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MRC's Anti-Abortion Extremists vs. The Abortion Pill

The Media Research Center cheered efforts by its fellow right-wing anti-abortion activists to use the courts to overturn a regulatory decision to approve an abortion pill.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 10/6/2023

Tierin-Rose Mandelburg

As befits an anti-abortion extremist, Media Research Center writer Tierin-Rose Mandelburg has been lobbying hard against abortion pills. A Nov. 18 post by Mandelburg cheered right-wing efforts to outlaw them:
The Conservative legal group, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), sued the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday over the FDA’s illegal approval of abortion pills. The group represents four healthcare organizations and four doctors in the first lawsuit of its kind.

ADF filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Pediatrics, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations and doctors Shaun Jester, Regina Frost-Clark, Tyler Johnson and George Delgado.

Supposedly the FDA approved the legalization of abortion drugs (mifepristone and misoprostol) in 2000 by characterizing pregnancy as an “illness,” as ADF’s report noted. The ADF report also indicated the FDA “never studied the safety of the drugs” before it approved them and disregarded evidence of the harm that these drugs can cause.

ADF Senior Counsel Members Julie Marie Blake said, “The FDA never had the authority to approve these dangerous drugs for sale. We urge the court to listen to the doctors we represent who are seeking to protect girls and women from the documented dangers of chemical abortion drugs.”


The fact of the matter is that abortion doesn’t just hurt the child who is killed, it also puts the life of the mother in danger. That’s what ADF is trying to get people to recognize and understand in order to help hurting mothers and children with their lives at risk.

As ConWebWatch pointed out when the MRC's then-"news" division similarly promoted the ADF's lawsuit, the abortion pill is much safer than pregnancy.

When the Food and Drug Administration announced a plan to allow pharmacies to provide the pills for anyone who has a prescription, Alex Christy complained in a Jan. 4 post:

The morning shows of ABC, NBC, CBS, and CNN saw nothing controversial about the FDA’s new policy that allows pharmacies to provide abortion pills to anyone with a prescription.

The cast of CNN This Morning spent the most time on the matter as. Co-host Poppy Harlow kicked things off with an announcement, “the FDA is announcing a big move on access to abortion. We're talking about the pill or the medication for it. This comes, of course, after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade. What's changed is that pharmacies, like your average ;pharmacy is now able to sell these abortion pills to people who have a prescription.”


The move clearly had an ideological motive, which means there is another perspective on the matter, but CNN did not provide that perspective. Nor did NBC’s Today, or CBS This Morning [sic] in their brief reports.

Later that day, Mandelburg served up her own rant against the new FDA policy:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Tuesday that it would permit retail pharmacies to offer abortion pills in the United States. From “corner drugstores to major chains,” obtaining a pill to end the life of a child just got that much easier, The New York Times reported.

Under the updated rule that stretched the two-pill combo (mifepristone and misoprostol) availability from a few mail-order pharmacies or specific doctors/clinics to places like CVS or Walgreens, more and more babies lives are going to end. Supposedly a prescription order is still needed but pharmacies are expected to have plenty of murder drugs on hand for when those orders roll in.

Other than the fact that “lethal poison” will be placed next to “antibiotics and allergy medication,” as Live Action’s Lila Rose put it, babies will be dying in masses and emergency rooms will likely be flooded with women who were injured from the pill.

Abortion pills can cause severe bleeding, infection, and require possible surgical intervention. In some cases they can kill the mother as well as the baby. In a letter to the FDA back in February, 2022, Senators James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) along with 125 colleagues presented the risks of the pill. Even so, 11 months later, the FDA yet again altered their rules in order to allow these pills to be more easily accessible.

Again, Mandelburg failed to tell her readers the fact that pregnancy kills more women than the abortion pill does.

Tim Graham even whined about it in his Jan. 4 podcast: "Then there are the pro-abortion hardliners in the Biden administration, with the Food and Drug Administration pushing for abortion pills to be more broadly available in pharmacies to make abortions more plentiful. The networks announce this news as if it's utterly non-ideological, non-political, and non-controversial. There is no pro-life view on abortion pills that anyone needs to hear."

When PBS had on a doctor who pointed out the safety of abortion pills, Graham spent a Jan. 7 post raging at both PBS and the doctor, bizarrely calling the pill's safety a "creepy talking points":

On Wednesday's PBS NewsHour, viewers received a bucket of happy talk about medication abortions from Dr. Jennifer Villavicencio. Twice, she insisted the use of mifepristone was "extraordinarily safe" -- but it's not safe for the unborn baby, who is expelled from the mother and killed.

