HHS hides information about abortion pills and lawsuits

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services building is pictured August 16, 2006 in Washington, DC The HHS Building, also known as the Hubert H. Humphrey Building, is located at the base of Capitol Hill and bears the name of Humphrey, who served as a U.S. Senator from Minnesota and Vice President of the United States. |

A leading nonprofit has filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration, warning that the executive branch is suppressing information about abortion pills as safety concerns about this method of pregnancy termination persist.

In an October 26 statement, Judicial Watch said it had filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for its failure to produce documents requested in Freedom of Information Act requests regarding chemical abortions filed by the government monitoring agency.

During a medical abortion, women receive two drugs: mifeprex (mifepristone) and misoprostol. Mifepristone works by blocking the effects of progesterone, a natural pregnancy hormone. Misoprostol causes contractions and miscarriage. In the United States, these drugs are commonly referred to as the abortion pill.

“Our experience is that this chemical abortion pill has not and will not receive proper scrutiny from politicized actors. [Department of Justice]said Judicial Chairman Tom Fitton. “It is outrageous that Judicial Watch had to sue in federal court for basic information about the safety of the abortion pill, which is being forced on women by a desperate pro-abortion movement.”

The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on October 17, related to information Judicial Watch was seeking in its FOIA requests. A Feb. 24 FOIA request asked the Food and Drug Administration, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, to provide “all emails and written correspondence, both internal and with manufacturers.” of Mifeprex and Mifepristone regarding the review and acceptance of these drugs ‘ drug stability and dissolution test results.

Additionally, the FOIA request requested “reports of all FDA inspections of DANCO and GenBio’s manufacturing facilities, and an assessment of compliance with applicable laws and regulations,” referring to the two manufacturing facilities that produce the abortion pill. The period of documents requested by Judicial Watch covers January 24, 1995 to the present day.

A second application was for “Investigational New Drug Applications and Related Materials for the drug Mifeprex and its generic equivalent, Mifepristone” as well as “New Drug Applications … from January 24, 1990 to the present. The third application asked the FDA to provide additional test results measuring the stability of the abortion pill from January 24, 1995 to the present day.

After noting that the “FDA acknowledged receipt of each request on March 1, 2022 and referenced the 10-day extension to respond,” the complaint claimed that the government agency failed to respond to the request in a timely manner. timely. The lawsuit seeks a court order requiring HHS to provide Judicial Watch with the requested documents and pay attorney fees related to the litigation.

Pro-life groups have raised questions about the safety of the abortion pill, with Live Action releasing a report in 2020 titled “Abortion Pill Exposed” which documents some of the complications women routinely experience after undergoing chemical abortions. These complications include “severe cramping, twitching and heavy bleeding” which can last “9 to 16 days on average”, with 8% having bleeding for more than 30 days.

The report notes that between its initial FDA approval in 2000 and 2018, the abortion pill caused “24 maternal deaths” as well as more than 1,000 hospitalizations and more than 4,000 “total adverse events.” In 2020, nearly two dozen pro-life leaders sent a letter to the FDA commissioner urging the agency to ban the abortion pill, citing statistics revealing that it comes with a “four times higher risk of complications than first-trimester surgical abortion.”

The effort to remove the abortion pill from the market has not been successful and is unlikely to be so under the Biden administration. Chemical abortions have garnered renewed attention during the coronavirus pandemic as abortion advocacy groups have identified the pandemic and resulting lockdowns as a reason to put assessment and mitigation strategies on hold. (REMS) in place for the abortion pill.

As pro-life leaders explained in their letter to then-FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, REMS requires that abortion pills “be prescribed and dispensed in a health care facility, hospital, or clinic.” . REMS also requires abortion providers to inform women of side effects and have the ability to diagnose an ectopic pregnancy.

A federal judge ordered REMS suspended in the summer of 2020, only for the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate them in early 2021. Dropping REMS allows women to receive abortion pills in the mail, which leads to security concerns among pro-life groups. .

Discussion about expanding access to abortion pills has resurfaced following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide. Judicial Watch’s statement announcing the lawsuit includes a link to a story outlining the Biden administration’s intention to block states from banning abortion pills following the Supreme Court’s decision, which it opposes. is vigorously opposed.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be contacted at: [email protected]

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