European doctor says she's defying the FDA and will continue mailing abortion pills to women in the U.S.

By Caitlin O'Kane

/ CBS News

Impact of abortion ban in Northern Ireland

A European doctor said her organization will continue to send so-called abortion pills to women in the U.S. even though the Food and Drug Administration warned her to stop. "I will not be deterred," Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, the leader of Aid Access, said in a statement posted on the organization's Facebook page.

Aid Access provides online medical consultations to women who are up to nine weeks pregnant looking for a safe way to terminate their pregnancies. Aid Access

Through Aid Access, which Gomperts founded in 2018, women who are healthy and less than nine weeks pregnant can go through an online consultation to obtain the pills, mifepristone and misoprostol.

Gomperts said in her statement last month that Aid Access provides "telemedical abortion services to women who cannot otherwise access safe abortions because of costs, domestic violence, distance, or other reasons."

In reviewing Aid Access' site, the FDA determined the organization violated several sections of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

The battle over abortion More

More in The battle over abortion

"The sale of misbranded and unapproved new drugs poses an inherent risk to consumers who purchase those products," the FDA said in a letter to Aid Access in March. "Unapproved new drugs do not have the same assurance of safety and effectiveness as those drugs subject to FDA oversight."

The FDA requested that Aid Access "immediately cease causing the introduction of these violative drugs into U.S. commerce."

Dr. Rebecca Gomperts created Aid Access in 2018 to give women around the world access to safe abortions.
Dr. Rebecca Gomperts created Aid Access in 2018 to give women around the world access to safe abortions. Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Gomperts said her lawyer responded to the FDA's letter.

The pills cost 80 euros – about $90 – and Aid Access offers financial support for those who cannot afford to buy them, according to the group's website. One in four Aid Access customers cannot afford the pills, Gomperts said in her statement.

The doctor said she would not turn away American women seeking to terminate their pregnancies prior to nine weeks. "I will continue to protect the human and constitutional right of my patients to access safe abortion services," she said.

Gomperts is a doctor in Austria who has studied in the Netherlands, U.S. and Sweden. She accused the FDA of violating the rights of women seeking safe abortions and said her services are essential as more states in the U.S. are passing strict anti-abortion laws.

The doctor said she prescribed the pills to 2,581 of the 11,108 women who consulted her last year, saying abortions done with the pills before 10 weeks of pregnancy are safer than childbirth and are similar to spontaneous miscarriages.

Gomperts also runs Women on Waves, an advocacy group for women's rights that works to make abortions easily accessible for all women.

First published on June 4, 2019 / 7:04 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

44160430-482323225609673-2355140343189471232-n.jpg Dr. Rebecca Gomperts created Aid Access in 2018 to give women around the world access to safe abortions.

Young Texas couple die of mysterious illness in Fiji

David and Michelle Paul were vacationing on the tropical island from Fort Worth, Texas

3M ago

Doctor says she'll keep mailing abortion pills after FDA warning

"I will continue to protect the human and constitutional right of my patients to access safe abortion services," Dr. Rebecca Gomperts says

6M ago

Inside the special relationship between Roosevelt and Churchill

The ups and downs between the two leaders are on display at the FDR Library & Museum in Hyde Park, New York

15M ago

House passes DREAM Act that would place millions on path to citizenship

In addition to young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers, the legislation would also cover immigrants with temporary protected status

20M ago

Rihanna is the world's richest female musician

Musical artist and entrepreneur Rihanna has a $600 million fortune, according to Forbes

29M ago

House passes DREAM Act that would place millions on path to citizenship

In addition to young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers, the legislation would also cover immigrants with temporary protected status

20M ago

Protests ramp up on Day 2 of Trump's U.K. visit

As President Trump continues his official state visit to Britain, a large protest was expected to fill London's iconic Trafalgar Square

2H ago

Missouri judge sides with Planned Parenthood in court

If Planned Parenthood hadn't been granted the injunction, Missouri would have been the first state without a legal abortion clinic

updated 25M ago

Busy Philipps testifies before Congress on abortion

Actress and talk show host Busy Philipps has become one of the most outspoken defenders of women's reproductive rights

4H ago

Alabama mayor says to "kill" LGBTQ community

"The only way to change it would be to kill the problem out," the mayor wrote in a Facebook post

