(DCWatchdog.com) – Abortion-inducting pill mifepristone will remain available nationwide after an appeals court overrode an order by a Texas-based federal judge that blocked the FDA’s 23-year-old approval of the drug.
On April 7, in a case brought by the pro-life group “Alliance Defending Freedom,” US District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk in Amarillo, Texas, ruled the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the chemical abortion pill was legally unjustified.
His preliminary injunction threatened to block mifepristone sales unless a higher court intervened. The Biden administration’s Justice Department appealed it on Monday.
As a result, on Wednesday, the Fifth US Circuit Court of Appeals stepped in, allowing the FDA’s 2000 approval of mifepristone to stay in effect and preserving market access to the abortion pill, The National Review reported.
According to the Fifth Circuit’s 42-page ruling, “it appears the statute of limitations bars” the plaintiffs’ challenge to mifepristone’s approval.
The appeals court also agreed with the Biden administration’s argument that ending the FDA’s approval of the abortion-induction drug more than 20 years later would have “significant public consequences.”
At the same time, the Fifth Circuit’s panel ruled 2-1 to block changes adopted by the FDA in 2016 and 2021 to make mifepristone easier to obtain and to restrict reporting requirements on the non-fatal adverse effects of chemical abortion.
The report noted that the Fifth Circuit’s ruling would likely remain in force until the “full case is heard,” which would probably happen at the US Supreme Court.
On Thursday, Biden’s Attorney General, Merrick Garland, said the DOJ would take the case to the Supreme Court.
The lawsuit the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed in November, together with four anti-abortion doctors, insists that the FDA had no authority to approve the chemical abortion regimen.
The regimen consists of two pills developed in France in the 1980s. The first, mifepristone, is a progesterone blocker killing the unborn infant by depriving it of nutrients. The second, misoprostol, leads to contractions for emptying the uterus.
In 2000, the FDA greenlighted mifepristone under the so-called “Subpart H” regulations for accelerated approval of drugs to treat “life-threatening illnesses.” The regulator thus declared pregnancy to be a “life-threatening” condition.
The ADF suit argues that pregnancy is no illness but a “normal physiological state that many females experience one or more times during their childbearing years.”
The lawsuit also insists that the FDA didn’t properly investigate the safety of the chemical abortion pills, and it removed pre-existing safeguards to justify the approval.
More than half of all abortions in the United States are presently done through the two abortion-inducing pill regimen.
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