PBS emphasized support for the Food and Drug Administration trying to "expand abortion access" after the Supreme Court's Dobbs decision reversed Roe v. Wade and returned the abortion issue back to the states..


PBS picked an expert that they presented as an objective media source, but it's easy to dig up that she's a hardcore abortion advocate. Planned Parenthood is a fan!

What Graham didn't do, of course, is go beyond spouting right-wing anti-abortion talking points to try and disprove Villavicencio.

Mandelburg spewed more rage at abortion pills in a Jan. 18 post:

Isn’t it great when people we pay good money to do their jobs don’t know how to do their jobs?!


According to a report by the National Review, most pharmacy workers who willingly distribute chemical-abortion drugs are unaware of the negative effects and risks of the abortion drug. Though the drug is extremely dangerous, pharmacists are passing them out willy nilly.

Earlier this month President Joe Biden’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made it possible for major chain drugstores like CVS, Wallgreens and Rite Aid to carry and distribute abortion pills. In order to obtain them it appears that a woman (or pregnant person lol) would need a prescription order but the pharmacies will be stocked and ready to fill those orders ASAP.


Oh lovely! So now pharmacies can pass out drugs that kills a child and has the potential to kill his or her mother too. No, literally, a chemical abortion is a “multi-day progression of bleeding, cramping, and contracting” that could take “up to 30 days to complete.” These drugs are “four times more dangerous” than surgical abortions and have reportedly increased abortion-related ER visits by 500 percent from 2002-2015. They are NOT safe whatsoever.

Regardless, according to the FDA, not only are women able to waltz into CVS to get their prescriptions, they also don’t even have to see a doctor in person in order to have a script written for them. They can virtually tell a doctor about how they want to abort their baby and that same day, visit a local pharmacy to pick up the lethal poison.

Graham clearly did not order his subordinate Mandelburg to practice what he preaches to non-right-wing media and offer up an opposing view. Heck, Mandelburg didn't even disclose the right-wing tilt of National Review. And, again, Mandelburg censored the fact that abortion pills are much safer for women than pregnancy -- she has a narrative to perpetuate, after all.

Her rage increased in a Jan. 23 post:

New York just became the first city in the United States to offer free abortion pills at public clinics.

Just before the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade as well as the annual March for Life, NY Mayor Eric Adams announced free medication abortion to make it even easier for the women in New York to chemically execute their unborn children.

The city supposedly offered medication abortions at 11 public hospitals but the pills will now be free and accessible at four clinics across NYC.

The program is funded by a $1.2 million package for “sexual health services,” as reported by Yahoo News, money that could have been allocated to help pregnant mothers or provide resources other than murder for women in crisis pregnancies.

Thanks, Tierin-Rose, for admitting that you believe women who have abortions are committing murder, which means you also presumably demand that women who have abortions be arrested, imprisoned and even executed for having one. Not that you'll admit that publicly, of course -- don't want to look too much like the extremist you are, right?

Mandelburg ranted in a Feb. 24 post:

Isn’t it great when the leaders of our country lie to us? Okay, this is about Kamala Harris so "leader" is too strong a word. Still, she's the vice president, so can't we expect a modicum of honesty from her?

Harris has yet again lied about not only a woman’s “need” for an abortion but, more detrimentally, about how medication abortion pills should be considered a good option.

Numerous people have written and warned about these pills on countless occasions but still Harris and the Biden Administration only like to tout ideas that push their pro-abort narrative.

Harris made that abundantly clear in her talk on February 24 at the White House, where she came to the defense of the mifepristone abortion pill.


“That medication is called mifepristone, it is a drug that is used to perform medication abortion. It is FDA approved.” Okay lady … so is the COVID-19 shot and we see how that turned out.

FDA approved is about as reliable as “organic” vegetables. Barely any requirements or checks are needed. Plus, these medication abortion drugs are NOT safe.

Taking a medication abortion pill results in a multi-day progression of bleeding, cramping, pain, and contracting to slowly end the life of an unborn child. The process can take 30 days to complete, is “four times more dangerous” than surgical abortions and has reportedly increased abortion-related ER visits by 500 percent from 2002-2015.

So no Mrs. Harris, it’s not safe.

Graham went on another tirade against the pill three days later: "For more of the pro-life case about the dangers of mifepristone abortions, see the Charlotte Lozier Institute report. But again, they're describing killing a baby as 'safe and effective.' It's not like taking a Tylenol. It's like taking rat poison that kills your somehow un-human baby."

