‘The reckless distribution of abortion drugs by mail or other carriers to pregnant mothers who have not been examined in-person by a physician is not only dangerous and unsafe, it is criminal.’
‘Through its decision to permit no-test, mail-order abortions after a telemedicine visit, the FDA has abandoned its dual obligations to protect the public and vulnerable populations from harm and to comply with Federal law, including Federal requirements to protect patient safety and longstanding Federal criminal laws which expressly prohibit the mailing and shipping of abortion drugs.’
WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) continues to be a leading voice on pro-life issues in the U.S. Senate by fighting the Biden administration’s latest attempts to expand abortion access through mail. In two separate letters this week to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and U.S. Food and Drug Commissioner Robert Califf, Senator Tuberville urged the officials to revoke illegal guidance that removes key safeguards required by law to protect expectant mothers and their babies. Additionally, Senator Tuberville helped introduce a bill to establish a permanent ban on using federal taxpayer dollars for abortion.
More information about both efforts can be found below.
Opposing Removal of In-Person Dispensing Requirement for Chemical Abortion Drugs
On January 3rd, 2023, the FDA released new guidance removing in-person dispensing requirements for chemical abortion drugs such as mifepristone, making self-administered abortion drugs permanently available by mail or through certain pharmacies.
In a detailed letter to FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, M.D., the lawmakers explain the policy and legal faults in the FDA decision, citing it as “dangerous, reckless, and illegal” in that it:
- Threatens the health and safety of pregnant mothers by eliminating the requirement for in-person dispensing, increasing risks of potentially life-threatening complications without an in-person screening.
- Violates the FDA’s legal obligations to protect the safety of women and girls.
- Violates longstanding federal criminal laws barring the mailing and shipping of abortion drugs.
- Imperils the conscience rights of pharmacists by failing to provide protections for pharmacists who do not want to participate in the practice of abortion.
“Through its decision to permit no-test, mail-order abortions after a telemedicine visit, the FDA has abandoned its dual obligations to protect the public and vulnerable populations from harm and to comply with Federal law, including Federal requirements to protect patient safety and longstanding Federal criminal laws which expressly prohibit the mailing and shipping of abortion drugs. We therefore insist that the FDA pull the deadly drug mifepristone from the market, or, at minimum, promptly restore and further strengthen the initial basic health and safety requirements for abortion drugs, and comply with Federal criminal law,” the members wrote.
The letter is supported by the SBA Pro-Life America, Americans United for Life, CatholicVote, March for Life, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Right to Life, Concerned Women for America, Heritage Action, Students for Life of America, Family Research Council, Scholars with the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Family Policy Alliance, and Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
Joining Senator Tuberville in the letter to Commissioner Califf are U.S. Senators Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), James Lankford (R-Ok), Steve Daines (R-MT), Jim Risch (R-ID), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), John Hoeven (R-ND), J.D. Vance (R-OH), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rick Scott (R-FL), Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), John Thune (R-SD), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Todd Young (R-IN), Markwayne Mullen (R-OK), Mike Braun (R-IN), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Ted Budd (R-NC), Josh Hawley (R-IN), along with 54 colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Pushing Back Against DOJ USPS Memo
In December 2022, the Office of Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released an opinion saying the U.S. Postal Service is legally allowed to deliver abortion drugs, even to mailing addresses in states that decided to prohibit access to chemical abortion pills by mail as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that reversed Roe v. Wade.
The letter to Attorney General Garland points out how the DOJ’s memo violates existing laws.
“It is disappointing, yet not surprising, that the Biden administration’s DOJ has not only abdicated its Constitutional responsibility to enforce the law, but also has once again twisted the plain meaning of the law in an effort to promote the taking of unborn life. The OLC memo should be immediately rescinded or, at minimum, redrafted to articulate an accurate application of the law,” the members wrote.
The letter is supported by the Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, Students for Life, Family Policy Alliance, Americans United for Life, CatholicVote, Scholars with the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Heritage Action, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Family Research Council, March for Life, and SBA Prolife America.
Joining Senator Tuberville in this letter are U.S. Senators Steve Daines (R-MT), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Jim Risch (R-ID), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Ted Cruz (R-TX), J.D. Vance (R-OH), Mike Braun (R-IN), Rick Scott (R-FL), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Lee (R-UT), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS), John Kennedy (R-LA), John Thune (R-SD), John Hoeven (R-ND), Ted Budd (R-NC), and U.S. Representatives Jim Jordan (R-OH-04), Jim Banks (R-IN-03), Mary Miller (R-IL-15), Bob Latta (R-OH-05), Randy Feenstra (R-IA-04), Ben Cline (R-VA-06), Michael Guest (R-MS-03), Randy Weber (R-TX-14), Barry Loudermilk (R-GA-11), Paul Gosar (R-AZ-09), Mike Johnson (R-LA-04), Brad Wenstrup (R-OH-02), Alex Mooney (R-WV-02), Daniel Webster (R-FL-11), Andrew Clyde (R-GA-09), Robert Aderholt (R-AL-04), John Joyce, M.D. (R-PA-13), Chris Smith (R-NJ-21), and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA-14).
Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.