Abortion Pill Regulations Have Senate Republicans Moving Away From Biden FDA Nominee

Pro-life advocates are making an impression on some Senate Republicans about the issues surrounding Joe Biden’s nomination of Robert Califf as Director of the Food and Drug Administration. Politico reported this week that Sens. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) and John Marshall (R-KS) have both moved from supporting Califf for the position to opposing his nomination. Significant concerns have been raised about Califf and removing restrictions by the FDA on pills that induce medical abortions.

The FDA moved last month to change regulations on abortion pills so that women no longer have to take delivery of the pills in person. Califf’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Health Committee took place before announcing the rule change. At the time, Califf told senators that he trusted the FDA to apply available information to make a correct decision on the issue.

Califf has previously served as the FDA Director during the Obama Administration. His nomination at that time was approved by an 89-4 vote in the Senate.

Tuberville said this week that Califf would likely support the rule change allowing mail-order of abortion pills. He said that because it appears that Dr. Califf will support the Biden administration’s pro-abortion agenda, he cannot vote to confirm his nomination.

The Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life organization, sent a letter to senators pointing out that during Califf’s last time as FDA Director in 2016, the agency amended rules about the data collected and analyzed regarding adverse reactions to the abortion pills at issue again now.

The letter said that Califf oversaw the underreporting of severe and fatal reactions to the pills, as well as the safety requirements applicable to chemical abortions. It goes on to say that the FDA needs a leader who places a priority on women’s health and who will follow the relevant science.

The statement told senators that because of Califf’s successful efforts in the past to weaken safety requirements and manipulate health data regarding the abortion pills, the group opposes his nomination and urges them to do the same.