April 7, 2023

Leader of National State Legislator Network Condemns Ruling on Mifepristone Access


This evening, a Trump-appointed federal judge in Amarillo, Texas, ruled that the FDA’s approval of mifepristone should be withdrawn. Mifepristone is an effective abortion pill that has been used by over 5 million people and has over 20 years of research demonstrating its safety and efficacy.  The Texas decision applies nationwide but will not take effect for 7 days and will likely be appealed quickly.

Additionally, today a Washington court released an order prohibiting the FDA from revoking or changing its approval of mifepristone. The Washington order only applies to the 17 states and the District of Columbia that are plaintiffs in the case and  creates tension with the Texas court’s order.

The Texas court is trying to deny access to an FDA-approved medication; however communities have and will always find a way to access the care they need. 

In response, Jennifer Driver, Senior Director for Reproductive Rights at the State Innovation Exchange, said:

“Today’s decision by a radical Trump-appointed judge in the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine vs. FDA case is another desperate political attempt to control our bodies. Keeping abortion legal and accessible is backed by the will of the people, and the movement will not stop because of a decision in a factually and procedurally flawed legal case, brought to court by anti-abortion extremists.

“Restrictions and bans on medication abortion care have nothing to do with protecting a patient’s health. This decision was politically motivated, not based on scientific evidence or medical best practices. Further, this decision on mifepristone – which has been on shelves for 20+ years, has been used by more than 5 million people, and is even safer than Tylenol – could force people to delay care, choose care that isn’t the best for their circumstances, or continue a pregnancy against their will. It could also increase the risk of surveillance and criminalization for those seeking medication or helping members of their community get the medication that they need.  

“All people deserve access to abortion care when they need it, on the timeline they choose, and in the community they trust. Even before this decision, access to abortion care was severely limited with 18 states fully or partially banning abortion. Attacks on abortion access are rooted in the legacy of white supremacy and a desire to control the reproduction of Black women and birthing people and other people of color.

“To be clear: there will still be safe, effective, and legal options for medication abortion after this court decision. But all people deserve access to a full range of options so they can make the decision that works best for them. We need to keep mifepristone on shelves – not remove it. 

“The majority of Americans – even in states where former president Donald Trump, who appointed Judge Kacsmaryk, won easily in 2020 – support legal abortion. State legislators know this, and are on the frontlines still fighting alongside clinicians and advocates to restore, protect, defend, and expand abortion access wherever and whenever possible. While state legislators lead the charge, we look forward to elected officials at all levels joining us in this fight.”

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