For Immediate Release: Friday, April 7, 2023
Contact: [email protected]
This decision aims to impact every state in the country—including states like California that protect the right to abortion
California — Today, Trump-appointed Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ruled against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to block its approval of mifepristone seven days from now—including in states where the right to abortion is protected. Mifepristone is one of the two medications typically used in medication abortion care, which accounts for more than half of all abortion care nationwide and has been safely used for over 20 years.
NARAL Pro-Choice California Director Shannon Olivieri Hovis released the following statement in response:
“This decision meant to revoke the approval of mifepristone is nothing short of devastating. It is intended to eliminate access to medication abortion care as we know it, compounding the abortion access crisis we already face. This is an attempt to make a safe and effective method for ending an early pregnancy inaccessible, even in states like California that constitutionally protect the right to abortion. Make no mistake: NARAL Pro-Choice California and our more than 371,000 members will continue our fight to protect abortion rights and access, including undisrupted access to medication abortion, to ensure that all of us have the freedom to make our own decisions about our lives, bodies, and futures.”
This decision comes on the same day that a federal judge in Washington state issued a ruling in an unrelated case directing the FDA to preserve the status quo, sowing further chaos and confusion, and increasing the likelihood that the case will end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.
This ruling comes after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—ending the constitutional right to abortion and opening the door for extremist state lawmakers to ban abortion. The Dobbs decision, now compounded by this backdoor ban on medication abortion, is already having a devastating impact throughout the country as 18 states have eliminated or restricted access because of abortion bans. The people hurt most by these bans and restrictions are those who already face barriers to accessing abortion care—including women; Black, Latina/x, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Indigenous people; those working to make ends meet; the LGBTQ+ community; immigrants; young people; those living in rural communities; people with disabilities, and other historically oppressed communities.
With this ruling, 64.5 million women of reproductive age—in addition to other people who may not identify as women, and are not captured in this Census data, but are capable of becoming pregnant and may need an abortion—in the United States could lose access to medication abortion. If mifepristone is made unavailable, it will exacerbate the abortion access crisis that continues to sweep the country since Roe v. Wade overturned.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, pregnancy and post-partum care, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its 4 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 8 in 10 Americans who support legal abortion.