LANSING, Mich., April 7, 2023 — A Trump-appointed federal judge in Texas announced he will suspend the Food and Drug Administration’s two-decade-old approval of a medication abortion pill, but is pausing his ruling for seven days so the federal government can appeal. This ruling is based on unfounded claims that the medication is dangerous for pregnant people.
“Michiganders made it clear — abortion is a protected right,” said Speaker Pro Tempore Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia), who serves as the chair of Michigan’s Progressive Women’s Caucus. “The ruling out of Texas seeks to eliminate the option of medication abortions even in states like Michigan where abortion is a protected right. The anti-abortion groups that filed this lawsuit challenging mifepristone’s 23-year FDA approval was not made in good faith. Mifepristone is the most common form of abortion and miscarriage management and is safe and effective. The lawsuit was just right-wing extremist groups’ latest attempt to strip away a person’s fundamental right to bodily autonomy.”
Medication abortion, or the abortion pill, is the most common form of abortion largely because of its safety and efficacy. This court ruling will force more women to receive the more invasive procedural abortion. It will also place additional barriers on women who live in areas without access to health care.
Stripping away the FDA approval status of an almost 23-year-old medication also creates the possibility for these extreme right-wing groups to go after other medications like birth control, the morning-after pill and more.
The American Medical Association, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and American Academy of Family Physicians filed a brief in February urging the judge to reject the effort to ban mifepristone, stating that a ban on mifepristone would lead to an “unprecedented spike” in maternal mortality. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined nearly two dozen state attorneys general on two multistate coalitions supporting the move to ensure and expand access to the abortion pill. One of the coalitions Nessel signed onto is focused on defending FDA regulatory approvals for mifepristone.