RU-486: Dangerous for Women & Deadly for the Unborn
Background: Ohio law requires that RU-486 (also called Mifeprex, mifeprifstone, or the abortion pill) be provided in-person by a physician and consistent with the FDA's label - instructions for its use. Ohio law also requires that every physician who provides the abortion pill promptly notify the state medical board of any serious complications experienced by women who take the abortion pill. In March of 2016, the FDA bowed to pressure from the abortion lobby to change the label - effectively lowering the required dose of the drug and extending the term in pregnancy, from seven to ten weeks, when it could be prescribed.
Several months ago, we decided to review the abortion pill complication report data starting in 2012 to see if there was an increase in the reported number of complications. What we found was astonishing - a nearly 400% increase in the reported rate of overall complications. What's more: we observed a dramatic shift in the types of complications reported toward those that pose more serious health risks to women. We also identified disingenuous research reports on the safety outcomes of Ohio women who had medical abortions, questionable consenting of patients whose records were transmitted to third-party researchers or lost by clinics, and we found evidence supporting claims that entire networks of abortion providers are showing systematic disregard for Ohio's abortion reporting requirements, business regulatory framework, and tax laws.
National Impact: We have released a preliminary report that highlights the massive increase in the number of abortion pill complications in Ohio. The report also describes the change in the severity of those complications. In response, we are calling for policy makers to close RU-486 loopholes and urging the FDA to review its decision regarding the RU-486 label.
Statewide Impact: We have contacted numerous statewide elected officials and agencies to share our findings with them, specifically as it relates to the other information we uncovered during our investigation. In our letter to the Ohio Secretary of State, we document dozens of examples of failure to register a business license, cancellations of business registration, failure to report professional association status, failure to pay taxes, and more. In our letter to the Ohio Attorney General, we document examples of abortion clinics failing to file abortion complication reports, mishandling of patient records, potential ethical violations regarding to consent to research, and more. In our letter to the Ohio Medical Board, we document failure to report abortion pill complications by numerous abortion pill providers as well as the continued participation of unlicensed individuals contributing to a medical practice. In each instance, we have asked the policy makers to review our findings, take any enforcement actions possible, and to let us know when they lack statutory authority for enforcement or enforcement referral, so that we can add to our existing policy recommendations.
Local Impact: It is beyond time for Founder's Women's Health Center to close. Either Founder's has substituted complete chaos for any semblance of management, or the management shows the same contempt for the laws of Ohio that it shows for the value of human life. The clinic has cut so many corners and ignored so many laws and regulations for so long that this is a hole from which it can never climb out.
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