Texas Mifepristone Ruling Threatens Abortion Access in States Where Procedure Is Legal, Attorneys General Say

The FDA's approval of the abortion pill mifepristone is invalid, according to a Texas federal judge. An appeals court has been asked to block his ruling by a group of states.

Texas Mifepristone Ruling Threatens Abortion Access in States Where Procedure Is Legal, Attorneys General Say

Attorneys General in 23 States and Washington, D.C., have warned that the suspension by a judge of approval for mifepristone poses "devastating risk" to millions.

The Attorneys General backed Justice Department's request to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in order to block the ruling by Texas federal judge Matthew Kacsmaryk.

Food and Drug Administration approved Mifepristone more than 20 year ago. It is used for about half of all abortions performed in the United States.

In June, the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional rights to abortion which had been in place since 1973.

In a new report, the attorneys general of nearly half of U.S. States have been surveyed.

Court filing

Warning: A federal judge's decision suspending the Food and Drug Administration approval dating back 23 years is a serious matter.


Millions of people, including those living in states with high unemployment rates, are at risk.

The following are some of the reasons why you should consider abortion

remains legal.

In a Monday filing, the attorneys general called for the U.S. 5th Circuit to hear their case.

Court of Appeals

Keep mifepristone available on the market, as the litigation over its legality is ongoing

The abortion pill

Plays out

Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk

The U.S. District Court of Amarillo in Texas, effectively revoked Friday the

FDA approval

Mifepristone is a mifepristone.

He put off his decision for a week so that the Biden administration could appeal.

Kacsmaryk’s ruling will go into effect at 12 am CT on Saturday, if the 5th Circuit doesn’t stop it.

In their filing on Monday, Democratic Attorneys General for 23 States and the District of Columbia condemned Kacsmaryk’s ruling as “legally incorrect” and warned that it would undermine FDA’s approval process.

The attorneys general argued Kacsmaryk’s order would “eviscerate” the sovereign decisions made by the state to protect abortion access in light of the Supreme Court’s decision last summer overturning Roe v. Wade. This case had since 1973 stated that there was a constitutional federal right to abortion.

In the United States, Mifepristone is used with misoprostol to terminate a pregnancy. This method accounts for approximately half of all abortions.

In their brief, the attorneys general made reference to this fact.

The attorneys general stated that "because medication abortion is most commonly used to end a pregnancy in the first trimester of pregnancy, restricting access to this method would result in more abortions later in pregnancy and increase costs and medical risks."

The Department of Justice asked the 5th Circuit on Monday to rule on its request.

Stop Kacsmaryk by noon on Thursday

"to allow the government to seek help in the Supreme Court, if needed."

Danco Laboratories (the distributor of mifepristone) has also asked the appeals Court to suspend Kacsmaryk’s decision for 14 days at least so that the company can "seek urgent relief from the Supreme Court."

If the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court does not block Kacsmaryk’s decision, there is a lot of uncertainty as to how his decision will impact the legality mifepristone.

Thomas Rice, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Washington who ruled just 20 minutes after Kacsymaryk's ruling on Friday, has barred the FDA "from altering the status-quo and rights" as they relate to the availability of the mifepristone in the District of Columbia, and in 17 states which had sued to keep this medication available in their jurisdictions.

Rice was asked by the Department of Justice to explain how the FDA would respond to Kacsmaryk if his decision went into effect. The Department of Justice noted that the Washington State ruling appeared to be "significantly at odds" with Kacsmaryk’s ruling.

Rice was asked to answer this question by Friday.

A poll conducted by Pew Research Center published on Tuesday found that 53% of Americans believe medication abortions should be legalized in their state. About 22% disagree and the remaining 24% are not sure. The poll was conducted prior to Kacsmaryk’s ruling.

Kacsmaryk’s decision will not affect misoprostol availability, which is recommended by the World Health Organization as an abortion drug.

California, for example, is stockpiling misoprostol to be ready in case Kacsmaryk’s decision becomes effective.

The states who filed the brief on Monday to the 5th Circuit include Arizona, California and Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware Hawaii, Illinois Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada New Jersey, New Mexico New York North Carolina, Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island Vermont Washington and Wisconsin.