Secular Pro-Life has joined a coalition letter opposing Dr. Robert Califf’s nomination as Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. Califf, who was FDA Commissioner during the Obama administration, played a key role in expanding abortion drugs. At the same time, he degraded the reporting requirements for abortion complications. Thanks to him, only women’s deaths are required to be reported. Women who suffer serious but non-lethal complications? Ignored.
The FDA applies Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) to drugs with serious safety concerns “to help ensure the benefits of the medication outweigh its risks.” Until 2016, the REMS for chemical abortion required the reporting of severe, life-threatening, and fatal adverse events. Under the direction of Califf, this requirement was altered to require that only fatal adverse events be reported. Califf approved this change despite thousands of adverse event reports already having been submitted to the FDA under the REMS.
Sounding the alarm on these changes to the REMS, 75 members of Congress sent a bipartisan, bicameral letter to Califf expressing disappointment in his decision and calling for greater data transparency. The letter requested additional information related to the decision-making process and an updated summary of the adverse event reporting through March 2016. Califf never responded.
Califf’s nomination has passed committee, but is not a done deal. The full Senate must vote, and pro-life lobby groups are warning that the vote will be scored. If confirmed to the position of FDA Commissioner, there is little doubt that Califf will do the abortion industry’s bidding.
The coalition letter was organized by the Susan B. Anthony List and includes four dozen organizations.