March for Life is strongly opposed to the Biden administration’s proposed Title X rules, which appear specifically designed to bring America’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, back into the taxpayer-funded program and keep pro-life organizations out. These rules would mandate abortion referrals in violation of federal law and stand in direct opposition to the wishes of a majority of Americans who do not want their taxpayer dollars subsidizing the abortion industry. Abortion is neither healthcare nor family planning, and the Title X program should not be funding it.”
With this action, the Biden administration has made it clear that it will prioritize abortion over women’s safety. Allowing unsupervised chemical abortions via telemedicine, without requiring timely access to medical care, will put women in grave danger. Data released in 2018 by the FDA shows thousands of adverse events caused by abortion pills, including 768 hospitalizations and 24 deaths since 2000. Chemical abortions should have more medical oversight not less.”
Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life
Fights over abortion are moving to a new frontier as President Joe Biden’s FDA considers allowing abortion pills to be prescribed and sold online. The increasing use of telemedicine due to the coronavirus pandemic has served as the perfect cover for pro-abortion advocates to push for the deregulation of abortion pills. If the Food and Drug Administration changes the current rules, it would be possible for a woman to consult with a doctor in another state or even a foreign country and receive abortion pills in the mail.
The Biden administration should reject this push because there are serious health risks associated with chemical abortion, and removing the current health oversights would harm, not serve, women. President Biden should focus on improving authentic healthcare for women, not changing an FDA rule that protects women.
Research by the Guttmacher Institute (a pro-abortion group started as a branch of Planned Parenthood) shows a rapid rise in medical abortions from approximately 71,000 in 2001 to 340,000 in 2017. If the Biden administration approves the sale of abortion pills online, this number will rise substantially as chemical abortions become easier to obtain.
Those in the abortion industry claim abortion pills are a safe and easy option, but the facts contradict this narrative.
To undergo a chemical abortion a woman has to ingest two separate pills. First, the woman must take mifepristone which blocks progesterone, stopping the baby from obtaining the nutrients it needs to grow, essentially starving the baby to death. After ingesting this pill, the woman takes the second pill, misoprostol which causes uterine contractions expelling the unborn baby. These pills cause a range of side effects, including vaginal and abdominal bleeding, and often nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, headaches and diarrhea.
Unsurprisingly, such a potent cocktail of drugs can jeopardize a woman’s health. Allowing unsupervised procedures without timely access to a doctor and an emergency room would be a grave mistake and flies in the face of what we know about chemical abortions.
A big picture survey on the safety of chemical abortion drugs shows there are serious risks. Data released in 2018 by the FDA shows thousands of adverse events caused by abortion pills, including 768 hospitalizations and 24 deaths since 2000.
These risks will increase if an expansion in telemedicine abortion removes the current oversights that protect women, such as a doctor performing an ultrasound to rule out a deadly ectopic pregnancy (where the baby attaches to the fallopian tubes, not the uterine wall) and determining the gestational age of the baby. These determinations are impossible to make over the course of an online visit, and doctors shouldn’t be encouraged to prescribe drugs without performing an accurate risk assessment.
Current guidelines say abortion pills should be taken only during the first ten weeks of pregnancy and a peer-reviewed study shows that there are negative consequences when women ingest abortion pills after ten weeks. Thirty-percent of women in this study took abortion pills after the recommended date, and out of that group, 62% had incomplete abortions, while 12.5% had to have a surgical evacuation and a blood transfusion.
The obstetricians who conducted this study argue the results show, “Unsupervised medical abortion can lead to increased maternal morbidity and mortality.”
Another study from Finland found that women are four times more likely to experience serious side effects and complications from chemical abortions than from a surgical procedure. Claims by groups like Planned Parenthood that abortion pills are safe disintegrate when the actual data is analyzed. These drugs are extremely powerful, and pretending that an abortion-inducing drug is “safe and highly effective” does a disservice to women.
Dismantling limits on how women can obtain these drugs is a foolish move that would prove the Biden administration is more interested in political considerations than in following the science.
If President Biden is genuinely concerned about women’s health, he should not expand chemical, at-home abortion. Women would suffer the most from this politically motivated change in policy, as they would be given dangerous drugs with unpredictable complications and told they are safe to use at home and without medical supervision.
As we celebrate World Down Syndrome Day, it’s critical that we recognize the equal dignity and worth of our brothers and sisters with Down syndrome. Sadly, here in the United States and in many places throughout the world, the failure to acknowledge this begins before these individuals are even born. It’s beyond time that our laws reflect the truth that a person’s entrance into the world shouldn’t hinge on whether he or she has an extra chromosome.
