A lawsuit out of Amarillo, Texas, could potentially reverse the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of mifepristone and misoprostol for use in chemical abortions in the coming weeks.
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) sued the FDA in November on behalf of four medical organizations, arguing that the agency approved the drugs in 2000 without studying their safety under the labeled conditions of use, ignored evidence that the drugs cause more complications than surgical abortions and ignored their potential physical impacts on adolescent girls. A decision could come as early as March, an ADF spokesman told the Daily Caller News Foundation, and The Washington Post predicted a decision as soon as next week. (RELATED: FDA Clears Path For Abortion Pills At Pharmacies)
U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, appointed by former President Donald Trump, is ruling in this case, and an appeal of his decision would land the case in the conservative-leaning Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, leading abortion proponents to fear that ADF will win their case and reverse the FDA’s approval, according to the Post. A further appeal could bring the case to the Supreme Court.
Abortion pills make up a massive segment of the abortion industry; the drugs account for 53% of abortions in the U.S., according to the Guttmacher Institute, and banning them would leave women seeking abortions to pursue surgical abortions, which the ADF and some pro-life advocates argue are safer. In states where abortion is heavily restricted, some women obtain medication abortions through providers in other states or even other countries.
“Chemical abortion drugs are dangerous for pregnant women and girls. Our lawsuit seeks to ensure safety protections by stopping the use of these drugs for chemical abortions,” senior counsel Julie Marie Blake told the DCNF. “The use of the drugs for chemical abortions should never have been legalized without proper study of the dangers such drugs may present to young women and girls.”
The FDA characterized pregnancy as an “illness” and abortion drugs as a “therapeutic benefit,” according to the lawsuit, but the ADF argued that chemical abortion pills do not provide a therapeutic benefit over surgical abortions.
“But pregnancy is not an illness, nor do chemical abortion drugs provide a therapeutic benefit over surgical abortion. In asserting these transparently false conclusions, the FDA exceeded its regulatory authority to approve the drugs,” ADF argued in the lawsuit.
The ADF case does not challenge the use of mifepristone and misoprostol for procedures besides abortion. The case was brought on behalf of the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Pediatricians and the Christian Medical & Dental Associations.
The White House, the FDA, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Pediatricians and the Christian Medical & Dental Associations did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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