4H ago

Doctor says she'll keep mailing abortion pills after FDA warning

"I will continue to protect the human and constitutional right of my patients to access safe abortion services," Dr. Rebecca Gomperts says

6M ago

China travel warning spells trouble for U.S. luxury retailers

Chinese tourists to the U.S. are mainstays for this sector, dropping an average $6,700 on purchases in 2017

1H ago

Civilization faces "existential risk" from climate change, report warns

New report forecasts widespread societal breakdown set off by the migration of billions of people fleeing climate extremes

1H ago

Protests ramp up on Day 2 of Trump's U.K. visit

As President Trump continues his official state visit to Britain, a large protest was expected to fill London's iconic Trafalgar Square

2H ago

Trade feuds denting U.S. and global growth, World Bank says

Mounting conflict over tariffs is a serious risk to the world economy, according to the international lender

2H ago

Rihanna is the world's richest female musician

Musical artist and entrepreneur Rihanna has a $600 million fortune, according to Forbes

29M ago

Highest-grossing movies of all time, ranked

What's the highest-grossing movie of all time? It might be one of your favorites

4H ago 27 photos

A Forbes' rich list that ranks wealthiest "self-made" women

Inclusion of 21-year-old cosmetics mogul Kylie Jenner cause some to quibble over definition of making it on one's own

1H ago

Busy Philipps testifies before Congress on abortion

Actress and talk show host Busy Philipps has become one of the most outspoken defenders of women's reproductive rights

4H ago

R. Kelly reporter says system has failed young black women

"Nobody matters less in our society than young black girls," Jim DeRogatis said, after years of trying to bring R. Kelly's alleged abuses to light

7H ago

Tim Cook on tariffs, immigration and spending too much time on our phones

The Apple CEO sat down with incoming "CBS Evening News" anchor Norah O'Donnell

40M ago

Cryptocurrency whiz behind $4.5 million lunch with Buffett

The entrepreneur sees an opportunity "for mutual understanding and knowledge transfer" over lunch with Buffett

41M ago

Tim Cook: "We should all be concerned" about fake news

"I worry that the fake news is not under control," Apple CEO Tim Cook told CBS News' Norah O'Donnell

3H ago

Apple's top Mac Pro computer costs more than the average car

The tech company's products have always fetched a premium, but its latest high-end desktop is raising eyebrows

6H ago

Why Big Tech's big breakup may never come

Antitrust enforcers are unlikely to seek the ultimate sanctions for Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple

4H ago

Civilization faces "existential risk" from climate change, report warns

New report forecasts widespread societal breakdown set off by the migration of billions of people fleeing climate extremes

1H ago

NASA taps 3 companies for moon missions

If all goes well, the landers will touch down on the moon in 2020 and 2021

May 31

Energy Department calls natural gas "freedom gas" in press release

The release isn't the first time the department has associated "freedom" with natural gas

May 29

Thousands of puffins die as climate warms

Mass mortality events are becoming bigger and more frequent in "a changing world"

May 29

Cosmonauts honor spacewalk pioneer on eve of 85th birthday

Cosmonauts dedicate spacewalk to Alexey Leonov, who carried out the first spacewalk in 1965

May 29

Opioid claims tarnish Johnson & Johnson's family-friendly image

Known for evoking "childhood and babies," J&J now faces fire in a case alleging it played a role in the opioid crisis

1H ago

Missouri judge sides with Planned Parenthood in court

If Planned Parenthood hadn't been granted the injunction, Missouri would have been the first state without a legal abortion clinic

updated 25M ago

Laundry pods still a serious safety risk, study warns

Research shows hospital admissions of young children and some people with dementia who swallowed them only dropping slightly

6H ago

U.S. looks to help more cancer patients access experimental drugs

Food and Drug Administration announced a project to have the agency become the middleman between patients and drug companies

20H ago

Drug extends lives of young breast cancer patients

The drug Kisqali (ribociclib) is already approved by the FDA, and new research shows it helps some breast cancer patients live longer

Jun 3

Rihanna is the world's richest female musician

Musical artist and entrepreneur Rihanna has a $600 million fortune, according to Forbes

