12 Apr ESCRH statement on mifepristone in the US
The European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health is appalled by the ruling of a federal judge in Texas to invalidate the FDA approval of mifepristone- a safe drug used for medical abortion and medical management of miscarriage. The reason given for the invalidation of approval is a claim that the drug is not safe for women. This judge thereby shows a blatant ignorance and disregard for research and science. In fact- few drugs have been so extensively researched with safety as an outcome as mifepristone. Mifepristone with misoprostol is a first-line regimen for medical abortion recommended by the WHO and national societies of obstetrician-gynecologists all over the world. The fact that this judge reached a verdict that is so far from the established conclusion of the entire scientific community leads to suspicions of a politically motivated ruling that has nothing to do with the pretended noble concern for the health and safety of women.
Research and science clearly show that access to safe and legal abortion is a health concern for women. It should be a public health priority. Research into the impact of being denied an abortion was conducted in the United States in the Turn Away study. The results clearly show that access to abortion benefits not only women but children and society.
Scientific data and brutal historical political experiments also show that access to safe abortion is associated with lower maternal mortality and morbidity. We now see how maternal mortality in the United States is on the rise. This is not the time for a political gamble. Bold actions are required to lower maternal mortality- instead of actions that we know will lead to a further increase.