In a March 6 post, Mandelburg defended anti-abortion activists threatening pharmacies into being afraid to dispense abortion pills even though they are still legal for now:

The SCOTUS Dobbs decision returned the question of abortion legality to the individual states. But now the White House is encouraging private companies to break state laws and sell abortion pills in states where they are illegal.

But After Walgreens stated it would not distribute abortion pills in states where GOP AG’s opposed, White House press secretary said such a move was “dangerous and just unacceptable.”

Right, because saving kids lives is somehow dangerous.

On Thursday, March 2, Walgreens released a statement that it would not dispense abortion pills by mail or in any of the store locations in states where state officials have threatened legal action over the pill distribution. This statement came after a letter from nearly two dozen Republican state attorneys general who threatened legal action.

Walgreens made the right decision. Republican leaders should get just as much a right to say they don’t want babies killed as Democratic leaders have to say that they do want babies killed.

She then parroted right-wing rhetoric against the pills when White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre criticized the activism:

Interesting, then, why a group of doctors and medical groups are suing to overturn the FDA’s approval of the drug. Why? Because it's incredibly dangerous. Not only does it end at least one child’s life but the drug is also harmful to the mother. It facilitates an up to 30-day process of contracting, bleeding and cramping and is “four times more dangerous” than surgical abortions. As a matter of fact, the lette rto the FDA mentioned that these drugs increased abortion-related ER visits by 500x from 2002-2015. So no, KJP, the fact that these pills have been around for so long doesn’t mean that they are safe.

That letter Mandelburg is talking about is not from unbiased medical professionals but, rather, from Republican politicians, as she summarized in an earlier post.

The next day, Clay Waters complained about PBS and NPR offering factual information about how to obtain the pills:

Who says the liberal media is anti-business? Taxpayer-assisted PBS and National Public Radio are eager to promote at least one product: Companies that mail the pregnancy-terminating pill mifepristone across state lines to states where abortion is being made illegal, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision. And a pro-life group is suing claiming the FDA wrongly approved the pill. Now, tax-funded media outlets are giving out tips for getting abortion pills.

If the Second Amendment was endangered via state gun regulation, would PBS provide tips on how to get a gun anyway? It’s hard to imagine.

A March 9 post by Nicholas Fondacaro complained that the pills were talked about on "The View":

With Walgreens announcing that they will stop selling certain brands of abortion pills in states that prohibit them, California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom launched a campaign against them with what the pharmacy chain called “false and misleading information.” Of course, the liberals of ABC’s The View adhered to Newsom’s marching orders and opened Thursday’s show by parroting his talking points, later being forced to read a legal note with Walgreens’ response to the lies.

Fondacaro didn't mention how he and his fellow MRCers were parroting right-wing talking points against the pills.

A March 17 column by Graham was filled with anti-abortion spin, starting with insisting on maliciously calling abortion pills "homicide pills":

In the same way, it sounds cruel to report that supporters of the pill “say it’s safe and effective,” when it’s obviously not safe for the baby. MSNBC’s Joy Reid touted “the extremely safe and effective medication is used to induce abortion and to manage miscarriage or early pregnancy loss, which can, by the way, be life-threatening.” Mifepristone isn’t “life-threatening”?

This inhumane approach to the unborn came crashing through a article on drug safety: “Data analyzed by CNN shows mifepristone is even safer than some common, low-risk prescription drugs, including penicillin and Viagra....It is also a safer option than both procedural abortion or childbirth.” They can’t acknowledge how it’s safe for only half of the humans in this equation.

MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle warned this decision could have “major repercussions for abortion care,” as if “abortion care” isn’t a soulless term.

If Graham is going to insist on using the "homicide pill" line, he should also be demanding that every woman who has ever had an abortion be arrested and imprisoned -- maybe even executed -- for murder. But he's clearly afraid to take his rhetoric to its logical endpoint. Nevertheless, Graham repeated his incendiary logic in a March 26 post whining about fact-checkers who pointed out that abortion pills are, yes, safe and effective:

"Independent fact-checkers" sound like they're funded by Planned Parenthood. Have you ever noticed that leftists who want to ruin someone's career for "misgendering" someone who's in denial of their true gender endlessly demean unborn babies as "a pregnancy"? Why is that terminology not seen as ideological and dehumanizing?

He concluded by ranting that the fact-checkers "were all babies the size of a kidney bean once. Now they favor the side of crushing the unwanted babies into hummus."

Favorable court decision

When a Trump-appointed judge approved a ban on them over alleged problems with the FDA approval process, the MRC defended the ruling and attacked anyone who criticized it. Alex Christy complained in an April 8 post:

Friday’s edition of CNN Tonight reacted to the news that a federal judge suspended the FDA’s approval of the abortion drug mifepristone with horror, claiming the judge was inserting his “theological opinion” and seriously wondering why pro-lifers don’t target drugs like Viagra or Tylenol.


