Jonathan Lange: FDA Unlawfully Approved Chemical Abortion Drugs, Eviscerated Crucial Safeguards

Columnist Jonathan Lange writes, "A new report reveals that more than a million babies were aborted by the 'formal healthcare system in 2023.' Of those, 63 percent, 642,700 lives, were taken by so-called 'chemical abortions.'"

Jonathan Lange

May 24, 20245 min read

Jonathan lange
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

A new report from the Guttmacher Institute reveals that more than a million babies were aborted by the “formal healthcare system in 2023.”

Of those, 63 percent, 642,700 lives, were taken by so-called “chemical abortions.” The report is careful to note that these numbers do not include “self-managed medication abortions.”

Nobody knows how many additional abortions are happening and how many women are being harmed by “self-managed medication abortions.”

The unsupervised trafficking in abortion drugs is spiking even while it is being made harder to quantify. By the inappropriate loosening of regulations, women are being deprived of their right to informed consent.

A “medication abortion” is a one-two punch to a woman’s reproductive system. The first drug, mifepristone, deceives her body’s progesterone receptors and starves the growing baby of life-giving nutrients.

Twenty-four to 48-hours later, a second drug, misoprostol, artificially induces menstruation and expels the baby—requiring the mother to manage her own care at home without the help of medical personnel.

The experience is far more traumatic than advertised—even when it is “successful.”

A woman’s body is not a baby-making machine that lab technicians can turn on and off by flipping a switch. What’s marketed as a simple two-step process is fraught with complications.

Ectopic pregnancy, misdiagnosed gestational age, and incomplete expulsion of the dead baby are just a few of the hidden hazards that make chemical abortions more dangerous than surgical abortions.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has known that chemical abortions have an unacceptably higher rate of complications since their first clinical trial in 1981. Eleven women were given the drug, and two procedures failed, resulting in one hospitalization. The FDA refused to approve the abortion drug for nearly two decades.

Then, under pressure from the Clinton administration, the FDA did an end-run around the law. Unable to approve the drug under normal rules, it used an emergency clause, Subpart H, titled “Accelerated Approval of New Drugs for Life-Threatening Illnesses” (21 CFR § 314.500).

To do this, it had to claim that the most natural experience of women for millennia—pregnancy—was a “serious or life-threatening illness.”

But, even under Subpart H, the FDA was legally obligated to use “adequate and well-controlled clinical trials” to prove that the drugs “provide meaningful therapeutic benefit over existing treatments.”

This it could not do. To this day there is no proof that chemical abortions are safer than surgical abortions.

All of this abuse of FDA authority was documented in a 2006 Congressional hearing and report titled, “The FDA and RU-486: Lowering the Standard for Women’s Health.” Now, the situation has gone from bad to worse.

In 2016, the FDA quietly changed its reporting requirements to hide from the public any adverse effects that women experienced from the abortion drugs short of death.

Five years later, the same FDA cited this self-induced ignorance to remove even the most rudimentary safeguards that had required a physician’s prescription and follow-up appointments.

While the FDA shuts its eyes to harms experienced by American women, ethical health agencies in other countries are documenting the alarming facts.

One international study of 18,000 women found that nearly eight percent of first trimester chemical abortions and 38 percent in the second trimester failed and required hospitalization (Charlotte Lozier Institute amicus, p. 7). None of these patient harms would even have been reported had they occurred in America.

Now, after “decades of engaging the FDA to no avail,” the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine (AHM), is asking the federal courts “to do what the FDA was and is legally required to do: protect women and girls by holding unlawful, setting aside, and vacating the FDA’s actions to approve chemical abortion drugs and eviscerate crucial safeguards for those who undergo this dangerous drug regimen.”

Senators John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis and Representative Harriet Hageman joined 147 federal legislators agreeing with the AHM.

Their amicus brief details how the FDA has violated its 1938 charter, the FFDCA, that ensures new drugs are safe and effective. Further, it shows that the FDA violated the Pediatric Research Equality Act by failing to test the effect of abortion drugs on minors. Finally, it shows that the FDA violated an explicit law that prohibits the use of the postal service to traffic abortion drugs.

In 2023, Wyoming’s own legislature overwhelmingly passed SF 109 Prohibiting chemical abortions precisely because of the FDA’s outrageous neglect of women’s health.

The people of Wyoming—and those defending our laws—should know that these drugs have never been lawfully approved.

Jonathan Lange is a Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod pastor in Evanston and Kemmerer and serves the Wyoming Pastors Network. Follow his blog at Email:

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Jonathan Lange