Washington State AG: Abortion Pill Is ‘Safer than Tylenol’
Last week, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D) claimed in a lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration that the abortion pill is safer than Tylenol. The contention has sparked outcry from experts, who point to data showing the severe health risks associated with the abortion pill regimen.
The lawsuit, which is being joined by 11 other Democrat attorneys general, is challenging the existing regulations on the abortion pill, which the suit characterizes as “excessively burdensome.”
Mary Szoch, director of the Center for Human Dignity at Family Research Council, sharply disagreed with the characterization, emphasizing the known health risks associated with chemical abortion.
“Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s comments show an ignorance of how chemical abortion drugs work and of their impact on women,” she told The Washington Stand.
Szoch underscored the language in the medication guide for Mifeprex, the drug that blocks progesterone from reaching the unborn baby and effectively starves it, which states, “Cramping and vaginal bleeding are expected with this treatment. Usually, these symptoms mean that the treatment is working. ... Bleeding or spotting can be expected for an average of 9 to 16 days and may last for up to 30 days. ... You may see blood clots and tissue. This is an expected part of passing the pregnancy.”
In a move that appeared to support the position held in the Democrat AGs’ lawsuit, the Biden administration issued a new rule in January allowing most pharmacies to dispense the abortion pill regimen, which Szoch noted puts the medical burden on the woman taking the pill.
“Under the new FDA rules, when a woman takes chemical abortion drugs, she’s the one determining if what she is experiencing is normal or life-threatening — if the bleeding is too much or if the abortion is complete,” she explained to TWS. “If she’s wrong, her life could be in danger. That’s not the equivalent of taking Tylenol for a headache.”
Multiple studies have also uncovered harms to women as a result of chemical abortion.
“A Finnish study of 42,600 women found that the women who had undergone a chemical abortion were nearly four times more likely to suffer severe complications than those who had undergone surgical abortions — 20% compared to 5.6%,” Szoch said. “The two side effects observed to be more prevalent during chemical abortions than surgical abortions were hemorrhage (15.6% compared to 2.1%) and incomplete abortion (6.7% compared to 1.6%).”
In addition, data provided by the FDA reveals at least 4,207 adverse health events related to chemical abortion between 2000 and 2021. These events include 26 maternal deaths, 97 ectopic pregnancies, 603 patients who required blood transfusions, and 1,045 hospitalizations.
A recent study by the Charlotte Lozier Institute “revealed that between 2002 and 2015, abortion-related emergency visits following a chemical abortion increased by over 500%, affecting one in 20 women.”
The harms associated with abortion aren’t limited to physical health. Damaging mental health effects have also been documented. A review of 22 studies published in The British Journal of Psychiatry found that “post-abortive women had higher rates of substance abuse, anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts than non-abortive women.” In addition, “Studies in the rat model demonstrate that the [abortion pill] group had significantly decreased body weight, food intake, and activity and sucrose consumption, which are all animal proxies for depression and anxiety.”
As noted previously by Szoch and Dr. Ingid Skop, chemical abortions also pose a unique challenge for the woman, who is expected to carry out the abortion at her home. “Chemical abortions are uniquely traumatic in that a mother must personally dispose of the remains of her aborted child, who may be visibly recognizable as a baby. At eight to 10 weeks gestation when chemical abortions are often carried out, the baby is approximately the size and shape of a gummy bear with easily recognizable head, hands, feet, fingers, and toes.”
“No one who actually cares about women’s health would say the chemical abortion drug regimen is as safe as Tylenol,” Szoch concluded.
Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.