In the wake of the June 24 Roe v. Wade reversal, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra has announced plans to make abortion pills more readily available to women. The move is in keeping with President Biden’s comments following the high court decision.
Becerra called the action “a national imperative” and said it is in the public interest. He made the announcement during a press conference in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.
He also pledged that his office and federal agencies will work together to guarantee that states cannot ban abortion pills.
In his June 24 comments, Biden said the pills could be used to “safely end early pregnancies.” But the Charlotte Lozier Institute, a pro-life research organization, quickly disputed Biden’s claims.
“The rate of abortion pill-related emergency room visits increased over 500% from 2002 through 2015,” the institute said in a statement.
“The safety of the abortion pill is greatly exaggerated, helped along by the FDA’s 2016 decision to only require reports of abortion pill-related deaths, which skews their data,” said Charlotte Lozier Institute’s Dr. Jim Studnicki, VP and director of data analytics. “Hemorrhage? Need for follow-up surgery? Infection? Near-death experience? No need to tell the FDA, which then allows President Biden to claim the pills are safe.”
Under the plan, the administration will inform health care providers about the drugs misoprostol and mifepristone, the latter being the one mentioned by President Joe Biden when he addressed the nation after the Roe ruling was announced. Taken just days apart, the two drugs cause the death of a fertilized human embryo.
While Becerra did not say that every medical provider must distribute the abortion pills, he explained that his office will remind federal health care programs to provide abortion pills to women in specific instances.
“Federal law requires our programs to provide medication abortion in limited circumstances, including life of the mother, rape, or incest,” he explained.
Becerra called the Supreme Court’s ruling “despicable” but “also predictable,” and said HHS will “leave no stone unturned” to support women seeking abortion.
Photo: Ron Sachs/CNP/Newscom