Republican Senator Ted Cruz has faced backlash for co-authoring a letter to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) demanding a ban on the abortion pill.
In the letter, Cruz and 20 Senators of the Republic asked the FDA to “classify the abortion pill as an” imminent danger to public health “which constitutes a” significant threat of danger “and to withdraw this pill from the American market” .
The document stated that “pregnancy is not a fatal disease, and the abortion pill does not cure or prevent any disease.”
However, according to the latest figures from the World Health Organization, every day in 2017, around 810 women died from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. In the United States, the maternal mortality rate in 2018 was 17.4 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, rising to 37.1 live births for black women, according to the CDC.
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Democrat Shannon Freshour who shows up to Congress in November, shared a tweet from Cruz repeating the claim that pregnancy is not life threatening, and said: “This is a dangerous and misogynistic lie.
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“Pregnancy can, and often is, a life-threatening or even fatal medical condition, particularly in black mothers and women of color.”
Elyse Hogue, the president of the lobbying and defense organization for reproductive rights NARAL Pro-choice America tweeted: “Medical abortion is incredibly safe. Ted Cruz knows it. Fear and lies are all they have to push their unpopular agenda. And the politicians who put ideology above science to shape public policies are precisely those that have given us a disastrous response to COVID. It has to stop now. “
News week has contacted Ted Cruz’s press office for comment.
What is commonly referred to as the abortion pill involves taking medication to end an pregnancy: mifepristone and misoprostol. Mifepristone is taken first to block the production of progesterone to prevent a fetus from developing, followed by misoprostol which causes cramping and bleeding to empty the uterus, much like a heavy period or miscarriage.
The letter comes as some states have effectively banned abortions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, deeming them non-essential. In May, the ACLU sued the FDA to require patients to come in person to collect Abortion pill. This was followed by a federal court in Maryland the FDA’s decision must ease the restrictions.
According to Guttmacher Institute, medical abortion was the first approved by the FDA in 2000, and accounted for 39% of all abortions in the United States in 2017.
Talk to News week Last year, as US state legislatures debated bills restricting access to abortion, Dr. Meera Shah, a member of Physicians for Reproductive Health, said “Abortion care is incredibly safe and it is, in fact, one of the safest medical procedures we can perform.”
A consensus study report on abortion in the United States published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine published in 2018, concluded: “The clinical evidence clearly shows that legal abortions in the United States, that whether by medication, aspiration, D&E, or induction — are safe and effective. “