Trial of abortion drug mifepristone lawsuit

In this 2018 photo, mifepristone and misoprostol pills are offered for medical abortion at a Carafem clinic in Skokie, Illinois.
In this 2018 photo, mifepristone and misoprostol pills are offered for medical abortion at a Carafem clinic in Skokie, Illinois. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune/TNS/Getty Images)

Texas federal judge is considering a lawsuit Attempt to block use of medical abortion nationwide in largest abortion-related case since Supreme Court overthrow Roe v. Wade last year.

The lawsuit, filed in November by anti-abortion advocates against the Food and Drug Administration, targets a drug that the agency approved 20 years ago. mifepristonethe first drug in a medical abortion procedure.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, appointed by former President Donald Trump schedule a hearing Wednesday’s question.

The parties will each there was a two hour argumentaccording to the order in which the hearing is scheduled, Kacsmaryk laid out a series of legal issues about the case that their attorneys should be prepared to address.

Any decision to prevent medical abortion — even temporarily — would seriously disrupt abortion cases across the country.

Contents of the dispute: The lawsuit is seeking multiple court actions, the most important of which is a preliminary and permanent injunction ordering the FDA to “rescind mifepristone and misoprostol as FDA-approved chemical abortion drugs, and to revoke the defendant’s release of approval of these chemicals.” Actions to regulate abortion drugs.”

The challengers also took aim at recent FDA moves to make the pill more accessible, including removing the requirement to pick up the pill in person from an abortion provider.

this FDA response The January lawsuit asked the judge to deny a preliminary injunction motion, arguing that issuing an injunction in the matter “would subvert the status quo and the dependent interests of mifepristone-dependent patients and physicians, as well as the interests of related businesses.” Distribution of mifepristone. “

The agency also said opposing its ruling would set a dangerous precedent.

Danco, which manufactures mifepristone, also made a request similar to the FDA court filing, emphasizing that litigation could cripple the company’s business. The drug company has been allowed to intervene in the case because anti-abortion activists also asked the court to halt the FDA’s 2016 approval of a version of its medical abortion drug.

Why this is important: A coalition of 22 Democratic attorneys general urged Kacsmaryk to reject the motion for a preliminary injunction, writing in court papers that “repealing — or even just restricting — any action by the FDA related to medical abortion would result in a dramatic reduction in abortion access. the whole country.

Democratic attorneys general noted that abortion clinics in their states have seen a surge in patient numbers due to the flow of residents in states with strict abortion restrictions. Blue states argue that cutting off access to medical abortions would further burden those clinics because surgical abortions would be the only method available.

Meanwhile, a coalition of 22 Republican attorneys general asked the court to issue a preliminary injunction, arguing that the FDA overstepped its authority in approving the drug.

Here are the percentages of U.S. abortions performed by medical abortion over the years:

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