Experts from the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), the education and research arm of Susan B. Anthony List criticized a recent study, first published in Contraception Journal, purporting to demonstrate the safety of mail-order abortion pills manufactured overseas. They also criticized coverage the study received from Rewire, a prominent abortion advocacy news site.

CLI President Chuck Donovan and CLI Associate Scholar Donna Harrison, M.D. in a study entitled “Rewire’s Reckless Push for Mail-Order Mifeprex” cite several troubling aspects to the report and the coverage provided by Rewire.

  • None of the sites delivering RU-486 required a prescription to place the order.
  • None of the mailed packages contained any patient information or instructions.
  • Nine of the shipped drug packages were damaged in shipment, including eight that had pinprick holes in the foil on the blister pack.
  • Products arrived up to three weeks after placing the order and sending payment.
  • The content of the misoprostol pills tested ranged from only 17 percent of the labeled dosage to a little over 100 percent, with five of the 20 pills (25 percent) containing under half of the recommended dose.
  • Testing was limited to a single pill from the mifepristone portion of the order and a single pill from the misoprostol portion, which were not tested for contaminants or fillers.
  • The study makes no reference to lot number or other coding information that would indicate precisely when and where the pills were manufactured. Many of the products did not match the image shown on the website advertising them.
  • Nothing about the online ordering process would prevent sale and shipment to a third party – including bulk orders.

“Despite the years of rhetoric that Mifeprex abortions entail nothing more than popping a pill and ‘Poof! It’s over,’ the lived reality of women’s hemorrhaging, pain and complications testifies differently.  In the latest version of the ‘Poof! It’s over’ rhetoric, a study looked at the availability of Mifeprex via online order, and found that drug dosages were wrong, blister packages were perforated, and no instructions were included,” Harrison, who is also the executive director of American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said. “Worse, there is no way to know if these drugs are being ordered and used by pimps and abusers.  And the conclusion of the article? The same recklessly irresponsible mantra echoed mindlessly over and over by pro-abortion advocates: “safe and effective.”  It is time for the Food and Drug Administration to fulfill its statutory responsibility toward American women and eliminate these websites selling abortion drugs online.”

“This latest study purporting to show the feasibility of ordering and using Mifeprex online actually demonstrates the opposite. Issues of informed consent, product safety and reliability, accountability – just basic concern for women who might use or unwittingly be subjected to these pills – are overlooked.  Rewire’s reckless claim of safety is unsupported. Women deserve better, and the Food and Drug Administration must pay closer attention to practices like this that show such disregard for science and health,” Donovan added.

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