Active lawsuit pushes against FDA access to abortion drugs

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is at the forefront of a nationwide push for a reduction of abortion drugs nationwide.

Currently, a lawsuit in Texas is acting against the practiced usage of mifepristone –– which has been used in abortion practices in the United States for over 20 years and in Europe for over 30. This legal battle has been underway since November 2022. Multiple groups that are publicly anti-abortion filed the lawsuit as part of the overarching Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, including a set which identifies under the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). The ADF was also involved in the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

In this lawsuit, those in opposition of the FDA are aiming “to withdraw mifepristone and misoprostol as FDA-approved chemical abortion drugs and to withdraw defendants’ actions to deregulate these chemical abortion drugs.”

The plaintiffs are claiming that the combination of drugs present in an abortion via pill, which involves intake of mifepristone followed by misoprostol, is unsafe. However, this is not supported by any studies into the current day. Mifepristone, the drug in question, is used to block progesterone to halt the furthering of the pregnancy. The second drug in the process, misoprostol, is used to induce cramping that expunges the fetus from the carrying body.

The FDA has been pushing for increased access to abortion healthcare since the start of the pandemic, and the active lawsuit against them is pushing back on this progress.

According to many groups of legal specialists, the current prediction is that Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk will rule against the FDA. Kacsmaryk was notably appointed by former President Donald Trump during his administration.

The ruling of this case holds the potential to ban access to abortion medication in all 50 states, and not just the 19 where bans are currently implemented. This could also result in an overturning of abortion access via online prescriptions, instead forcing pregnant individuals to go in-person to request the pill.

It is also notable that currently over half of all abortions are done using the pill method, according to the Guttmacher Institute. This method is primarily approved for usage in the first ten weeks of a pregnancy term.