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Pro-Life Groups Urge Secretary Azar To Decline Abortion Advocates’ Calls To Eliminate FDA Abortion Drug Safety Restrictions

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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Pro-life groups sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Monday saying that abortion advocates are exploiting the coronavirus crisis and urged him to decline advocates’ requests to eliminate abortion drug requirements.

The pro-life Susan B. Anthony List and a coalition of pro-life groups said Planned Parenthood should cease surgical and chemical abortions to free up “much needed medical equipment and decrease the demand placed on ER’s due to complications from both medical and surgical abortion,” according to a letter obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The letter also told Azar that pro-abortion activists “are relentlessly insisting” that abortion drugs be made more accessible and that restrictions placed upon these abortion drugs should be removed.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of the abortion drug mifepristone (also called Mifeprex) up to 10 weeks’ gestation, but some abortion providers still use the abortion drug during the second trimester of a pregnancy.

The FDA also says 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).” (RELATED: Abortion Advocates Call On FDA To Remove Restrictions On Abortion Drugs Over Coronavirus Crisis, Push Abortion Telemedicine)

“Certain restrictions, known as a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS), are necessary for mifepristone when used for medical termination of early pregnancy in order to ensure that the benefits of the drug outweigh its risks,” the FDA Office of Media Affairs told the DCNF on March 19.

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 23:  U.S. President Donald Trump attends the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House on March 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. With the number of deaths caused by the coronavirus rising and foreseeable economic turmoil, the U.S. Congress continues to work on legislation for the nearly $2 trillion dollar aid package to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump attends the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House on March 23, 2020 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The pro-life groups told Azar that the abortion industry is putting women “at risk of incomplete abortion, hemorrhage, and infection” when hospitals are already overloaded from the coronavirus.

“Women undergoing chemical abortions are especially vulnerable, experiencing four times as many adverse events as women undergoing surgical abortions,” the letter added.

It continued: “The abortion industry is compounding one crisis with another,” before listing ways that public officials can “use their broad emergency authority to safeguard against the extreme abortion agenda.”

Ideas suggested by the pro-life groups included “ensuring that emergency response funds are not diverted to the abortion industry” and “urging the abortion industry to cease operations and join other healthcare providers in donating their PPE and other equipment to coronavirus response.”

The groups also suggested that officials make sure telemedicine abortion is not expanded during the coronavirus, that FDA limits on dispensing chemical abortions are upheld, and that government officials “continue actions to stop illegal mail-order sale of chemical abortion.”

The letter, signed by pro-life leaders including Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, and  Penny Young Nance, president of Concerned Women for America LAC, also told Azar that pro-abortion activists “are relentlessly insisting” that abortion drugs be made more accessible and that restrictions placed upon these abortion drugs should be removed.

It added that officials should “promote medically accurate and supportive information for women that counters the inaccurate and exploitative messaging coming from an abortion industry all too happy to use the current pandemic to scare women and families into abortion.”

“Americans are united in a spirit of mutual concern, hope, and solidarity to forge through this crisis and save every threatened human life,” the letter concluded. “We write in full support of these measures and pray for policymakers, our heroic health care personnel, essential service workers, and our fellow Americans as we join to affirm life and keep our nation strong.”

HHS did not yet respond to a request for comment from the DCNF.

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