Abortion pills may be obtained through the mail under a permanent rule issued late last week by the Biden administration, prompting protests from pro-life advocates not only because of the drugs’ lethal effect on unborn children but because of their risk to women.
The Dec. 16 policy revision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration made permanent an April announcement that it would not enforce during the COVID-19 pandemic a requirement that a woman must appear in person to receive mifepristone, the first drug in a two-step process known as medical or chemical abortion. While mifepristone may still be dispensed in qualified health-care facilities, it also may be mailed or delivered to a woman by a certified pharmacy.
The FDA action comes as the Supreme Court weighs the possibility of overturning or weakening the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the U.S.
If Roe were to be overturned, abortion policy would return to the states. Abortion providers reportedly are preparing for a post-Roe era in which women would increasingly be able to obtain medical/chemical abortions rather than surgical ones.
“This is a tragic decision by the FDA,” said Elizabeth Graham, vice president of operations and life initiatives for the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. “We should not be a society that allows a preborn life to be taken simply because the mail arrives. Life is far too precious to be discarded with such lack of dignity.”
“We need to recognize this for what it is: The predatory abortion industry will go to any length to end life,” Graham said. “And with this decision, that industry has just found a new way to whisper the lie to vulnerable mothers in crisis that it can make her ‘problem’ go away. They never mention the significant risk to the mother’s life and the trauma of aborting her baby in her home without medical oversight.
“This is why the Christian pro-life witness is so vital. We must continue advocating for the dignity of each and every preborn life while also caring for vulnerable mothers. Now, the newest front in that battle is the mailbox.”
Medical/chemical abortions as a percentage of all abortions have increased dramatically the last two decades. They rose between 2001 and 2017 from 5% of all abortions to 39% even as the total number of the lethal procedures fell, the Guttmacher Institute reported in 2019.
Reprinted from Baptist Press (www.baptistpress.com), news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.