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Uncertainty Towers After Judge Waits on Providing Decision That Could Ban The Use of Safe Abortion Pill

by Micaela Soler

The battle for access to safe abortions continues, which progressed into a hearing held in Texas this past Wednesday that would determine a nationwide overturn of the FDA-approved abortion medication, mifepristone. Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, appointed by former President Donald Trump, stood before each party ruling over the case brought by anti-abortion extremists wanting a ban against the use of the abortion pill

Mifepristone is one of the two abortion medications used in over half of all abortions across the nation, and has been of use for over 20 years. Wednesday’s case was brought forward by anti-abortion organization, Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, with a goal to overturn the Food and Drug Administration approval of the drug, arguing that the federal agency had misused its authorities in order to approve the drug, including using an accelerated approval program – the same program used by the FDA to expedite important medications for serious health conditions such as HIV drugs and cancer medications.

Kacsmaryk listened and took into consideration the arguments made by both the plaintiff and defendants side in the case Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA, but those who sat in the courtroom noticed the judge appearing to be sympathetic to the anti-abortion group’s attorneys.

Caroline Kitchener, who was present in the courtroom, tweeted about the judge favoring a preliminary injunction to revoke the use of the pill, and “asked for guidance on whether his court could order the FDA to withdraw approval. Wow.” – “wow” is the perfect word. 

The four-hour hearing was finalized with the judge stating that the decision to revoke the use of mifepristone will come “as soon as possible,” lacking to provide a timeline as to when the decision that will establish the future of the key abortion pill will be released.

The anti-abortion group has made a crucial effect in the access to safe abortion healthcare. They are associated with the lawsuit that led to the overturn of Roe v. Wade, and, in addition to the already confusing anti-abortion laws in Texas, have further threatened abortion specialists and providers with losing medical licenses, being sued, and prison sentences. Earlier this month, Walgreens began to refuse distribution of mifepristone across 20 states due to the high-pressure of the extremist anti-abortion groups. 

An overturn of the usage of the abortion pill will only further hinder access to safe abortion in not only the states with abortion bans or restrictions, but the whole nation. Mifepristone has had hundreds of studies conducted to determine its safeness – it is highly safe.

Those against the goal of the alliance have taken to Twitter, including pro-abortion advocacy organizations like ACLU, to express their frustration with the concept of a proven to be safe drug being taken off the market after years of usage. 

Since the hearing has ended, Kitchener has also taken to Twitter to announce the news that two abortion clinics, Trust Women and Whole Women’s Health, will not halt their use of the abortion pill regardless of the decision Judge Kacsmaryk makes – not until the FDA makes a final decision. 

 

 

As the campaign for safe abortions continues on, the U.S. is heading towards a national health crisis. From initially and mainly affecting people in certain states, especially those child-bearing, the fight to maintain mifepristone as a safe-to-use abortion drug is becoming alarming to everyone. While many are expecting that Kacsmaryk’s encouraging attitude towards anti-abortion extremists is a foreshadow of a ban against the pill, we are placed under uncertainty until a decision is released. 

Photo, top: By Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

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