Michaelson began by explaining the concept of “judge shopping,” where liberals and conservatives alike seek judges who they are certain will rule the way they desire, “Thtat’s not controversial. What's shocking -- so, I've been writing about Matthew Kacsmayrk for many years. He has said outrageous things over the years, and there's outrageous things in this opinion. This is a garbage opinion from open to shut.”

He further accused Kacsmaryk of playing to pro-lifers “He calls mifepristone chemical abortion. That's sort of that sort of a dog whistle.”

Mifepristone, like every other pill, is a chemical compound, so it a literally correct description, but even if liberals still object, abortion is still abortion whether you use “chemical” or “medication” as your preferred adjective.

Yet we don't recall Christy ever calling Tylenol a "chemical" when he takes one for a headache. Christy then huffed that mifepristone shouldn't be treated the same as other drugs, because abortion:

It’s one thing for CNN liberals to not understand pro-lifers, but the Republican strategist should know the difference between abortion and Viagra, Tylenol, and penicillin. It should also be noted that Kacsmaryk did not outright ban mifepristone, he simply said the FDA didn’t follow proper bureaucratic procedure.

In an April 9 post, Kevin Tober raged at NBC's Chuck Todd for pointing out the judge's partisan activism:

On Easter Sunday, NBC's Chuck Todd used the opening segment of his show Meet the Press to lash out at political activists for apparently causing a Texas court to order the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to halt the approval of the abortion pill mifepristone. Todd was clearly upset at the ruling and claimed there was no reason for a challenge to the use of the drug since it has been approved since the "end of Bill Clinton's presidency." As if that matters. It's obvious that Todd sees no problem with defending a demonic drug that kills the unborn on a religious holiday. We all know the leftist media is Godless, but Todd made it all too obvious.

"The national divide was crystallized on Friday night in those dueling abortion rulings," Todd proclaimed. "Less than an hour apart on specifically the abortion pill over federal judges, these are legal efforts that were pushed by political activists seeking a decision by the Supreme Court."

Todd claimed that "there was no actual medical event, no misuse of this pill to trigger this look at the drug. It was simply political activists."

"No actual medical event." Well, that's partially true since abortion isn't medicine, it's murder. This is why it was rightfully challenged.

Todd then bemoaned how "this was a drug that was approved at the end of Bill Clinton's presidency, four presidencies ago." He seemed to think that evil procedures should be allowed to continue and should not be challenged simply because they've been in existence for decades.

Tober's reference to "evil procedures" gives away the game that this legal action is driven by partisan activism and not medical concerns. He then whined that another judge issued a ruling to preserve the status quo on the drug:

Todd ended by noting that "obviously the Supreme Court has to weigh in on this one."

That is the fault of the leftist judge in Washington state who randomly reacted with a contradictory ruling in an attempt to save the left's abortion blood lust. Now the Supreme Court has to weigh in to solve the dispute between the two lower court rulings.

Todd is pointing fingers in the wrong direction.

Tober didn't explain why Kacsmaryk's ruling must be considered so perfect that it shouldn't even be appealed -- but then, he's a partisan activist, not a legal expert.

When the (conservative-controlled) Supreme Court issued a stay of Kacsmaryk's ruling, the MRC didn't take it very well. Christy used an April 22 post to effectively argue that the lives of women are worth less than that of a fetus:

Senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joined CNN This Morning Weekend on Saturday to react to the Supreme Court issuing a full stay on Friday night that allows the abortion pill mifepristone to remain on the market by repeating one of the network’s favorite and silliest talking points: mifepristone is “way, way less deadly” than Viagra.


With the help of an on-screen chart that showed that mifepristone is responsible for five deaths per one million users as compared to 20 and 49 deaths for penicillin and Viagra respectively, Cohen added “In fact, if you're going to look at deadly side effects, penicillin: way more deadly, Viagra: way, way more deadly.”

Safety or deadly for whom? One million successful abortions are responsible for one millions deaths.

Mandelburg raged against the Supreme Court in an April 24 post using anti-abortion talking points instead of facts:

Last week, less than a year after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the court debated the decades-long decision of the FDA to approve a chemical abortion drug called mifepristone for sale at retail pharmacies. Unfortunately, despite the FDA’s inadequate research, the Supreme Court ruled to keep mifepristone on the market.

The news of this is shocking and heartbreaking for those in the pro-life movement.

