WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the loosening of safety requirements to allow retail pharmacies, through a simple certification process, to distribute the chemical abortion drug, mifepristone (previously commonly known as RU-486), by prescription. Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued the following statement in response:
“The Catholic Church is consistent in its teaching on upholding the dignity of all life, and that must include care for both women and their children. We decry the continuing push for the destruction of innocent human lives and the loosening of vital safety standards for vulnerable women. This week’s action by the FDA not only advances the obvious tragedy of taking the lives of the preborn, but is also harmful to women in need.
“The rate of serious complications after chemical abortion is considerably higher than after surgical abortion. Overturning the safety protocols around abortion-causing drugs to effectively make them available on demand at pharmacies, requiring no in-person medical supervision, facilitates the isolation of critically vulnerable pregnant women, and invites more risk, pain, and trauma. It may also result in new violations of conscience for pharmacy workers who cannot dispense such drugs. The FDA should protect the life and health of both mothers and children, not loosen safety standards under industry or political pressures. We call on the Administration to correct its policy priorities and stand with mothers in need. They deserve better.”
Read this and other statements from the USCCB here.