(LifeSiteNews) – The attorneys general of 19 states are warning Walmart, Costco, Kroger, and other major retailers with pharmacy departments that, contrary to recent guidance from the Biden administration, dispensing abortion pills by mail remains illegal and carries serious consequences.
“We write to advise you of why the FDA’s invitation is unlawful and risky and to urge you to continue rejecting it,” reads the letter, Fox Business reports. “[Y]ou may not yet be aware that federal law expressly prohibits using the mail to send or receive any drug that will ‘be used or applied for producing abortion.’”
The letter was signed by the top law enforcement executives of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.
Since Roe v. Wade was overturned last summer, allowing states to directly ban abortion and reactivating numerous old abortion laws, the abortion lobby and its Democrat allies have been scrambling to enact a number of strategies to preserve abortion “access” across state lines.
Among those moves was the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) eliminating the requirement that abortion pills only be dispensed in-person to the women taking them, and the Biden Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) declaring that abortion pills may be freely mailed across the country, despite the fact that a provision of a 150-year-old law called the Comstock Act that expressly says the opposite.
“Although many people are unfamiliar with this statute because it has not been amended in a few decades, the text could not be clearer: ‘every article or thing designed, adapted, or intended for producing abortion … shall not be conveyed in the mails,’” the letter continues. “And anyone who ‘knowingly takes any such thing from the mails for the purpose of circulating’ is guilty of a federal crime.”
“We reject the Biden administration’s bizarre interpretation, and we expect courts will as well. Courts do not lightly ignore the plain text of statutes. And the Supreme Court has been openly aversive to other attempts by the Biden administration to press antitextual arguments,” the attorneys general added, noting that a “future U.S. Attorney General will almost certainly reject the Biden administration’s results-oriented, strained reading. And consequences for accepting the Biden administration’s reading could come far sooner.”
A 2020 open letter from a coalition of pro-life groups to then-FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn noted that the FDA’s own adverse reporting system says the “abortion pill has resulted in over 4,000 reported adverse events since 2000, including 24 maternal deaths. Adverse events are notoriously underreported to the FDA, and as of 2016, the FDA only requires abortion pill manufacturers to report maternal deaths.”
Additionally, the new AG letter notes that even the left-wing American College of Obstetrics & Gynecologists (ACOG) has found that chemical abortions are almost six times as likely to result in medical complications as first-trimester aspiration abortions.
Pro-lifers warn that with the Biden administration completely eliminating requirements that abortion pills be taken under any medical supervision or with medical support close by, those events are certain to increase.
“And finally, mail-order abortion pills also invite the horror of an increase in coerced abortions. When abortion drugs are mailed or consumed outside a regulated medical facility, the risk of coercion is much higher — indeed, guaranteed — because there is no oversight,” the AGs further argue. “Outside the regulated medical context, a person can obtain an abortion pill quite easily and then coerce a woman into taking it.”
Yet the White House and the abortion lobby have determined that, with the overturn of Roe restoring states’ ability to decide their own abortion laws, easy distribution of abortion pills will be one of their chief methods of preserving abortion “access.” In November 2022, Operation Rescue reported that a net decrease of 36 abortion facilities in 2022 has led to the lowest number in almost 50 years, but the chemical abortion business has “surged,” with 64 percent of new facilities built last year specializing in dispensing mifepristone and misoprostol.