Last updated: 4/21/23. This is an ongoing case—we’ll periodically update this page with the latest updates.
On April 21, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the Department of Justice’s request for a stay in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA, blocking lower courts’ dangerous rulings that would have severely restricted access to mifepristone. Mifepristone will remain available for now. This fight however, is far from over. Read More.
On April 14 the U.S. Supreme Court issued an administrative stay until Wednesday, April 19 at midnight on two lower court efforts meant to restrict access to medication abortion with mifepristone nationwide. Read More.
On April 13 the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a partial stay in the federal case that could effectively ban mifepristone in all 50 states. While the court blocked large parts of Judge Kacsmaryk’s ruling meant to remove FDA approval of mifepristone, it also reinstated outdated and medically unnecessary restrictions on the safe and effective medication that were previously lifted by the FDA while litigation continues. The case is now likely to be appealed and eventually head to the U.S. Supreme Court. Read More.
Anti-choice groups filed a federal lawsuit in a Texas district court challenging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in its decades-old approval of mifepristone, one of the two medications typically used to provide medication abortion care. The lawsuit seeks to revoke the FDA’s approval of mifepristone in an attempt to effectively ban medication abortion nationwide.
Why does this court case in Texas matter?
The judge could grant an emergency injunction that would force the FDA to withdraw its approval of mifepristone—which would pull it off the market and, in effect, ban it nationwide.
Medication abortion is the most commonly used method of abortion. Banning mifepristone nationwide would have severe consequences on people’s ability to access critical abortion and miscarriage care.
Abortion access in our country is already in crisis after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. If this judge takes medication abortion off the market, even more people will lose the freedom to make their own decisions about their lives, bodies, and futures.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is mifepristone?
Mifepristone is one of two pills typically used in medication abortion care.
For over 20 years, medication abortion has been a safe and effective FDA-approved option for ending an early pregnancy. It’s also used for miscarriage management.
I live in a state where abortion is legal. Will this affect me?
Yes. A federal ruling means health care providers would be banned from prescribing mifepristone for medication abortion and miscarriage treatment, no matter where you live.
Will I still be able to access abortion care?
Yes. In-clinic care for procedural abortion access will not be affected by this ruling. It is likely that with the removal of medication abortion options, the availability of clinic appointments will be impacted and make it much harder to obtain one.
What’s the difference between medication abortion and birth control pills or emergency contraception?
Birth control and emergency contraception (such as Plan B) prevent pregnancy in different ways, while medication abortion ends an early pregnancy.
Medication abortion (also known as abortion pills): Medication that is taken to end a pregnancy. The two medications typically used in the U.S. are mifepristone and misoprostol.
Birth control: There are many different birth control methods to prevent pregnancy. The most common include condoms, birth control pills, IUDs, and diaphragms.
Emergency contraception (also known as Plan B and the morning-after pill): The morning-after pill is an effective emergency form of birth control that is used to prevent pregnancy after sex.
Behind the anti-choice movement’s latest attempt to rig the game and attack reproductive freedom is the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine (AHM)—a coalition of right-wing organizations cooked up to push for a national backdoor ban on medication abortion.
But as Reproductive Freedom for All’s new report explains, AHM isn’t a legitimate organization—they didn’t even exist until late 2021 and had no web presence until this year.
The anti-choice movement strategically designed and deployed AHM to carry out its baseless campaign to block access to mifepristone nationwide. Read More.
New research from Reproductive Freedom for All shows that if the upcoming Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA decision forces the FDA to withdraw its decades-old approval of mifepristone, the impact on access to abortion care would be devastating.
Right now, 24.5 million women of reproductive age are living in states with abortion bans. If FDA approval of mifepristone is revoked, 64.5 million women of reproductive age in the U.S. would lose access to medication abortion care, an exponential increase in harm overnight. This doesn’t include people who can get pregnant but do not identify as women—if we factor in that population, the number of people harmed is even higher.
This decision would only exacerbate the abortion access crisis that continues to sweep the country now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned, increasing the number of people experiencing a loss of access by 163%. Read More.
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