Texas Case Could End Access to ‘Dangerous’ Abortion-Inducing Drug Nationwide

A federal judge heard oral arguments Wednesday in a lawsuit that could end the availability of the abortion-inducing drug mifepristone throughout the nation.

The case was brought against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in November by the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, a coalition of pro-life OB/GYNS, pediatricians, and other Christian healthcare providers, who is seeking a preliminary injunction to require the FDA to either withdraw or suspend its approval of the drug while the lawsuit continues.

Mifepristone is the first pill taken to induce abortion, followed by misoprostol. More than half of all abortions in the United States are now drug-induced rather than surgical.

In the medical animation video below, certified OB/GYN Dr. Noreen Johnson describes what happens during a drug-induced abortion.

The plaintiffs claim the FDA is required to “protect the health, safety, and welfare of all Americans by rejecting or limiting the use of dangerous drugs” but “failed America’s women and girls when it chose politics over science and approved chemical abortion drugs for use in the United States.”

“And it has continued to fail them by repeatedly removing even the most basic precautionary requirements associated with their use,” the lawsuit asserts as it points to “six discrete agency actions” taken by the FDA over a period of three decades, beginning in January 1993 when former President Bill Clinton “directed his cabinet to legalize chemical abortion drugs in the United States” on his second day in office.

According to CNN, Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Amarillo Division – a Donald Trump appointee – “asked questions … that suggested he is seriously considering blocking” approval of the drug and the FDA’s decision to lift restrictions on its use.

“The judge pledged to issue an order and opinion in the case ‘as soon as possible,'” the report noted, observing Kacsmaryk appeared to focus on FDA’s procedure for approval of mifepristone:

Kacsmaryk was particularly focused on a claim by the abortion foes that the studies that the FDA looked at when deciding whether to approve the drug did not match the conditions under which the agency allows it to be administered.

Attorney for the plaintiffs, Erik Baptist, argued the studies involved patients who underwent ultrasounds before being prescribed mifepristone, a procedure that is not required before a drug-induced abortion.

The FDA, Baptist said, was, therefore, “examining oranges and declaring apples to be safe,” the report noted, adding the judge himself then referred several more times throughout the hearing to the reference to “apples to oranges.”

However, Daniel Schwei, attorney for the Department of Justice, argued that the FDA has the discretion to determine the appropriate studies for approving the safety and effectiveness of drugs, “an argument Kacsmaryk pressed him on,” CNN reported.

Attorneys General from 23 states joined the lawsuit to ask the court to prohibit the sale of abortion-inducing drugs nationwide.

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, who joined the lawsuit in February, stated in her brief:

The FDA’s actions here have two basic legal flaws. First, the FDA’s approval of mifepristone defies the agency’s own regulations. Second, the FDA’s actions defy federal criminal law. The serious nature of the FDA’s unlawful actions, and the agency’s decision to invite lawbreaking by private parties and government actors across the country, favors broad relief.

“The FDA and the Administration as a whole have no intention to respect the Constitution, the Supreme Court, or the democratic process when it comes to abortion,” Fitch asserted.

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Susan Berry, PhD is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Mifeprex” by Robin Marty. CC BY 2.0.



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