Prior to the announcement, numerous pro-lifers were prayerfully hoping the deadly drug would be pulled.


The fact of the matter is that mifepristone is an extremely harmful drug. On top of the fact that it ends at least one life - the life of the child in the womb - it also poses significant threats to the health and even life of the mother. Mifepristone, the first of a two-pill abortion-inducing regimen, chemically kills an unborn baby and can cause the mother to experience up to a month of cramping, bleeding and severe pain. As a matter of fact, the drug is “four times more dangerous” than surgical abortions and has reportedly increased abortion-related ER visits by 500 percent from 2002-2015, according to Republican Sen. James Lankford's office.
But anti-abortion extremists like Mandelburg want to outlaw surgical abortions too. Make up your mind, Tierin-Rose! Still, she whined: "Even still, Friday's news that the Supreme Court decided to keep the drug legal and available shows just how pro-abortion our nation has become. These people aren't pro-woman, they're pro baby death, as evidenced by many of the people who fought to keep the deadly pill on the market."

Tim Graham spent a May 11 post complaining that a Reuters article on mifepristone accurately identified conservatives as conservatives, going on to grumble further about more accurate reporting: "Reuters also employed the usual formulation on the science: 'Scientific studies have overwhelmingly concluded that the drug, which has been used by millions of women, is safe.' Safe for aborting women, but 'scientific studies' apparently don't consider the unborn baby to be a human, or someone whose safety you consider. That's liberal thinking, but there are no 'liberals' identified in this story."

For a May 17 post, Tober bizarrely chose to interpret a news story as a guide to breaking the law:

How desperate were the cast of CBS Mornings to promote the left’s abortion-on-demand agenda? Well, the fact that they were openly promoting an abortionist in Amsterdam who openly admits to providing abortion pills to women seeking abortions in American states where it was illegal. Even openly advertising how their viewers can get illegal abortions wasn’t off-limits for the leftist media.

Correspondent Haley Ott spoke to a foreign abortionist Dr. Rebecca Gomperts whose organization “Aid Access helps Americans get abortions, even though they are thousands of miles apart.”

Tober is spouting the Depiction-Equals-Approval Fallacy, regularly used in the ConWeb to falsely assume that because a news outlet runs a particular story, it endorses the content of that story.

Mandelburg spent an Aug. 17 post cheering a right-wing appeals court for largely upholding Kacsmaryk's ruling, as well as effectively writing a press release for the ADF:

Represented by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a group of medical professionals condemned the negligence of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and said it should be “illegal” to distribute the abortion pill. ADF claimed the FDA didn’t adequately evaluate the abortion drug's safety and urged officials to take it off the market. On August 16, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the FDA must restore crucial safeguards around chemical abortion drugs. 

ADF is representing four different medical associations and four different doctors with experience caring for pregnant and post-abortive women. When the FDA permitted the distribution of mail order abortion pills, these medical professionals spoke up against the dangers of said drugs and sued the administration back in November 2022.

First of all, if the drug, mifepristone, works, it ends the life of at least one human being. Second of all, it poses significant risks to the health and even life of the mother who takes it. The drug can cause the mother to experience a month of cramping, bleeding and severe pain. According to Sen. James Lankford (R-Texas), the drug is “four times more dangerous” than surgical abortions and has reportedly increased abortion-related ER visits by “500 percent” from 2002-2015. Yet in April, the Supreme Court ruled that it would stay on the market.

Mandelburg failed to mention that anti-abortion extremists like herself and the ADF want to outlaw surgical abortion as well,making her complaint about its relative efficacy something of a moot point. She also failed to identify the right-wing ideology of the ADF. Instead, she praised the ruling some more:

The court’s ruling will prohibit abortion providers from sending abortion drugs via the mail where women can take them without any medical support or knowledge. It also ruled that the 2016 move by the FDA, which allowed the abortion drug to be taken from seven to 10 weeks gestation and loosened restrictions on obtaining said drugs, was a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. The Fifth Circuit reinstated “the original 2000 safeguards, including the seven weeks’ gestational limitation, necessary office visits, non-fatal adverse event reporting, and physician dispensation,” ADF reported. 


Keep in mind, however, that this is just one step. The new regulations won’t go into effect until after the Supreme Court decides whether or not to take the case. Presently, the SCOTUS stay that was upheld in April is still in effect, but the Fifth Circuit ruling is progress and has the potential to protect women and save countless lives.

Mandelburg continued being disingenuous by cheering how the ADF is using the courtroom to achieve what it couldn't through the legislative process -- something right-wingers like those who work at the MRC  and ADF have long criticized when liberals supposedly did it.

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