The federal appeals court’s decision came after it found that the federal government, under former President Barack Obama’s administration, improperly loosened regulations on the abortion drugs in 2016 to make it easier for women to access the drugs.
The three-judge panel said it was not lawful for the FDA to allow women to take the abortion drug mifepristone later during pregnancy (up to 10 weeks). The panel also ruled that it was not lawful for the FDA to allow non-doctors to prescribe abortion drugs or for it to allow providers to mail the abortion drugs directly to women.
Nevertheless, the abortion drug will be available for the time being as litigation over the case, Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, continues.
“The 5th Circuit rightly required the FDA to do its job and restore crucial safeguards for women and girls, including ending illegal mail-order abortions,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Erin Hawley, one of the ADF attorneys litigating the case. “The FDA will finally be made to account for the damage it has caused to the health of countless women and girls and the rule of law by unlawfully removing every meaningful safeguard from the chemical abortion drug regimen.”
“The FDA’s unprecedented and unlawful actions did not reflect scientific judgment but rather revealed politically driven decisions to push a dangerous drug regimen without regard to women’s health or the rule of law,” Hawley added. “This is a significant victory for the doctors and medical associations we represent and, more importantly, the health and safety of women.”
Pro-abortion groups were also quick to react to the ruling, promising that their attorneys are looking into what the decision means for the availability of abortion drugs.
“No matter what this decision from the 5th Circuit says, there will be no immediate changes in access to mifepristone,” promised the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute.
Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America State Policy Director Katie Daniel accused the FDA of ignoring the science and “its own rules” when it “rubber-stamped Democrats’ reckless mail-order abortion scheme.”
“Americans strongly object to sending abortion drugs through the mail without the in-person supervision of a doctor—that’s common sense,” Daniel said. “But under multiple Democrat administrations, the FDA threw out common sense and played political games with people’s lives.”
“Mail-order abortion pills put thousands of women and girls at risk of serious complications from abortion pills every year,” she added. “We won’t rest until the FDA and the profit-driven abortion industry are held accountable for the suffering they’ve inflicted on women and girls, as well as the deaths of countless unborn children.”
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
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