USA – Anti-abortion activists sue the FDA to reverse approval of the abortion pill

The anti-abortion group behind the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade has now filed a federal lawsuit seeking to reverse the approval of mifepristone for abortion in 2000. The group, representing four Texas doctors and four anti-abortion groups, has sued both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), claiming mifepristone is dangerous and that the FDA exceeded its authority when it approved mifepristone in 2000. The federal judge who is said to be 95-100% likely to hear the case is Trump-appointed and was involved in the Mississippi Dobbs case that ended Roe v. Wade.

The FDA said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal that mifepristone’s approval “was based on a thorough and comprehensive review of the scientific evidence presented and determined that it was safe and effective for its indicated use—medical termination of early pregnancy.” An HHS spokesperson said: “Denying women access to any essential care they need is downright dangerous.” Dr Jen Villavicencio, lead for equity transformation at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, told Jezebel in a statement: “Medication abortion is backed by decades of data that clearly demonstrate its safety and efficacy. More importantly, mifepristone plays a critical role in the health and lives of people in need of abortion care and miscarriage management.”

The case is legally frivolous but politically dangerous as it may herald many more anti-abortion attempts to keep advocates tied up in such lawsuits, in the most litigious country in the world. Greer Donley, associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh Law School, believes people are not prepared for a possible nationwide ruling resulting from the Texas judge, which could happen.

SOURCE: Jezebel, by Susan Rinkunas, 18 November 2022