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Raúl Labrador wants FDA to reverse decision on abortion pills

He and 21 other attorneys general are asking for a reversal on the FDA's decision to allow remote prescribing of the medications.

IDAHO, USA — Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador, along with chief legal officers from 21 other states, penned a letter to the head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the decision to make abortion pills more accessible.

"The Food and Drug Administration’s decision to abandon common sense restrictions on remotely prescribing and administering abortion-inducing drugs is both illegal and dangerous," states the letter. "In direct contravention of longstanding FDA practice and congressional mandate, the FDA’s rollback of important safety restrictions ignores both women’s health and straightforward federal statutes. We urge you to reverse your decision."

The letter furthered that people and their elective officials have the authority to regulate abortion and, "in our states, we prioritize the health and safety of women and children and our laws reflect this."

The state officials that signed the letter include attorneys from, Alabama, Arkansas, Alaska Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

The letter responds to the FDA's Jan. 3 decision to make abortion pills, specifically the drug Mifeprex and generic Mifepristone tablets, more widely available at pharmacies and mail-order companies. 

"In 2021, after conducting a review of the Mifepristone REMS (risk evaluation and mitigation strategy) Program, the FDA determined that the available data and information support modification of the REMS to reduce burden on the health care delivery system and to ensure the benefits of the product outweigh the risks," states the decision.

Labrador and his cohorts claim in the letter that, "the drug is risky," and that many states have recognized the drugs as dangerous. 

According to the FDA, taking the drug has been deemed safe, "to end an intrauterine pregnancy through ten weeks gestation (70 days or less since the first day of a patient’s last menstrual period)". Additionally, after the decision was made regarding the availability of the pills, it also outlined several modifications to the REMS Program in order to maintain safety when taking or prescribing the drug.

In a Tweet, Labrador states:

"On Friday I sent a letter condemning the FDA for reversing decades of precedent & allowing abortion inducing drugs to be distributed remotely. This brazen federal power grab endangers women’s health and violates federal and state laws. In Idaho, we protect women and the unborn."

The letter written to the FDA ends with a claim that the administration has abdicated its responsibility in protecting women and fetuses and that it is of "paramount concern."

Idaho has a near-total ban on abortion and in this 2023 legislative session, more bills have been drafted by Republicans to make provisions to the law. One bill was aimed at removing exemptions like rape and incest and another would keep any public funds from being used for any type of abortion health care.

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