Politics

Pete Buttigieg Wants To Eliminate Restrictions On Abortion Drugs. The FDA Says That’s A Bad Idea

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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The Food and Drug Administration warned Monday that eliminating restrictions on abortion drugs, as 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg suggested, could cause “serious complications” for women.

The South Bend mayor suggested ignoring the FDA’s Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) applied to the abortion drug mifepristone in a Nov. 25 survey conducted by The New York Times. REMS is an FDA drug safety program the agency requires “for certain medications with serious safety concerns.”

“Steps we can take in the interim to improve access to abortion include expanding access to abortion via telehealth, eliminating the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) warning that ignores decades of evidence indicating that these medications are safe, and expanding the types of medical professionals able to prescribe them,” Buttigieg told The NYT.

He also said he would make mifepristone and misoprostol, another abortion drug, available over the counter. (RELATED: No Major Democratic Candidate Surveyed Would Consider An Anti-Abortion Running Mate)

WATERLOO, IOWA - DECEMBER 06: Democratic presidential candidate South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg answers questions at the U.S. Conference of Mayors Iowa Starting Line forum December 6, 2019 in Waterloo, Iowa. Buttigieg is currently under pressure to release details of his work for the consulting firm McKinsey & Company. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Democratic presidential candidate South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg answers questions at the U.S. Conference of Mayors Iowa Starting Line forum December 6, 2019 in Waterloo, Iowa. Buttigieg is currently under pressure to release details of his work for the consulting firm McKinsey & Company. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

But the FDA told the Daily Caller News Foundation on Monday that REMS is put in place to “mitigate the risk of serious complications associated with mifepristone for medical termination of early pregnancy.”

The REMS program mitigates these risks by “requiring healthcare providers who prescribe mifepristone to be certified in the Mifepristone REMS Program; ensuring that mifepristone for medical termination of early pregnancy is only dispensed in certain healthcare settings by or under the supervision of a certified prescriber; and informing patients about the risk of serious complications associated with mifepristone,” the FDA Office of Media Affairs told the DCNF.

The FDA Office of Media Affairs added that the REMS applied to mifepristone reflect the FDA’s conclusion “that certain distribution restrictions are necessary to ensure the safe use of the drug.”

Buttigieg’s campaign did not respond to multiple requests for comment from the DCNF.

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