Democratic and Republican lawyers disagreed on Friday in dueling arguments over efforts by anti-abortion doctors to withdraw the abortion drug, mifepristone, from the U.S. market.
New York has led a coalition of 22 attorneys general who argued that quitting the birth control pill would have “devastating consequences” for women. Mississippi led 22 Republican attorneys general who argued that the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of mifepristone was “seriously flawed.”
The duel arguments are part of an escalating federal court battle in Texas over a lawsuit filed by anti-abortion doctors last November, aimed at overturning more than two decades of approval. FDA for mifepristone.
Used in combination with misoprostol, mifepristone is the most common method to terminate pregnancy in the US, accounting for about half of all abortions.
Abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America, in an analysis published on Fridaysaid 40 million women would lose access to the abortion pill if a court rejects FDA approval.
The New York-led coalition argues that overturning FDA approval would render most birth control pills unavailable, forcing women to undergo a more invasive surgical procedure or forgo abortion altogether. whole.
They argue that surgical abortions are more expensive and difficult to perform, which disproportionately affects women with lower incomes, underserved or living in rural communities. where may not have access to the clinic.
“This will have devastating consequences,” the attorney general told Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, who is presiding over the case in U.S. District Court in North Texas.
The Mississippi-led coalition supports doctors’ anti-abortion claims, calling the FDA’s action on mifepristone “deeply flawed.”
“For two decades, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has acted to establish a nationwide on-demand abortion regime by granting broad access to chemical abortion drugs— defy federal and state laws that protect life, health, and safety,” argued the Republican general counsel.
Late Friday, 67 Republican members of Congress filed a brief calling the FDA’s approval of mifepristone “illegal,” arguing that it should be rescinded. They claimed that the agency’s action broke Congress’s protections for patients. But the FDA has had regulations for years to monitor the safety of mifepristone, which have been gradually relaxed as more evidence emerged.
FDA, in its reaction last month, called the lawsuit “unusual and unprecedented.” The agency’s attorneys said they could not find any previous examples of a court second-guessing an FDA’s decision to approve a drug.
The agency’s attorneys have approved mifepristone as a safe and effective method for early pregnancy termination based on extensive scientific evidence. The lawyers argue that decades of experience with thousands of women have confirmed that the drug regimen is safer than an abortion or a surgical birth.
Kacsmaryk on Thursday important deadline extension in case. He ordered one of the makers of the abortion pill, Danco Laboratories, to file an objection to the lawsuit. Later, the anti-abortion doctors who brought the case had until February 24 to respond.
Lawyers for Danco Laboratories told the court on Friday: “Forcing the FDA to withdraw its long-standing approval would disrupt the agency’s regulatory authority over whether the drug is safe and effective, and would cause direct and immediate harm to Danco by closing its business.”
Mifepristone has been at the center of the battle for abortion rights since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last June.
Last month, the FDA changed its regulations to allow certified retail pharmacies to dispense mifepristone. CVS And walnutsThe nation’s two largest drugstore chains, said they are being certified to dispense prescription drugs in states where it is legal to do so.
The Republican attorney general has warned companies against mailing out drugs in their states, suggesting that they will take legal action.
There are also lawsuits seeking to overturn state restrictions on mifepristone, arguing that they contradict FDA regulations. GenBioPro, another maker of abortion pills, is suing to overturn West Virginia’s ban. A doctor in North Carolina is challenging that state’s restrictions.
New York leads a coalition of attorneys arguing to keep mifepristone on the market including: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington, Wisconsin and Washington, DC
The Mississippi-led coalition opposing FDA approval of mifepristone includes: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Carolina Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.