29M ago

Tim Cook on tariffs, immigration and spending too much time on our phones

The Apple CEO sat down with incoming "CBS Evening News" anchor Norah O'Donnell

40M ago

Cryptocurrency whiz behind $4.5 million lunch with Buffett

The entrepreneur sees an opportunity "for mutual understanding and knowledge transfer" over lunch with Buffett

41M ago

A Forbes' rich list that ranks wealthiest "self-made" women

Inclusion of 21-year-old cosmetics mogul Kylie Jenner cause some to quibble over definition of making it on one's own

1H ago

China travel warning spells trouble for U.S. luxury retailers

Chinese tourists to the U.S. are mainstays for this sector, dropping an average $6,700 on purchases in 2017

1H ago

Deputy charged after staying outside during Parkland shooting

Scot Peterson, 56, faces child neglect, culpable negligence and perjury charges

updated 24M ago

Prison guard recorded fight with husband before her fatal fall

Allissa Martin was found dead at the bottom of a parking garage, her cell phone still recording on the seventh floor

3H ago

At least 4 killed and "multiple crime scenes" in Australia rampage

Police said a 45-year-old man was in custody following Tuesday's shooting

3H ago

Police search trash plant with cadaver dogs in missing mom case

Jennifer Dulos' blood found in Hartford trash bins; estranged husband, his girlfriend face evidence tampering charges

5H ago

Missing mom's blood found in trash bins

In a new twist in the search for a missing Connecticut mother, police say they have found some of her blood in places where her estranged husband and girlfriend may have been recorded on camera. Fotis Dulos and Michelle Troconis were arraigned Monday. Mola Lenghi reports.

11H ago 02:51

NASA taps 3 companies for moon missions

If all goes well, the landers will touch down on the moon in 2020 and 2021

May 31

Cosmonauts honor spacewalk pioneer on eve of 85th birthday

Cosmonauts dedicate spacewalk to Alexey Leonov, who carried out the first spacewalk in 1965

May 29

SpaceX readying crew ship for flight by end of year

SpaceX, working through a Crew Dragon failure probe, is protecting possible end-of-year flight

May 28

NASA awards contract for future moon station

NASA is moving ahead with plans to send astronauts back to the moon by 2024

May 23

SpaceX pins high hopes on Starlink satellites

SpaceX plans multiple Starlink launches in 2019 to build out space-based internet network

May 23

Evidence photos in the disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit

Jodi Huisentruit, the morning news anchor at Iowa's KIMT-TV was reported missing on June 27, 1995. Mason City Police are still at work trying to solve this case 23 years later.

Jun 1 26 photos

Horrifying photos of Chernobyl and its aftermath

HBO's drama provided a devastating look at the worst nuclear accident of the 20th century. Now see what really happened.

May 31 39 photos

Memorial Day 2019: America honors the fallen

Remembering the sacrifices made by service members in our nation's wars

May 27 37 photos

John & Jacque: A tale of love and war

A look at John Needham, Jacque Villagomez and the events that led to her death

May 25 14 photos

Highest-grossing movies of all time, ranked

What's the highest-grossing movie of all time? It might be one of your favorites

4H ago 27 photos

Popular

Texas couple dies of mysterious illness

U.S. authorities are looking into what caused a couple from Fort Worth, Texas, to die while on vacation in Fiji. The World Health Organization is assisting in the investigation. Janet Shamlian reports.

updated 10M ago 01:34

Is chicken better than red meat?

Something we have been told for decades about our food may be wrong. A study out seems to suggest white meat, including poultry, may not be so healthy after all. It could affect your blood cholesterol level the same way as red meat. Dr. Tara Narula explains.

updated 14M ago 01:49

Trump compliments Theresa May

On the second day of President Trump's visit to Britain, thousands protested across London. And in a switch, the president had kind words for the outgoing prime minister. Ben Tracy reports.

updated 14M ago 02:40

Tim Cook on too much screen time

In an interview with Norah O'Donnell, Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted he gets a report on how much screen time he's getting. He said what he found was "profound."

updated 15M ago 05:29

Florida deputy charged after Parkland

The Florida deputy who failed to confront the gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last year was arrested. Scot Peterson faces several charges, including child neglect. Manuel Bojorquez reports.

updated 24M ago 02:51