INDIANAPOLIS (January 16, 2023) – Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita joined 21 other state attorneys general in calling on the Food and Drug Administration to reverse its rule change permitting the distribution of abortion drugs through retail pharmacies.
In a letter dated January 13, the state attorneys general note, ““The Food and Drug Administration’s decision to abandon commonsense restrictions on remotely prescribing and administering abortion-inducing drugs is both illegal and dangerous. In direct contravention of longstanding FDA practice and congressional mandate, the FDA’s rollback of important safety restrictions ignores both women’s health and straightforward federal statutes. We urge you to reverse your decision.”
The letter also declares, “Though the FDA has abdicated its responsibility to protect women’s health, we have not. To be crystal clear, you have not negated any of our laws that forbid the remote prescription, administration, and use of abortion-inducing drugs. The health and safety of our citizens—women and children included—is of paramount concern. Nothing in the FDA’s recent changes affects how we will protect our people.”
In reference to last week’s opinion from the Biden Justice Department suggesting abortion drugs can be mailed to states with laws restricting such practice, the letter notes, “Aside from ignoring the health of women and the lives of unborn children, your decision ignores the plain text of federal law. Federal law has long provided that: ‘Every article or thing designed, adapted, or intended for producing abortion … [i]s declared to be nonmailable matter and shall not be conveyed in the mails or delivered from any post office or by any letter carrier.’ 18 U.S.C. § 1461. To be sure, the Biden Justice Department recently tried to invent an exception to the law, opining that the law ‘is narrower than a literal reading might suggest.’ 46 Op. O.L.C. __ (slip op. at 5). But the statute couldn’t be plainer, and it is no suggestion: a violation is a felony that carries five years’ imprisonment. And yet, you now encourage physicians to facilitate remote abortions and pharmacies to order and provide abortion drugs.”
Shortly after the FDA announced its rule change on January 3, Rokita issued this statement: “Indiana law prohibits abortion-inducing drugs from being administered by anyone other than a physician in person. It is illegal for pharmacies to permit the sale of mifepristone in Indiana. The Office of the Attorney General reminded pharmacists of this last year and it remains true today.”
“We applaud Attorney General Rokita for standing firm in defending Indiana law against this dangerous overstep by the FDA and DOJ,” states Mike Fichter, president and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “Indiana fought hard to secure its pro-life laws, and we’re not about to let them get stripped away by federal actions undermining states’ rights to establish and enforce abortion policy.”
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