Home News Bumbling Extremists' Sad Crusade Against Abortion Pills – The Daily Beast

Bumbling Extremists' Sad Crusade Against Abortion Pills – The Daily Beast

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Reverend Patrick Mahoney ditched his usual jeans and Converse for a dark blue suit and brown shoes that he thought were bougies before boarding an Amtrak. washington dcto new york city March last year. He wanted to look good in a speech he would give at the New York City Mayor’s Interfaith Anti-Gun Violence Summit. I also needed. Fifth AvenueBriefcase in hand, the Presbyterian minister confidently walked past the empty lobby, pressed the elevator button and slipped inside.

He had another mission, which had nothing to do with guns.

But the elevator ride abruptly ended on a floor that looked like an empty office space. Another potential address he had as a target was an adjacent building. This time, the pastor had to get past a security guard before boarding what he hoped was the secret headquarters of the Danko Institute in the United States. Distributor of the abortion drug mifepristone.

The elusive pharmaceutical company has long captured the fascination and rage of anti-abortion extremists like Mahoney.

“I said, ‘Oh my wife is going to talk about Danko. She’s a certified health coach. Mahoney told The Daily Beast about his ruse with the security guard that day.’ He said he called his wife, also a well-known anti-abortion activist, by her maiden name.

“Katie has written some stories that were never to Danko’s favor,” he later explained to the Daily Beast.

up to the fall Law vs Wade Last summer, activists and Republican politicians fought to limit and ban medical abortion. popular When increasingly accessible How to terminate early pregnancy in America.and the Food and Drug Administration Recent rule change Enabling retail pharmacies to offer the abortion drug mifepristone directly to patients only increased the urgency of anti-abortion advocates to block access to these drugs. National anti-abortion groups have already announced upcoming protests at CVS and Walgreens, and the companies have agreed to obtain certification to dispense the drug.

Mahoney, meanwhile, has been on a nearly year-long mission to get closer to the causes of these abortions, discovering and sabotaging Danko, a sort of holy grail for anti-abortion fanatics.

Born in May 1954, the pastor told people he was 69 years old and aged about nine months when he became pregnant. He grew up in the radical “rescue” movement of his 1980s and his 1990s, and he claims he was arrested at least 100 times. For about ten years he was the spokesperson for Operation Rescue. Supporters of Operation Rescue formed a human chain to block the entrance to the abortion clinic. This militant wing attracted violent extremists. Murdered doctor and clinic worker.

Currently, Mahoney is Chief Strategy Officer for the Stanton Center for Public Policy, the lobby arm of Stanton Health Care, a network of emergency pregnancy centers headquartered in Idaho. Like similar centers around the country, they are faith-oriented and work to discourage women from having abortions, but unlike many centers that primarily offer free pregnancy tests and diapers, Stanton The facility provides limited reproductive and sexual health services but does not practice contraception or abortion. (Also dating Republican Congressman Russ Fulcher of Idaho. Advocated for Stanton and appeared in the press with Stanton).

Swindell’s position is that all abortions are bad, but she calls mifepristone a “human pesticide” that works by blocking the progesterone hormone needed for pregnancies to thrive. I’m in. And she compares Danko to Monsanto.

The only difference, which is a big problem for a movement with a long tradition of harassing patients and providers outside of clinics, is Danco. impossible to find.

“Why are they so secretive? Why are they so hidden?” Swindell asked The Daily Beast. “And for us, we wanted to understand who’s profiting. Who’s the mastermind behind making abortion pills? What’s the deal?”

Brandi Swindell, founder and CEO of Stanton Healthcare, testifies before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on July 13, 2022 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Kevin Deitch/Getty Images

According to Mahoney, a friendly Fifth Avenue security guard told him last March that Danko wasn’t in the building, and months later he was approached by Stanton, a private investigator hired to expand his search. also said the same thing. Mahoney claimed he found the investigator through a former federal law enforcement friend at a church in suburban Virginia.

“I don’t know who to contact, but from your experience I’m sure you know someone you can trust (not the crazy drunk PI in the movie!)” , Mahoney wrote in an email shared with The Daily Beast, but declined to name the individuals involved in the project. “We need to have a precise location to hold a prayer and candlelight vigil, a peaceful public event. world!”

“Yeah, that’s not where we are,” Danko spokeswoman Abby Long, now the pharmaceutical company’s only publicly identified employee, told the Daily about the address Mahoney attempted. told Beast.

