Around the time when Roe v. Wade was overturned in June 2022, abortion proponents called for women to stockpile abortion pills in their medicine cabinets whether they were pregnant or not… simply to have “on hand” should they find themselves unexpectedly pregnant. Yet, under current U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) safety rules known as REMS, prescribers of the abortion pill (mifepristone/Mifeprex) must have the ability to accurately determine the gestational age of a preborn child. Prescribing the drug to abortion clients “just in case” they become pregnant appears to violate this approved FDA safety protocol.
Despite this, prescribers seem to be openly dispensing or promoting use of the abortion pill without even verifying a pregnancy or properly determining the gestational age of the preborn child — and they seem to be getting away with this flagrant disregard for FDA regulations. This becomes less surprising when we learn that those tasked with monitoring prescribers’ adherence to the REMS system are companies who manufacture the abortion pill (and therefore profit from its sales) — Danco and GenBioPro.
Prescribing abortion pills in advance of a pregnancy
Many abortion industry actors and their media allies are advocating for the idea of shipping women (or teens) abortion pills in advance of a verified pregnancy (often referred to as advanced provision of abortion pills).
A pro-abortion Ms. Magazine editor recently claimed she ordered ‘advanced provision’ abortion pills to keep for a ‘rainy day.’ The international group Aid Access supplies so-called “advanced provision” abortion pills to women who are not pregnant, and founder Rebecca Gomperts told Politico she hopes U.S. doctors will start to do likewise to evade abortion restrictions “by writing a prescription for perfectly lawful medications for someone who is not, in fact, pregnant.”
But Aid Access isn’t the only one skirting FDA regulations.
“Abortion is so highly stigmatized and politicized that people accessing abortion care, even in states where it is legal, come to us with this additional feeling of anxiety about whether they will be allowed to get an abortion,” Adam told Fortune in September of last year. “Advanced provision really helps alleviate that stress and puts power back in the hands of the person seeking care.”
Choix’s website confirms it is selling the drug outside the approved FDA safety requirement, even stating that a confirmed pregnancy is not required: “We believe in the power of planning ahead and being prepared for the unexpected. Advance provision is a way for people to get abortion pills ahead of time in case they need them in the future.”
“The process for Advance Provision of abortion pills is almost identical to accessing pills if you were pregnant and wanted medication abortion pills at that time… Should you become pregnant and wish to use the pills in the future, ongoing confidential, supportive, and expert abortion care from Choix providers is included in the Advance Provision service,” the Choix website also reads.
The abortion pill manufacturers tasked with de-certifying prescribers who do not follow the approved REMS have done little to stop this.
In June of 2022, Vox reported that “Aid Access and Forward Midwifery are among the few groups currently offering US patients the option to order pills in advance, though Elisa Wells, co-director of Plan C, said she knows others are considering it.” While Aid Access is located outside the U.S., the location for Forward Midwifery, founded by Christie Pitney is in Washington D.C., is where the FDA is also located. In other words, action could be taken against violators — but this has not happened.
“I was just having a conversation with a provider in Montana,” Wells told Vox. “We believe it will become more common. Sometimes we call it the ‘just in case’ plan, because unplanned pregnancy is so common.”
Former NARAL board member Daniel Grossman has also advocated for violating the REMS by offering abortion pills in advance of a pregnancy. He recently suggested that women should be able to purchase the abortion pill through advanced provision. In 2021, Grossman told a New York Times writer, “It seems like it would be very reasonable to provide the medications in advance and strongly encourage the patient to call the clinician before they actually take it.”
Grossman is behind clinical trials of the abortion pill and is cited as an expert by pro-abortion media despite a number of potential conflicts of interest.
To his Twitter followers, Grossman wrote, “Advance provision of medication abortion means giving or getting the pills (mifepristone and misoprostol) in advance of need — before an unwanted pregnancy. Patients obviously need clear information about when and how to use the pills.”
Grossman understands abortion pills have risk, because in the same Twitter thread — almost as a way to inoculate himself from culpability — Grossman points out, “[…]there are some people who are not good candidates for advance provision, including those taking blood thinners or who have a bleeding disorder.” (emphasis added)
Grossman continued, “People who are at high risk of an ectopic pregnancy should ideally have an ultrasound before using medication abortion. So folks who have had an ectopic pregnancy in the past or who’ve had surgery on their fallopian tubes shouldn’t get advance provision.”
But is a teenage girl experiencing her first pregnancy likely to know if she is at risk of an ectopic pregnancy, which can ultimately kill her? Imagine how this could play out for teenagers stockpiling abortion drugs and passing them around like candy in the halls of their schools.
According to Jezebel, “An anonymous FDA spokesperson told Politico that the agency is concerned about prescribing abortion pills under ‘advance provision,’ saying that providers may not be able to oversee when patients take the drugs and ensure safety and effectiveness.”
Despite this claim, the unapproved selling of abortion pill stockpiles continues, while FDA oversight dwindles.