NH illegally allowing non-pharmacists to distribute abortion pills

New lawsuit exposes risks to women
Friday, October 25, 2013

Attorney sound bite:  Michael Tierney  |  Catherine Glenn Foster

KEENE, N.H. — The New Hampshire Board of Pharmacy is illegally allowing non-pharmacists to distribute abortion pills past the period that the Food and Drug Administration has determined “safe.” A lawsuit filed Friday also says the board has allowed distribution for take-home use, a practice the FDA found has led to several maternal deaths and hospitalizations for hemorrhaging and excessive bleeding.

The lawsuit, filed by Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and allied attorneys, asks Cheshire County Superior Court to affirm that state law requires FDA safety protocols. The suit also asks the court to stop the Board of Pharmacy from granting licenses to abortion facilities in violation of those protocols.

“The government should enforce all laws and regulations in a fair and equitable manner. It cannot show favoritism to Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion seller in the state and nation,” said lead counsel Michael J. Tierney, a Manchester attorney with the firm of Wadleigh, Starr & Peters, PLLC, and one of nearly 2,300 attorneys allied with Alliance Defending Freedom.

“Women facing the shock of an unplanned pregnancy deserve better than unscrupulous abortionists who fail to follow basic FDA safety protocols,” added Alliance Defending Freedom Litigation Counsel Catherine Glenn Foster, co-counsel in the suit. “The board should not allow women’s lives to be put in danger by granting licenses to those, like Planned Parenthood, who refuse to follow those protocols.”

The FDA safety protocols say that the abortion pill is not approved for use past 49 days of pregnancy. They also stipulate that both doses of the abortion pill must be personally administered in a physician’s office that is able to provide surgical intervention as well as “assure patient access to medical facilities equipped to provide blood transfusions and resuscitation, if necessary.”

According to the lawsuit, Buzzell v. New Hampshire Board of Pharmacy, Planned Parenthood facilities in the state—including one only steps from the Cheshire Superior Courthouse in Keene—are openly violating the FDA safety protocols by allowing non-physicians to distribute abortion pills up to 63 days of pregnancy. The suit says Planned Parenthood is also giving women the second dose of the pill to take at home without any medical supervision, also in violation of the protocols.

The FDA’s rule conditions the dispensing of abortion pills on an agreement that both the prescriber and patient must sign stating that they have met the safety protocols; however, the FDA leaves enforcement of compliance with the state. Courts elsewhere have rejected Planned Parenthood’s claims that women have a constitutional right to receive the abortion pill in an unsafe manner contrary to FDA safety protocols.
  • Pronunciation guide: Tierney (TEER’-nee)
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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