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Amicus brief organized by State Innovation Exchange calls on Supreme Court to overturn Fifth Circuit decision rolling back mifepristone access
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, 603 legislators across 49 states from State Innovation Exchange’s (SiX) Reproductive Freedom Leadership Council (RFLC) submitted an amicus brief calling on the Supreme Court to review FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, a case that will have nationwide implications for abortion access. In the brief, legislators appeal to the United States Supreme Court to reject the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ August decision which would reverse over 20 years of advancements in care and interfere with legislators’ authority to protect care for their communities.
The case, which is the first abortion-related matter before the high court since it overturned Roe v. Wade over a year ago, challenges the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, one of two medications used in medication abortion care that’s backed by over two decades of safety and effectiveness. In the amicus brief, lawmakers argue that if the Fifth Circuit’s decision goes into effect, it would undermine the FDA’s authority to approve medications on the market, which lawmakers rely on to safeguard access to essential medications.
“As we face an abortion access crisis in this country, state lawmakers are on the front lines of determining the future of abortion care,” said Jennifer Driver, Senior Director of Reproductive Rights at SiX. “Now, in a case that has the potential to reverberate across all 50 states, those same lawmakers are calling on the Supreme Court to intervene before the landscape for care is further decimated.”
RFLC members North Carolina state Representative Julie von Haefen and Minnesota state Senator Erin Maye Quade led their fellow state lawmakers in submitting the amicus brief to the Supreme Court, the only brief backed by state legislators on this case. The RFLC is the nation’s only cross-state network of state legislators who support reproductive health, rights, and justice. The Council is a project of SiX, which gives state legislators the tools and building blocks they need to champion bold, progressive public policy.
“In North Carolina, people already face barriers to access abortion care,” said North Carolina state Representative Julie von Haefen. “The last thing we need in any state is to make it even more difficult to get a safe and effective medication that millions have relied on for decades to safely end a pregnancy. The Supreme Court must step in to say, ‘no more.’”
“The type of pregnancy care someone gets shouldn’t depend on whether they live in a blue state or red state, but that’s exactly the reality we’re living in,” said Minnesota state Senator Erin Maye Quade. “The case before the Supreme Court brings the effort to ban abortion to Minnesota and could override Minnesotans’ legal and constitutional right to make healthy decisions about our own bodies – and hinder our ability to provide care for both Minnesotans and those traveling from restrictive states for abortion care. We simply can’t afford yet another blow to the patchwork of abortion access nationwide.”
State Innovation Exchange (SiX) empowers, emboldens and equips state legislators to build and wield progressive governing power by/with/for the people they represent. SiX does this by providing legislators with the tools needed to shape impactful public policy and building their capacity to lead with their constituents. SiX fosters long-term collaboration between legislators – across chambers, across regions, and across state lines – and with grassroots movements.