Big Abortion’s Big Win is a Warning for the Pro-Life Movement—Adapt, or Die

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Posted: Jan 25, 2022 12:01 AM
Big Abortion’s Big Win is a Warning for the Pro-Life Movement—Adapt, or Die

Source: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

By now, the thousands of activists who flooded Washington, D.C. last week to March for Life are used to the hazards of being pro-life in Joe Biden’s America. Joining the fight to end abortion is emotionally exhausting, and in many cases, professionally risky. Still, the sacrifices pro-life advocates have made over the years have helped us achieve the impossible: we’ve won the hearts and minds of people who on a normal day would rather suffer through a root canal than a political debate. 

We have the momentum and the upper hand; but if we want to keep it, we have to adapt. For years, the pro-abortion movement has denied science in their quest to dehumanize unborn children; but now, radical activists are weaponizing medicine and popular technology against life.

The “abortion pill” narrative has always been the left’s favorite normalization tool. Compared to surgical abortions, which pro-lifers have successfully exposed as brutally violent, popping the two pills required to complete a chemical abortion feels deceptively easy. Mainstream media outlets and liberal politicians have all provided cover for this supposedly low-risk procedure, but their selective reading of the risks has lulled thousands of women into believing these pills are safe. In reality, chemical abortions are just as traumatizing as surgical ones, and can be even more dangerous. Even the notoriously political FDA recognized this risk, and subjected the medication mifepristone—the life-ending component of a chemical abortion—to a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS). Mifepristone shared this designation with only 61 other drugs, and in saner times was subjected to strict provider certification and in-person dispensation requirements. 

During the heyday of the COVID-19 pandemic, abortion advocates jumped on board the otherwise helpful telehealth and medication-by-mail trends and pushed the FDA to temporarily suspend the REMS and allow women to receive mifepristone without ever setting foot inside a doctor’s office. The FDA justified this by claiming that in-person appointments were more dangerous for patients than the pills themselves, but their argument falls apart when you consider the risks that prompted the agency to impose the REMS to begin with. 

The opportunistic play paid off. In December, the Biden administration made the temporary REMS suspension permanent, stripping away those once-important safety protections and blowing the door wide open to abortion on demand, without apology or a doctor visit.

It was a big win for Big Abortion, and a reminder to the rest of us that the pink knit trappings of anti-life politicking conceal a savvy and ruthless professional movement. Hearts and minds might be on our side, but the regulatory machine is not. The pandemic changed the way we think about the complicated balance of regulation, medicine, and technology, and the anti-lifers will continue to exploit this new openness to innovation, if we let them. 

The fight for life is the fight for control over federal dollars, federal standards, and federal power. From a lawmaker’s perspective, this means painstaking oversight over the flow of taxpayer money to abortion providers, and over the actions of regulators who prioritize politics over safety. From a citizen’s perspective, it means shutting down activists and politicians who conflate women’s rights with abortion rights. 

This is about more than making the case against Roe—although the outcomes of blockbuster Supreme Court cases will prove to be important no matter who comes out on top. This is about leveraging the power of oversight at the state and federal level to keep an eye on what’s happening behind the scenes. Just think—President Biden pulled FDA oversight on a dangerous drug, specifically because advocates pitched that drug as a tool to take the drama out of the abortion procedure. Women’s lives are at risk, but optics still reign supreme. Imagine what else his administration is capable of—and worse, willing to do—if it means appeasing the unhinged left. 

That should be all the motivation we need to keep marching.