Mike Pence: SCOTUS Should Overturn FDA Approval of ‘Dangerous’ Abortion Drug


OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.

Former Vice President Mike Pence is calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of an abortion drug.

The Supreme Court is hearing arguments on Tuesday on whether to limit access to the commonly used abortion drug mifepristone, even in states where it is still legal. Following the overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022, this is the first time the court has addressed the abortion issue.

The drug’s manufacturer and the Biden administration are requesting that the Supreme Court overturn a lower appeals court’s ruling to halt modifications made to the drug in 2016 and 2021 that increased its accessibility.

Mifepristone is not subject to these limitations while the Supreme Court considers the case; it is still widely accessible as of right now, CNN noted.


In an op-ed for the Washington Examiner, Pence argued that the FDA “was established to protect public health by ensuring the safety of medicine. Tragically, when the FDA illegally approved the dangerous abortion drug mifepristone, it abdicated this duty in the name of promoting abortion.”

“This week, the Supreme Court will have the opportunity to right that historic wrong. In 2000, the FDA illegally approved mifepristone under rules that allow the agency to approve drugs that provide meaningful therapeutic benefits over existing treatments for serious and life-threatening illnesses, such as AIDS. Pregnancy, of course, is not an illness, and abortion is not a treatment. The FDA claimed otherwise, abusing its own regulation and illegally approving the abortion drug with tragic effects,” he added.

Pence continued: “Chemical abortions are more dangerous to women than surgical abortions, as the FDA has known since it approved mifepristone. The rates of death from abortion pills are four times higher than that of surgical abortions. As of December 2022, 32 deaths have been reported as a direct result of mifepristone. Studies have shown that 10% of women who use mifepristone require follow-up medical treatment for a failed or incomplete abortion and 20% will experience adverse effects such as hemorrhaging or infections.”

As noted by CNN, the case has taken many turns over the years:

In 2016:

The FDA allowed for mifepristone to be taken later in pregnancy, extending the termination of a pregnancy from seven weeks to up to 10 weeks.

In 2021:

The agency lifted a requirement that said people had to pick up the medication in person. This is what the FDA called the “in-person dispensing requirement” which required clinicians to give the drug directly to the patient in the office or clinic.

This meant patients were able to receive mifepristone through the mail.
This also meant people could be prescribed the drug in a virtual appointment, including in states where abortion and telehealth aren’t banned.

“An abortion using medication, rather than a procedure, is the most common option in the United States.  Nearly two-thirds of all abortions in the US in 2023 — an estimated 642,700 — were medication abortions, according to a March report from Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy organization focused on sexual and reproductive health that supports abortion rights,” CNN reported.

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“This option has become steadily more common over the past two decades, rising from less than 10% of all abortions in the US in 2001 to 53% in 2020 and 63% in 2023. From its FDA approval in 2000 to 2016, the last year for which data was available, more than 2.75 million women in the US used mifepristone for an abortion, according to Danco Laboratories, a company that distributes the drug,” the outlet noted.

CNN added in its report: “The pills can be obtained in person from a provider or through telehealth in states where the practice is not banned.”



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