifepristone, but the FDA warns that buyers “should not buy Mifeprex over the Internet because you will bypass important safeguards designed to protect your health (and the health of others).”

As of Dec. 31, 2018, there have been 24 deaths of women who were associated with the abortion drug since it was first approved in September 2000, according to the FDA.

The FDA notes that while it has received reports of serious adverse events in cases where women took abortion-inducing drugs, “adverse events cannot with certainty be causally attributed to mifepristone because of concurrent use of other drugs, other medical or surgical treatments, co-existing medical conditions, and information gaps about patient health status and clinical management of the patient.”

Susan B. Anthony List Vice President of Communications Mallory Quigley said candidates’ stances on abortion drugs should come as “no surprise.”

“It is no surprise that leading Democratic candidates for president back unfettered expansion of dangerous abortion drugs into the hands of vulnerable women and girls,” Quigley told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“Across the board, they are extremists who support abortion on demand through birth, paid for by taxpayers, and even infanticide,” Quigley added. “Their radical agenda is out of step with the American people and will be a political liability in 2020.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include language clarifying that the FDA could not with certainty attribute the causality of adverse events to mifepristone.

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