UPDATE: This piece has been updated to include a statement from Alliance Defending Freedom.
- MayDay Health sponsored mobile billboards to drive around populated areas in 14 states to show students where they could gain access to abortion pills.
- The billboards were advertised in states that have heavier restrictions on abortion and precedes a federal court ruling that could demand the Food and Drug Administration withdraw its abortion pill approval.
- “This campaign is incredibly dangerous as it encourages the use of Chemical Abortion Pills which kill a preborn child and leave women at risk of injury, infertility, domestic abuse, and death — and the campaign isn’t even promoting the FDA-approved use of these deathly drugs as they extend the gestational limit further than considered safe by the [Health & Human Services] agency,” Caroline Wharton, Students for Life of America (SFLA) press strategist and staff writer, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The push to promote abortion pills to college students continued earlier this month after a nonprofit group circulated several mobile billboards with information on how to access medical abortion on campuses in 14 states, according to a press release.
MayDay Health, an educational nonprofit intent on spreading information about the abortion pill, launched a campaign on March 1 to drive billboards through populated cities advertising where to access abortion pills in states that implemented abortion restrictions, according to the press release sent to the Daily Caller News Foundation by a representative for MayDay. The billboards, which circulated March 1 through March 5, visited several college campuses, according to MPB. (RELATED: ‘Guarding Young College Women’: Republican Bill Would Defund Universities That Offer Chemical Abortions)
The billboard advertised MayDay’s website, which informs people how to access abortion pills by mail and assures that they “are a safe option to end pregnancy in the first 12 weeks.” The campaign touched cities in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, Georgia, Arkansas, West Virginia, Kentucky, Idaho, Missouri, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and South Dakota. It touted messages including “Pregnant? You Still Have a Choice,” and “Abortion Pills Delivered to Your Door: Learn More at Mayday.Health” in English and Spanish, according to the press release.
The campaign was promoted by taxpayer funded National Public Radio (NPR) in a March 4 tweet highlighting the MPB article.
Mobile billboards are visiting college campuses in 14 states with abortion bans carrying a reminder that abortion pills are still accessible all across the country. More from @MPBOnline: https://t.co/PEGSoVxzij
— NPR (@NPR) March 4, 2023
The billboards linked viewers to the MayDay website, which equips visitors with a three-step plan on how to access abortion medication within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy without consulting a clinic. The website reads that the pill begins the same process as a natural miscarriage and is 97% effective, but Caroline Wharton, Students for Life of America (SFLA) press strategist and staff writer, told the DCNF that the pills can be dangerous for women.
“This campaign is incredibly dangerous as it encourages the use of chemical abortion pills which kill a preborn child and leave women at risk of injury, infertility, domestic abuse, and death — and the campaign isn’t even promoting the FDA-approved use of these deathly drugs as they extend the gestational limit further than considered safe by the [Health & Human Services] agency,” she said.
There have been 28 reported deaths associated with taking mifepristone, a drug used in the abortion pill, since it was approved in 2000, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported. Its medication guide warns that “potentially life-threatening bleeding, infections, or other problems can occur following a miscarriage, surgical abortion, medical abortion, or childbirth.”
It is “very interesting that these trucks are being rolled out in time for Women’s History Month because the early suffragists in our country who fought for women’s civic equality were pro-life,” Wharton said.
The campaign precedes an upcoming decision by a federal judge in Amarillo, Texas, which could place a temporary hold on abortion pill access, the press release reads. The lawsuit, filed by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) in November 2022, asks the court to demand the FDA overturn its approval of the abortion pill, CBS News reported.
“As the public awaits a ruling from a judge in Texas who is clearly trying to score political points, millions of pregnant people are left confused and lacking access to this essential medicine,” Dr. Jennifer Lincoln, executive director and president, said in the press release. “In many states, abortion clinics are extremely difficult to find, or have disappeared altogether. It’s our responsibility as healthcare leaders and educators to inform all Americans that abortion pills are still accessible, no matter where you live.”
The campaign is only one of several attempts to make abortion pills easily accessible — especially on college campuses.
Barnard College, located in New York, announced during the fall 2022 semester it would stock abortion pills on campus by the fall 2023 semester. Students and lawmakers rallied in December 2022 to support legislation that would require City University of New York and State University of New York to implement a similar policy.
All health centers in the University of California and California State University systems were required to provide abortion pills as of Jan. 1 to comply with state law. A similar law was enacted in Massachusetts in 2022.
“The abortion industry aggressively targets young women, with roughly 40% of abortions obtained by college-age women. These young women are having dangerous self-induced chemical abortions at home, at school, or in a shared college dorm bathroom,” Denise Harle, senior counsel and director of the Center for Life with ADF, told the DCNF. “Chemical abortion by mail means that there is no ultrasound confirming how developed the baby actually is; a miscalculation in determining the date of a pregnancy or whether an ectopic pregnancy exists can be deadly for the woman, especially if she never sees a medical professional in person. Yet the abortion industry wants to spread these dangers far and wide, so that pregnant women who have never seen a doctor are mailed the drugs, turning their own homes into abortion facilities. Big abortion business and anyone else facilitating these practices are placing profits over people, causing immense harm to women and girls.”
SFLA launched a spring campus tour to educate students about “misinformation” spreading about the abortion pill, Wharton told the DCNF.
“We’ve seen a lot of excitement on campus over this tour,” she said. “It’s making a lot of abortion supporters angry, but it is also changing a lot of hearts and minds on the reality of abortion.”
ADF did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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