Mifepristone case bringing more FDA accountability

Mifepristone case bringing more FDA accountability

Mifepristone case bringing more FDA accountability

The Supreme Court will be the next stop for a legal fight over an abortion pill, but pro-lifers like the direction the case is going so far.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that the abortion pill mifepristone can still be used for now. It did, however, reduce the period in a pregnancy when the drug can be taken and said the drug could not be dispensed by mail.

The decision temporarily narrowed a recent ruling by U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk that completely blocked the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) approval of the drug while a lawsuit over it plays out. According to the Texas judge, the FDA failed to follow the proper protocol to ensure the drug's safety before approving it.

Laura Echevarria, director of communications and press secretary for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), tells AFN, "We are happy with the decision."

"We believe that the Fifth Circuit should have completely upheld the Texas ruling," adds Kimberly Bird, vice president of external relations at Live Action. "However, they did move in a positive direction."

Mifepristone, which is used in combination with misoprostol in chemical abortions, was approved by the FDA more than two decades ago, but pro-lifers and law firms including Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) say the FDA put politics ahead of women's health when it impermissibly failed to study how dangerous the chemical abortion drug regimen is and when it unlawfully removed every meaningful safeguard that it had previously implemented.

"Finally, thanks to this litigation, there's going to be some accountability to the FDA and better safeguards for women and girls in this country when it comes to this drug," says Lathan Watts, ADF vice president of public affairs.

Abby Johnson, who became pro-life after spending years in the abortion industry, responded to Judge Kacsmaryk's ruling on social media by warning that misoprostol-only abortions are "significantly more dangerous" because they completely remove the ability to utilize the abortion pill reversal process.

On Thursday, the Justice Department said it would ask the U.S. Supreme Court for an emergency order to put any action on hold.