Texas Abortion Pill Ruling Partially Blocked by Appellate Court

Texas Abortion Pill Ruling Partially Blocked by Appellate Court
  • The FDA approved mifepristone in 2000 to help terminate pregnancies.
  • A district judge recently banned the medication in the entire country.
  • An appeals court partially overturned the ban.
  • The DOJ is now taking the case to the Supreme Court.

(NewsReady.com) – When the Supreme Court handed down the ruling that rolled back federal abortion rights, the majority said the decision about whether or not to allow the procedure should be left up to the states. Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., who wrote the majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, literally said in the ruling that the decision must “must be returned to the people and their elected representatives.” In response, state legislatures across the country began either passing abortion bans and restrictions or enacting laws to ensure they remained legal.

However, for some pro-life politicians and groups, the ruling didn’t go far enough. They don’t want women to have access to the procedure at all, and they are going after one of the medications that help terminate most pregnancies. An appeals court recently took action.

Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA

A group of pro-life individuals and organizations sued the Food and Drug Administration, arguing the federal agency didn’t properly approve the medication mifepristone for pregnancy terminations 23 years ago. They want the drug’s approval revoked, making it illegal for any doctor, even in states where abortion is legal, to prescribe it.

On April 7, Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of the US District for the Northern District of Texas issued a ruling suspending the approval of the drug. In one fell swoop, he banned the medication in the entire country. He issued a stay on his order for seven days to give the federal government the opportunity to appeal, which they did.

Fifth Circuit Gets Involved

On April 12, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Louisiana issued a ruling in the case. A three-judge panel rolled back part of Kacsmaryk’s ruling and allowed the pill to remain available while the lawsuit is making its way through the courts. The panel invalidated the portion of the lower judge’s ruling that claimed the FDA’s approval in 2000 was wrong.

The appeals court left the ban in place on the recent rules the FDA has put in place to make the medication more widely available. For instance, it cannot be prescribed by someone who is no longer a doctor, and it will no longer be available through the mail.

Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a statement on April 13, notifying the public that he intends to sue. He said he “strongly disagrees with the Fifth Circuit’s decision” and will seek “emergency relief from the Supreme Court.

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