Biden Administration Asks Supreme Court to Restore Broad Availability of Abortion Pill

Washington — Biden Administration applied for emergency .

The petition is the first large-scale abortion case to reach a judge since it abolished the constitutional right to abortion in June, and while the government pursues appeals, the pill, mifepristone requested the court to make it widely available.

The complaint sharply criticized a federal judge’s ruling suspending approval of the drug.

“A district court has overturned a scientific judgment the FDA has maintained over five administrations, invalidating the approval of a drug that has been used safely by millions of Americans for more than 20 years, relying on its availability. It has overthrown confidence in the health care system that uses mifepristone as an alternative to surgical abortion for women who legally choose to terminate early pregnancies.

Wednesday night, a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans said: mixed decisionIt remains the most drastic aspect of Judge Matthew J. Kaksmalik’s decision that completely overturned the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the pill.

But the Court of Appeals ruled in an unsigned order from a split three-judge panel that it would require face-to-face meetings with doctors, roll back pill availability from the first 10 weeks, and more. , temporarily upheld other aspects of Justice Kacsmaryk’s judgment. Up to 7 weeks of pregnancy, and distribution by mail is prohibited.

The panel’s decision was provisional, and the court expedited the appeal itself.

In the expedited filing, Attorney General Elizabeth B. Preroger, representing the FDA, said plaintiffs were not in a position to challenge drugs they did not take or prescribe and provided a basis for restating the FDA’s scientific judgment. I wrote no.

Had Judge Kacsmaryk’s ruling been fully enforced, it would have further seriously undermined the availability of mifepristone, some of the most commonly used methods to terminate pregnancies in the United States. I guess.

The case was brought up by several doctors and medical groups, including the Hippocratic Medical Union. Incorporated in August in Amarillo, Texas, where the lawsuit was filed. His appointee, Mr. Trump’s longtime anti-abortion opponent, Kacsmaryk, is the only federal judge in his Amarillo division of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

A majority of the Court of Appeals wrote that the statute of limitations appeared to prevent them from challenging the FDA’s initial approval of the pill in 2000. Stopping regulations that facilitate access to medicines.

The majority added that plaintiffs appear eligible to sue because they may have to treat complications from the use of the pill.

The two judges who make up the majority of the Court of Appeals panel, Kurt D. Engelhardt and Andrew Oldham, are President Donald J. Trump’s appointees. Her third judge on the Court of Appeals panel, Katherina Haynes, who effectively dissented, was appointed by President George W. Bush.

Ms Preloger, representing the agency, responded that the plaintiffs had not been able to prove that they had experienced direct and tangible injuries that qualified them to sue. she wrote

“They don’t take or prescribe mifepristone, and they don’t have to do anything or hold back just because the FDA has approved this drug,” she wrote. “However, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that some members may be prescribed mifepristone by other health care providers and referred to treat women suffering from very rare adverse events. , determined that the association continues to exist.”

in a second briefwas submitted by Danco Laboratories, which manufactures a branded version of mifepristone called Mifeprex.

“Leaving the Fifth Circuit judgment untouched would do irreparable harm to Danco. Danco would be unable to conduct business nationally or comply with its legal obligations. will be gone,” a company statement said. “The lack of emergency relief from this court will also harm women, the health care system, the pharmaceutical industry, state sovereign interests, and the separation of powers.”

Judge Kacsmaryk once worked at the First Liberty Institute. The agency says it is the country’s largest legal organization dedicated to defending religious freedom. Democrats voted against approving him on the bench in 2019 because His History Against LGBTQ Rights.

In her decision, Judge Kacsmaryk adopted anti-abortion language, calling the abortion provider the “abortionist,” the challenged procedure “chemical abortion,” and the fetus “fetus” or “fetus.” I called. Legal scholars said the judge relied on dubious scientific research.

The case brings the Supreme Court back to an issue it until recently said was conceding to elected officials. Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health OrganizationOverturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established the constitutional right to abortion. Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., writing for the majority, wrote that the political sector, not the courts, should set abortion policy.

Dobbs’ decision was constitutional, while Kacsmaryk’s decision was based primarily on administrative law principles. But the new lawsuit showed that legal controversies surrounding abortion continue to involve judges.

The stakes are high. More than 5 million women in the United States have used mifepristone to terminate pregnancies, and many studies have found mifepristone to be safe and effective. It is also approved for use in ten countries.

In the United States, protocols usually include mifepristone in combination with a second drug, misoprostol, used during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. About 60% of abortions at the time used her two drugs rather than surgery.

The first drug blocks the effects of the hormone progesterone. Without this hormone, the endometrium begins to break down. Her second, taken 24-48 hours later, induces contractions of the uterus and expels its contents.

If access to mifepristone is restricted, abortion providers may rely solely on misoprostol. Misoprostol can be used alone, but is less effective and more likely to cause side effects.

The Court of Appeals order contradicts an order issued by a federal judge in Washington. another lawsuit Related to mifepristone. The lawsuit, filed against the FDA by the Democratic Attorneys General of 17 states and the District of Columbia, challenges the additional restrictions the FDA imposes on mifepristone and tells the judge, We asked to prevent the FDA from restricting access to this drug.

President Obama-appointed U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington Thomas O. Rice has not lifted additional restrictions and ordered the FDA to maintain the status quo. He blocked the agency from restricting the availability of mifepristone in the states where it sued.

Danko’s lawyer wrote that the duel order put Danko in an “impossible position”.

The FDA wrote: That’s simply not how federal drug regulation works. ”

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