Regulate Chemical Abortion: Testimony in Support of SB 394

My name is Jennifer Allmon and I am the Executive Director of the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops. I am here today to testify in support of SB 394, the Chemical Abortion Safety Protocol. I want to be clear from the outset that no abortion is safe; every abortion is the intentional killing of an innocent human person. Until the day comes, however, where all people recognize the innate dignity of the human person from conception, Texas is called on to reduce the harm to women seeking abortion as much as possible, which is why we support this bill.

SB 394 will codify in Texas statute the current FDA’s Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy, otherwise known as REMS, which were put in place by the Clinton administration that recognized the potential harmful effects of chemical abortion on women’s health. Potential changes to these REMS will gut the protections in Texas, resulting in an increase in the complications of this type of abortion. In addition, by removing the regulations, these drugs become subject to widespread abuse by individuals who desire to end a woman’s pregnancy without her knowledge such as human traffickers and abusive partners or family members.

The effort to remove these regulations is also an attempt by the abortion industry to characterize the decision to end a pregnancy as no more consequential than taking an antibiotic to cure an infection. This mindset is emblematic of what Pope Francis refers to as our “throwaway culture” and what Saint Pope John Paul II referred to as a “culture of death,” a culture in which profits are placed before the health and safety of women and the unborn.

While we often talk about the emotional and psychological harm that mothers can endure after abortion, we must remember that abortion also hurts fathers, husbands, brothers, sisters, grandparents as well as aunts and uncles. The child is lost to everyone in a family and in the broader human family, the world loses a unique human being, a tragedy could be compounded by the loss of or harm to the mother.

As you have heard from previous witnesses, the complications due to chemical abortion can be devastating, this bill seeks to reduce the physical harm by ensuring the original federal protocols for chemical abortion are protected in Texas statute.

In the pro-life movement, we often hear the slogan “Love them both” encouraging people to extend support to the mother and the child. We certainly agree and that leads to our support of this bill to offer greater protection and respect for the lives of women seeking abortion.