Last week, Reps. Mark Meadows (NC-11), Ron Estes (KS-4), and Chris Smith (NJ-4), joined by 29 colleagues, sent a letter addressing an unethical chemical abortion trial to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn.
The study was conducted in Burkina Faso by Gynuity Health Projects, a group that says it is “willing to take risks on the frontiers of reproductive and maternal health.” It recruited Burkinabe women who were 13-22 weeks pregnant—the second trimester—to test the effectiveness of mifepristone and misoprostol for an abortion. This raises concerns with such evident risks in the country, such as an extreme lack of medical professionals, inadequate blood supplies, and a history of women not receiving the care they needed following abortion complications. These conditions are the least appropriate for any high-risk clinical trial. It may not have been conducted in accordance with good clinical practices and may have violated FDA Statue, by unnecessarily exposing the pregnant women to risk, let alone their unborn children.
Rep. Meadows released the following statement:
“I am deeply concerned that a group would so blatantly put vulnerable women in a developing country in danger under the guise of ‘maternal health’ for the pursuit of expanded profits for the abortion industry. Tactics like this used by Gynuity, and others within the industry, are reprehensible, and my colleagues and I remain committed to holding groups like this accountable for their unethical actions abroad.