She said Danko, in fact, is headquartered in New York, but in an unlisted location and has the drug Manufactured in Europe. All secrets, she said (FDA approved), keeping anti-abortion extremists away from her workplace. Mr. Long, 23, has worked for a pharmaceutical company for the past 16 years. She recalls that her two predecessors occasionally mailed postcards of aborted fetuses to Danco’s public post office box.

Otherwise, harassment has been minimal, she said.

“You know, when I first started, sometimes there might be emails that pop up in general emails,” Long told The Daily Beast. It wasn’t something life-threatening like, “I’m going to kill you.”

Danko Institute originally formed Other pharmaceutical companies have embarked on the abortion controversy and have refused to market Mifepristone, which Danko has marketed as Mifeprex for the past 20 years. In 2019, the FDA approved a generic version of his GenBioPro-distributed drug.

As part of an FDA-approved two-step abortion regimen, mifepristone Misoprostol within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.Under the new rule, patients still need a prescription to get the drug and can only get one in states where abortion is legal. and lawmakers are working hard in the background to figure out how to stop abortion pills being mailed across state lines and how to ban interstate travel. bottom was suggested Women can be prosecuted for taking abortion pills.

After the FDA’s announcement, Mahoney said major anti-abortion activist email groups snorted about how to scare pharmacies from dispensing these drugs, suggesting boycotts, pickets and sit-ins. I started blowing up with suggestions.

The text of one email Mahoney sent to the Anti-Abortion Listserv, which he shared with The Daily Beast, outlined specific strategies for winning the boycott campaign. “Focus on JUST ONE national chains. Pick the one with the worst financial standing,” Mahoney wrote. “Look at the chain with the most locations in pro-life states. Direct action and peaceful protests and local pharmacies. In other words, treat each pharmacy like an abortion clinic.”

Reverend Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, kneels in prayer during a livestreamed Good Friday service on the grounds of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, April 10, 2020. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Christians around the world mark the Easter holiday on Sunday, April 12th.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

For now, the Stanton Center for Public Policy has filed its Wild Goose Chase (finding Danko’s headquarters) to focus on blocking access to abortion. I’m planning a demo this afternoon at CVS in northwest Washington, DC. Various groups have announced protests at various his CVS and Walgreens locations across the country. February 4th At Walgreens headquarters in Deerfield, Illinois, Valentine’s day.

This was all before pharmacies actually started dispensing drugs. It will be a long process.After all, the pharmacy must acquire a special Ushma Upadhyay, a professor and reproductive health researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, was recently certified to do so. los angeles times editorial She points out that it is safer than drugs such as Tylenol and Viagra.

“Pharmacies dispense thousands of other drugs every day without requiring specific certification for each,” writes Upadhyay. “It’s another hurdle and hassle discouraging pharmacies from selling this essential drug.”

And of course, not all participating pharmacies publish about it. “We want to be able to release information so people can figure out where they need to go, but we also want to respect those who want to keep their secrets in some way,” Long said. .

Walgreens spokesperson Marty Maloney told the Daily Beast that the pharmacy chain has not commented on the planned protests, but said in an emailed statement, “We are under the program. Intend to become an accredited pharmacy. We evaluate pharmacy networks in terms of registration, required pharmacist training, and where they typically dispense products with additional FDA requirements, and comply with federal and state laws. I’ll prepare them.”

CVS did not respond to requests for comment. But spokesperson Amy Thibaud recently said: catholic news agency“We plan to seek certification to dispense mifepristone where legally permitted,” and “Access to medicines prescribed by physicians based on the pharmacist’s individual religious or moral beliefs.” We have policies in place to ensure patients are not rejected.”

While extremist activists blaze with protests and boycotts, anti-abortion law and policy advocates are working hard in courts and Congress to persuade the FDA. Withdraw approval of mifepristoneThey also want State and legislators in the newly Republican-controlled House called for the introduction of onerous new regulations over medical abortion. Swindell says her group is discussing with lawmakers about requiring pharmacies to inform patients about abortion alternatives.Anti-abortion groups are also investigating How to use environmental law It creates more hurdles for people trying to abort early stage pregnancies.

Danco, meanwhile, continues to strive to stay out of reach of these extremists.

“The anti-abortion movement has historically been pretty active, both in response and response to what the abortion community at large is doing,” Long said. I want to be able to do

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