Yet that is what expectant parents of unborn babies with Down syndrome often hear from doctors who wrongly presume those with the condition are of less value. Parents often feel pressured to abort babies with Down syndrome. Often this pressure comes from doctors, but also from family and friends. None of us, doctors included, should ever assume some people’s lives are any less worthwhile.
The truth is that people with Down syndrome love life, are intensely happy, and their joy is a gift to our world.
Dr. Brian Skotko, a board-certified geneticist and director of the Down-syndrome program at Massachusetts General Hospital, in 2011 published findings that the overwhelming majority of those with Down syndrome are more than satisfied with their life and happy with themselves.
What’s more, respondents overwhelmingly expressed love for their parents and siblings, and want expectant parents processing the news of their preborn infant’s Down syndrome diagnosis to take heart and to think of their growing child in a positive light.
“In our qualitative analysis, people with Down syndrome encouraged parents to love their babies with Down syndrome, mentioning that their own lives were good. They further encouraged healthcare professionals to value [unborn babies with Down syndrome],” reads the report.
Bias in the medical community against people with Down syndrome extends to the greater culture as well. Many countries have utterly failed to appreciate this whole class of people. Iceland, for example, has virtually eliminated its Down syndrome population through selective abortions. Similarly, Denmark has a 98 percent termination rate for babies diagnosed with Down syndrome, and the United Kingdom is right behind at 90 percent. It has been said that you can judge the advancement of a culture or nation by how it treats its most vulnerable. These trends are not just sad; they are repulsive.
The reasons for these astronomically high rates of selective abortion are complicated, but often the decision comes down to concerns about the quality of life of the child and the burden placed on families. Many prominent voices argue for abortion, including columnists and editorial boards in major newspapers and the Oxford biologist Richard Dawkins. Our cultural elites seem to believe those with Down syndrome are destined to live miserable lives burdening those around them.
Women who are pregnant with a little one who has tested positive for Down syndrome in utero (an imperfect test) often feel that they have no other options besides abortion. There is far too little discussion about the joys of raising a child with Down syndrome. Many women never see research such as Dr. Skotko’s or other studies such as one by Vanderbilt Kennedy Center researchers which discovered parents of children with Down syndrome are less likely to get divorced.
Just because someone with Down syndrome is different from society’s expectations doesn’t mean their life is any less valuable. People find meaning in many different ways, and there is no one path to living a meaningful or productive life.
As one living with Down syndrome, Regan Reinertson, a 15-year-old from Bolingbrook, Ill., exemplifies this positive approach to life. She stole the show at the 2019 March for Life and was featured in its theme video. She has done print ads, social-media ads, and commercials working with Mattel (American Girl), Vision Works, Oberweis Ice Cream, All State, and JP Morgan Chase. She has also competed in the Special Olympics, winning a gold medal in rhythmic gymnastics and also competing in equestrian, and participated in a theater group for kids with special needs, playing parts in Beauty and the Beast and Wizard of Oz. Regan loves school, she’s very social, and she is loved by everyone. She loves to swim and go on vacations to the beach. Self-proclaimed medical experts might not see it, but she is a precious gift bringing joy to everyone around her. She is one of the most uplifting people I have ever met, and she shows that Down syndrome doesn’t stand in the way of a happy life. She and many who share her diagnosis have brought joy and meaning to people everywhere, and we must continue guarding those with Down syndrome from extermination.
Some lawmakers in statehouses across the country have introduced legislation that, if enacted, would prohibit discriminatory abortions prompted by a pre-natal Down syndrome diagnosis. That would be a step in the right direction and show the path forward for defending those with Down syndrome. It would be a tragedy for the world to lose any more of these exceptional souls.
The confirmation of Xavier Becerra as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services is alarming given the fact that he has spent his career expanding pro-abortion policies and persecuting pro-life groups and individuals. He has utilized his power as Attorney General of California to punish groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor for their faith as well as the journalists who exposed Planned Parenthood’s trafficking in baby body parts. If his record is any indication, Becerra will weaponize the more than trillion-dollar budget of the Department of Health and Human Services to attack or disadvantage those with whom he disagrees, and advance unpopular pro-abortion policies. Pro-life Americans will be keeping a close eye on Becerra’s agenda and will continue to speak out in defense of women and the unborn.”