A Dutch doctor has provided medical abortions to thousands of Americans. She’s not letting the FDA get in her way.
Sep 9 2019
Vice – A Dutch doctor is suing the Food and Drug Administration for allegedly interfering with the operation of her online service, Aid Access, where she prescribes abortion medication to United States residents, NPR reports.
In the lawsuit, Rebecca Gomperts, the licensed physician who runs the site, accused the FDA of seizing packages containing “between three and 10 individual doses of misoprostol and mifepristone,” the two drugs Gomperts’s patients receive by mail to end their pregnancies.
Gomperts also believes the agency has asked two online money transfer services to stop conducting business with her, in attempts to block patients from sending the $90 payments for the pills she prescribes through Aid Access.
Gomperts said these alleged attacks on her service have come in the aftermath of a notice the FDA sent her in March, instructing her to cease and desist the operation of the site. In the notice, the agency said Aid Access poses an “inherent risk to consumers” because it lacks FDA oversight, and violates the decades-old regulations on mifepristone, which require health care providers to administer the drug in person, at a hospital or clinic.
In a July statement to VICE, an FDA spokesperson said that if Gomperts refused to comply, Aid Access could be subject to “FDA regulatory action, including seizure or injunction, without further notice.”
(When asked about the allegations leveled in Gomperts’s lawsuit, an FDA spokesperson said the agency doesn’t comment on pending litigation.)
Despite these warnings, Gomperts announced in May that she had consulted a lawyer and would continue to operate the site. In an interview with VICE last week, she said she’s willing to fight the FDA in court.
“I sincerely believe there is a human right here to be defended,” she said. “What I’m doing is in accordance with all the human rights agreements that exist, as well as the U.S. Constitution.” Read more.