Students for Life of America promotes the debunked claim that medication abortion is polluting wastewater

On Fox News’ Fox & Friends Weekend, Kristan Hawkins, president of the anti-abortion group Students for Life of America, promoted the debunked claim that traces of medication abortion pills such as mifepristone have been found in wastewater, leading to further pollution in the country’s waterways and causing harm to both people and wildlife.

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Citation From the March 10, 2024, edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends Weekend

KRISTAN HAWKINS (PRESIDENT, STUDENTS FOR LIFE OF AMERICA): I mean, I hope, you know, Americans wore neck braces on Thursday night — I was on the plane and felt like I should've wore one to watch. The rhetorical whiplash that we all got from the State of the Union was simply stunning. I mean, we heard messages of women are powerful, we can do anything, except multitask, and be a mother and also work. 

Babies in test tubes are fantastic and valuable and loved, but babies in the womb, not so much, and they should be allowed to be aborted up until the moment of birth. And if they're diagnosed with a genetic abnormality — as your daughter Valentina and my daughter Gracie were in the womb— they should be simply thrown away and discarded because they don't matter. The environment, we should protect it. Big Pharma, we should go after it for making money off of prescription drugs, unless they're selling chemical abortion pills, and then we should completely unregulate it, even though women are dying and becoming infertile after aborting their child, and these drugs are polluting our waterways with known endocrine disruptors. 

Environmental experts have repeatedly debunked Hawkins’ and her organization’s claims of mifepristone and “fetal remains” in wastewater, explaining that there is “no evidence that mifepristone has harmed the environment or people via wastewater” and that it is “a miniscule fraction of the total volume of pharmaceutical drugs that find their way into wastewater.”

On the March 10 episode of Fox & Friends Weekend, Hawkins said that “chemical abortion pills" are "polluting our waterways with known endocrine disruptors.” Co-host Rachel Campos-Duffy provided no pushback to the claim, simply responding, “Yeah.”

Since at least 2020, Students for Life of America has been promoting this false claim, even going so far as to call on the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to investigate the environmental impact of “fetal remains” from medication abortion regimens in the U.S. water supply. The group has also attempted to weaponize the Clean Water Act and the current fight against “forever chemicals” to force the FDA to rescind its approval of mifepristone.