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Pro-abortion medical professionals urge FDA to approve abortion pill for miscarriage management

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Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

On Tuesday, pro-abortion medical professionals and advocates petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to push the pharmaceutical company that manufacturers mifepristone, an abortion pill, to seek approval for miscarriage management.

Danco Laboratories, one of two manufacturers that produce mifepristone, currently only has approval by the FDA for the pill to be used for terminating early pregnancies.

Mifepristone for medical abortions

Mifepristone is a progesterone blocker that is used in combination with misoprostol to induce an abortion through 70-days gestation.

When prescribed, the patient first takes mifepristone which "stops the pregnancy from growing," according to a Planned Parenthood blog.

The pill blocks progesterone, a necessary pregnancy hormone. The drug causes the death of the developing baby by forcing the uterine lining to break down.

Next, the patient takes misoprostol which, within 1-4 hours, causes the uterus to contract and expel the aborted baby.

The risks of taking the abortion pill – often prescribed for at-home use – include infection, blood clots, and heavy bleeding.

Medical management of early pregnancy loss

For miscarriage management, patients are also prescribed mifepristone in combination with misoprostol. However, using just misoprostol for medical management is also common practice.

A 2018 study involving 300 women claimed that using both pills was a more effective alternative to using misoprostol alone, which it argued "commonly results in treatment failure" and the need for uterine aspiration procedures.

The study concluded that misoprostol, used by itself to manage early pregnancy loss, worked 67.1% of the time. Alternatively, the analysis found that the combination of mifepristone and misoprostol was 83.8% effective.

The push for additional approval

The petition to the FDA was submitted by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and signed by 48 other groups, including the American Medical Association and the American Civil Liberties Union.

The medical professionals argued that mifepristone is more effective in combination with misoprostol for miscarriage management.

"It is a safe and essential part of the most effective regimen for miscarriage management," said the ACOG.

Danco Laboratories stated that it has no plans to submit for additional approval, but it is working with the FDA on changes to where patients can get the progesterone blocker.

"At this time, we are not planning to submit (an application) for miscarriage management, but may reconsider in the future," said a spokesperson for Danco.

The FDA stated that it is currently reviewing the petition to invite the pharmaceutical company to submit a Supplemental New Drug Application.

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