The US has revoked its approval for the abortion drug mifepristone, in a move that could disrupt millions of people’s reproductive healthcare.
Matthew J Kacsmaryk is a District Judge in Amarillo Trump Administration appointee in Amarillo Texas. He signed an injunction asking the Food and Drug Administration to stop its approval while a lawsuit against its safety continues.
He sided with a conservative Christian group Alliance Defending Freedom that brought a lawsuit claiming the drug was not being properly regulated.
Although he did not go as far the complainants requested, he placed a “stay” on the drug’s approval.
The judge’s decision will not take effect for seven days. The Department of Justice announced that it will appeal the decision.
President Joe Biden stated in a statement that his administration would fight the ruling.
Let’s be clear: the only way to stop those who want to take away women’s freedoms and rights in every state is for Congress to pass a law that restores Roe versus Wade.
“Vice President [Kamala] Harris, and I will continue leading the fight for a woman’s rights to an abortion and her right to make her own choices about her health.”
A legal standoff
Mifepristone blocks the hormonal requirement to keep a pregnancy. It has been approved in the USA since 2000 for medical abortions and miscarriage management.
It can be safely used in more than 60 countries around the world and, when combined with the drug misoprostol accounts for more that half of all abortions in America.
Some abortion providers stated that they would wait for FDA guidance before implementing the ban against mifepristone.
A separate ruling was issued in Washington on Friday night by a judge. He said that the FDA must make medication abortion drugs available in at most 12 liberal states. This creates a legal standoff which could escalate to the Supreme Court.
It is absurd to ask about drug that is’safer then ibuprofen’
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the Texas lawsuit ignores “decades of data” supporting mifepristone’s efficacy and is “exacerbating America’s current abortion crisis”.
Sky News spoke with Dr Razel Remen in Michigan to discuss abortion. He said that Misepristone was literally one of the most safest drugs on the market – safer then ibuprofen and safer than Tylenol.
People are more likely to experience an adverse event while driving or during childbirth. It’s absurd that this is even being considered.
Angel, a 24-year-old Texas resident, had an abortion with the drug in February.
She was already a mother to three children and decided to end her pregnancy.
Angel claims that the ban on mifepristone was “another attack against a woman’s freedom to choose”.
“You can do this at home… It’s convenient, easy, and it’s safe. It’s just hard to believe that something could be so right for so long. Then, one day, everything changes.
Since Roe v Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court, Pills have been the new frontier in the fight for abortion access. This happened in June 2022.
People who want to have abortions in restricted states often order pills by mail or travel across state lines to pick them.
Angel was forced to obtain the pills underground because Texas abortion clinics were already closed.
She said, “It’s almost impossible to get an abortion here.” You can’t even go to the pharmacy. You cannot go to Planned Parenthood. There are no clinics… It’s like finding a blessing.
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What has changed since Roe V Wade was overturned
Pro-choice campaigners are now concerned that access to mifepristone is in danger, making it more difficult for Americans to obtain an abortion.
Elisa Wells, cofounder of Plan C, says, “What’s clear, is that we require all forms of abortion within this country, and they all need to be legal.”
The organization provides support and information to women who are seeking abortion access in all 50 states.
“This injustice is done by manipulating courts to ban this medication… It’s truly outrageous,” Ms. Wells stated.
“We are a modern democracy and need to have access to basic medical care in all parts of the country legally and without restriction. This includes abortion.
Alternatives to mifepristone are available for women who still need medical abortion.
Many doctors are anticipating the ruling and will now switch to misoprostol-only. Although they claim that the method is safe, it can cause more side effects and discomfort.
This decision is yet another controversial legal fight over abortion access in America. It could end up back at the Supreme Court.