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The United States Senate voted to confirm Dr. Robert Califf as Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Tuesday amid controversy over Califf’s past performance at the FDA related to chemical abortion and the safety of women.

Some 50 pro-life groups wrote the US Senate last month opposing the Biden administration’s nominee, citing “profound concerns” over Califf, who had previously held the position in the Obama administration. The pro-life groups said Califf had significantly undermined the reporting and safety requirements for chemical abortion during his first term at the FDA.

Califf was previously FDA commissioner toward the end of the Obama administration from February 2016 to January 2017.

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The Senate confirmed Califf with a vote of 50 to 46, Fox News reports. Three Democrats voted against Califf, and six Republicans voted in favor of his nomination.

Sen. Ben Ray Luján, DN.M., voted absent as he recovers from a stroke.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, RW.Va., was absent after a recent COVID-19 diagnosis, according to RollCall.com, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, RS.C., was also absent.

Senators countering the Biden administration by voting against Califf were Joe Manchin, DW.Va., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Maggie Hassan, DN.H., Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. , the Fox News report said. Republican Senators who voted to approve Califf were Mitt Romney, R-Utah, Susan Collins, R-Maine, Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., and Richard Burr, RN .VS.

Sen. Mike Rounds, RS.D., withdrew his no vote and voted present to pair with Luján.

Additional opposition to Califf came from his handling the opioid crisis during his earlier FDA tenure and his ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

As pro-abortion groups continue to push for increased access and less regulation pf the abortion pill, playing down the risks, the group of nearly 50 pro-life groups had recalled in their January 12 letter to the Senate that “the FDA applies Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) to drugs with serious safety concerns “to help ensure the benefits of the medication outweigh its risks.””

“Until 2016, the REMS for chemical abortion required the reporting of severe, life-threatening, and fatal adverse events,” the pro-life coalition stated. “Under the direction of Califf, this requirement was altered to require that only fatal adverse events be reported. Califf approved this change despite thousands of adverse event reports already having been submitted to the FDA under the REMS.”

“With a track record of rubber-stamping abortion industry demands and with permanent authorization of unsafe mail-order abortion hanging in the balance, Califf is the wrong choice for FDA Commissioner,” the groups wrote.

This past December the Biden administration had moved to weaken longstanding federal safety regulations for mail-order chemical abortion drugs.

Holding the key FDA position responsible for abortion drug policy, Califf will now oversee the Biden administration’s plan to permanently authorize mail-order abortion drugs, national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony list said in a statement on Califf’s confirmation.

The administration policy allows for dangerous at-home, do-it-yourself abortions without necessary medical oversight, the group said. Chemical abortion is on a continued rise and poised to take over surgical abortion in frequency in the US

SBA List condemned the Senate’s vote to confirm Califf for the FDA.

“We’re deeply disappointed in the result of today’s vote,” SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said. “Robert Califf’s confirmation to lead the FDA paves the way for permanent authorization of mail-order abortion drugs, at a dire cost to women’s health and safety and the lives of countless unborn children.”

The pro-life group also urged pro-life legislators in the states and Congress “to take swift action to stop the flow of these dangerous drugs to post offices and pharmacies across America.”

The largest global network of pregnancy help organizations in the world criticized the confirmation, saying it favored the abortion industry and came at the expense of women.

“The return of Robert Califf to lead the FDA appears an intentional appeasement for Big Abortion,” said Jor-El Godsey, president of Heartbeat International. “Profits will surely continue to soar for Big Pharma’s abortion drugs at the expense of women’s health.”

Tweet This: Profits will surely continue to soar for Big Pharma’s abortion drugs w/Robert Califf’s return to the FDA – at the expense of women’s health

Tweet This: “The return of Robert Califf to lead the FDA appears an intentional appeasement for Big Abortion.”

“The Senate just voted to confirm Dr. Robert Califf—Biden’s pro-abortion, controversial, Obama-era nominee—to serve as FDA commissioner,” said Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma. “I opposed the appointment.”

“The Senate has confirmed Biden nominates Robert Califf to be FDA Commissioner,” tweeted Concerned Women for America. “This confirmation comes despite Califf’s concerning history of disregarding the health and safety of Americans both born and unborn.”

Students for Life Action tweeted“SFLAction will include this vote in our Pro-Life Generation Scorecard for the 117th Congress to hold your federal legislators accountable for their vote today.”

“Follow the science,” SFLAction continued. “Chemical Abortion kills preborn babies and harms women both physically and emotionally – sometimes permanently. Dr. Califf is a political puppet for Corporate Abortion and Big Pharma. He presents a serious danger to all Americans.”

The March for Life weighed in critically as well.

“The Biden Administration has once again put its radical pro-abortion agenda above the health and well-being of countless women and children,” the group said via Twitter continuing to add, “Dr. Robert Califf has a long history of weakening data reporting requirements for medical complications resulting from chemical abortions, obscuring the real dangers these drugs pose to women.”

March for Life President Jeanne Mancini followed up with a statement:

“Despite the research and science which includes thousands of documented adverse events caused by chemical abortion drugs, Dr. Califf has acted to advance a pro-abortion political agenda. Under his leadership in 2016, the FDA recklessly loosened reporting requirements associated with these dangerous drugs at a time when increasing health and safety oversight was needed. Women deserve better than an FDA that prioritizes politics over their health and safety.”

Editor’s note: Heartbeat International manages Pregnancy Help News and the Abortion Pill Rescue® Network (APRN).

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