A federal appeals court has upheld limitations on the availability of the abortion medication mifepristone according to a report by CNN.
Government and Manufacturer to Challenge the Decision
Both the government and the manufacturer of mifepristone are likely to challenge the decision, setting the stage for another significant clash over abortion rights in the Supreme Court, particularly following the Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Judges Supported the Restriction
In its ruling, the three-judge panel on the typically conservative Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals supported the stance of U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, who was appointed during the Trump administration.
They Said the FDA Violated the Law
They agreed that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had acted in violation of the law by modifying regulations to make mifepristone more easily obtainable.
Approval Was Against the Law
One of the Trump-appointed judges on the panel even partially dissented, contending that the initial approval of mifepristone in 2000 was against the law.
Moved to Halt the Ban
The panel did not reinstate Kacsmaryk’s original injunction that would have halted the nationwide distribution of mifepristone.
After Kacsmaryk issued his initial decision in April, the Justice Department moved to halt the ban.
Suspended the Part That Removed it
Both the Fifth Circuit and the Supreme Court suspended the part of his ruling that would have removed mifepristone from the market.
What Is Mifepristone?
Mifepristone is one of the two pills commonly used for medication-induced abortions.
Although it has been available since 2000, the FDA has recently taken steps to expand its accessibility.
The Pill Is Allowed During the First 10 Weeks
These measures included allowing its use within the first ten weeks of pregnancy and removing the requirement for in-person dispensing.
This change enabled prescriptions to be provided through telehealth and mailed to users.
They Ruled the Measures Were Unlawful
These adjustments were the focus of a lawsuit brought by anti-abortion activists.
Kacsmaryk and the Fifth Circuit panel subsequently ruled that these measures were unlawful.
Court’s Ruling Doesn’t Impact the Pill
Alexis McGill Johnson, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood, emphasized that the court’s ruling does not impact the availability or FDA approval of mifepristone.
Response From CEO of Planned Parenthood
She stated, “But the 5th Circuit’s opinion makes it clear that mifepristone’s approval is very much still at risk, as is the FDA’s independence.”
Pregnant People Should Choose Not Judges
She stated, “Pregnant people should be the ones who make decisions about their own health care, and medical professionals should be the ones who make evidence-based decisions about the safety of medications — not judges.
The Supreme Court should reject this clearly baseless and political attempt to interfere with our ability to get health care.”
A Political Ploy to Control Women’s Bodies
Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon also issued a statement, asserting, “Any effort to restrict access to safe and effective abortion medication is nothing more than a political ploy to control women’s bodies.
The science is clear and a wealth of evidence demonstrates the drug’s safety and efficacy, which is why the FDA approved it more than 20 years ago. In fact, mifepristone has fewer complications than Tylenol.”
‘An Attempt to Undermine Science’
Evan Masingill, CEO of GenBioPro, the manufacturer of mifepristone, commented, “We remain concerned about extremists and special interests using the courts in an attempt to undermine science and access to evidence-based medication, as well as attempts to undermine the US Food and Drug Administration’s regulatory authority.”
They Will Make Sure People Have Access
He continued, “We will continue to use our company’s legal and regulatory tools to ensure access to mifepristone, which is essential to the health of many in the United States.”
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