Mike Rogers twice co-sponsored bills to suspend FDA approval of medication abortion drug - TAI News
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The U.S. Supreme Court held oral arguments on March 26 on a right-wing challenge to the Food and Drug Administration’s September 2000 approval of mifepristone, a drug used for medication abortions. In his 14 years in the U.S. House, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike Rogers repeatedly co-sponsored bills to undo approval of the medication.

Rogers announced in September that he would move from Florida to Michigan to run for the GOP nomination for retiring Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s open seat. Polls show him ahead in the Republican primary, though narrowly behind the Democratic frontrunner, U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, in a hypothetical matchup. 

As a Senate candidate, Rogers has said he opposes a federal abortion ban. Though he did not support Michigan’s 2022 constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to abortion, Rogers told voters in September 2023 that he would not back national restrictions inconsistent with that law, according to the Detroit News, saying: “Will I go to Washington, D.C., and try to undo what the citizens of Michigan voted for? I will not.”

But Rogers built up a consistently anti-abortion record during his time in Congress, routinely voting against reproductive rights 100% of the time, according to scorecards compiled by NARAL Pro-Choice America, now known as Reproductive Freedom for All. In 2013, he backed a federal ban on abortion after 20 weeks’ gestation, and in 2010 he told the Associated Press: “I believe that federal and state governments were established to protect our lives and the lives of the unborn. I believe abortions should be legal only to prevent the death of the mother.” 

In December 2003, Rogers co-sponsored the RU-486 Suspension and Review Act, a bill to withdraw FDA approval of mifepristone pending a mandatory review by the General Accounting Office, a congressional watchdog agency now known as the Government Accountability Office.

Two years later, he again co-sponsored the proposal. Neither version of the bill came to the House floor for a vote.

“Mifepristone is safe when used as indicated and directed and consistent with the Mifepristone Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) Program. The FDA approved Mifeprex more than 20 years ago based on a thorough and comprehensive review of the scientific evidence presented and determined that it was safe and effective for its indicated use,” the agency’s website states. “As of 2016, it can be used for medical termination of pregnancy up to 70 days of gestation.”

In 2011, Rogers voted for an amendment to an appropriations bill that would have barred the Department of Agriculture from allocating any funds to pay for mifepristone. The restriction passed in the GOP-led House but was left out of the final version negotiated with the Democratic-led Senate.

A Rogers campaign spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment  for this story.

A 2023 Hart Research Associates poll for the abortion rights group All* Above All found that 69% of Michigan voters favor ensuring that residents of the state have access to “the FDA-approved abortion medication.”

Rogers also co-sponsored four different House bills that would have declared that life begins at the moment of conception. Experts say such so-called personhood laws could imperil access to in vitro fertilization, much as one did in Alabama in February when the state’s Supreme Court declared frozen embryos are children.

At the time of the ruling, Rogers tweeted: “IVF has been critical to helping Americans grow their families and realize the blessing of life and parenthood. I oppose any and all efforts to restrict access to IVF — period.”

Users added context to the tweet, appending a note that read, “In his 14 years in Congress Mike Rogers sponsored 4 bills that would have the same effect as the Alabama Supreme Court’s IVF ruling.”

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