CNN anchor attacks pro-life doctor, defends abortion pills, but her narrative crumbles when guests dish out the facts

News & Politics

CNN anchor Kaitlan Collins tried on Tuesday to lecture a pro-life doctor and lawyer about the purported safety of abortion pills, but she ended up receiving an on-air fact-check.

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Food and Drug Administration v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine on Tuesday. The case challenges the FDA’s broad approval of mifepristone — one of the pills most commonly used in medical abortions — and the FDA’s expanded access to the medication in 2016 and 2021.

Dr. Christina Francis, an ob-gyn and plaintiff in the case, and Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Kristen Waggoner appeared on Collins’ show and dismantled her defense of mifepristone.

First, Collins asserted without evidence that Dr. Francis has no experience treating women who experience complications from mifepristone.

“Just to be clear, Dr. Francis: You have never had to go to the emergency room to do this,” Collins told the physician. “You’ve never been required to perform an abortion for someone who had complications from taking this, right?”

Francis quickly corrected the record.

“I have actually taken care of women in our emergency room who have come in with complications and had to do procedures to finish removing the contents of their pregnancy from their uterus,” Francis corrected.

“But not an abortion, right?” Collins followed up.

“I have been brought down to the emergency room to complete the process that was started by these abortion drugs,” Francis explained. “This is happening more and more frequently because women are not even receiving in-person medical care prior to receiving these high-risk drugs because of the FDA’s decisions.”

Then, Waggoner challenged Collins’ assertion that mifepristone is safe and reiterated that the petitioners in the case simply want women to have contact with a doctor before they essentially induce at-home labor with abortion pills.

“The FDA’s own label, right now, when you go out and you purchase this drug, it tells you that one in 25 women are going to have to visit the emergency room and up to 7% of women are going to have surgical interventions,” Waggoner explained.

“We’re told that it’s safe, that no one has the right to challenge the FDA. And this is the same FDA that told us that opioids were safe to use for chronic pain and that surely no one would get addicted,” she said.

Collins, however, pushed back, claiming, “Penicillin is more dangerous than mifepristone.”

But Waggoner had more hard data to fact-check Collins, all of which came directly from the FDA.

“What the FDA’s own statistics and documents say are that up to 7% of women are going to have surgical interventions. In just 2020, the FDA said that an in-person doctor visit is not only minimally burdensome on a patient, but it’s necessary,” she explained. “And they explicitly said that thousands of women are presenting with severe complications as a result of taking this drug.”

“This isn’t me saying it. It’s what the FDA has said,” she added. “What they say in court now is very different than what their own data tell you.”

Aside from Waggoner’s explanation, Collins has zero data to support her claims about the safety of abortion pills.

That’s because, starting in 2016, the FDA required doctors to report only deaths from mifepristone — not any and every adverse effect and complication. Then, in 2021, the FDA loosened restrictions on the drug, further citing the apparent lack of adverse effects and complications as justification.

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