CV NEWS FEED // The pro-life group Students for Life (SFL) submitted a citizen petition to the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday, requesting that approval of the abortion drug mifepristone be revoked pending further study. SFL contends that the federal agency failed to follow the law and did not adequately evaluate the environmental impact of the drug.
Mifepristone is the most widely used abortion method in the country, making up about half of all abortions, according to the CDC.
SFL’s chief policy strategist, Kristi Hamrick, called the FDA’s approval of the drug in 2000 “reckless.” In the petition, SFL asserts the FDA did not follow the requirements laid out in the Endangered Species Act, which requires the FDA to consult the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service before drugs are approved. Mifepristone’s effects on wastewater in particular were not studied, according to the petition.
Instead, the FDA relied on an assessment by the Population Council that only looked at the environmental effects of waste from mifepristone’s manufacture and packaging, not at wastewater in particular, and undercounted the number of chemical abortions which resulted from the drug’s use.
“For those not concerned about chemical abortion pills for their harms to the preborn and to women, perhaps they’ll be worried about what’s in the water,” said Hamrick.
The FDA has 180 days to respond to the petition, after which SFL could potentially bring a lawsuit against the agency.
In addition to the petition submitted to the FDA, SFL is also working with state attorneys general to leverage state environmental laws to limit the use of the abortion drug.
As reported by CatholicVote, access to the abortion drug has been affected by recent court rulings. Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of the Northern District of Texas suspended the FDA approval of Mifepristone in early April, placing restrictions on access to the drug, only to have some of those restrictions rolled back by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Biden administration appealed the lower court rulings before the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to make a final ruling on the availability of the abortion-inducing drug as soon as this Friday.