Texas Judge Halts Approval of Abortion Pill Across the US

Matthew Kacsmaryk

A federal judge in Texas issued a ruling Friday revoking the nationwide approval of the abortion pill mifepristone.

Federal Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ordered that the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of the drug in 2000 be rescinded.

The ruling, however, gives the legal representatives of the Joe Biden government a period of one week to appeal the decision.

In the court text, the judge alleges that the FDA violated due process in approving mifepristone and failed to take into account the drug’s “negative impact” on the health of people who take it.

“The FDA completely failed to address an important aspect of the problem by omitting any evaluation of the drug’s psychological effects or an evaluation of the drug’s long-term medical consequences,” Judge Kacsmaryk wrote in the document.

The FDA gave mifepristone its approval as an abortion method in 2000. Along with misoprostol, the two drugs are known as the “abortion pill” or medical abortion.

Dangerous precedent

Vice President Kamala Harris, who has championed the cause of reproductive rights in the Joe Biden government, said the court decision sets a “dangerous precedent.”

“It is contrary to good public policy to allow the courts and politicians to tell the FDA what to do,” Harris told reporters in Tennessee, according to US media reports.

Planned Parenthood, the largest network of reproductive services clinics in the US, rejected the ruling in a statement, calling it an “unprecedented and deeply damaging measure.”

“Today’s decision by a judge in Texas to block FDA approval of mifepristone is outrageous and reveals how the court system is being used as a weapon to further restrict abortion nationwide,” said the president of the organization in a statement.

Washington judge: pill must remain on the market in at least 12 states

A second federal judge, this time from Washington state, Thomas Owen Rice, said a few hours later in a new ruling that the FDA must keep abortion drugs available in at least 12 liberal states that sued the FDA to make the abortion pills, according to CNN.

“It is not the role of the Tribunal to review the scientific evidence and decide whether the benefits of mifepristone outweigh its risks without REMS and/or ETASU. That is precisely the role of the FDA,” Rice explained, adding that “the record demonstrates potentially inconsistent findings by the FDA regarding the safety profile of mifepristone.”

States in which it would remain: Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland and Minnesota. Washington, DC, and Michigan.