Democratic Attorneys General Urge Court to Keep Abortion Pills Legal

WASHINGTON. Attorneys general from 21 Democratic states are calling on a Texas judge to keep the abortion pill on the market, dismissing claims by anti-abortion medical groups in a lawsuit centered on the drug’s approval more than two decades ago.

The latest report in the Hippocratic Alliance for Medicine v. FDA case is likely to draw even more attention to the lawsuit, which could have wide nationwide implications for medical abortion.

A two-component regimen consisting of mifepristone and misoprostol is approved for pregnancies up to 10 weeks and accounts for more than half of abortions in the United States.

New York Attorney General Letitia James filed on behalf of her state and California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina , Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

22 years of use

Attorneys General argue in their memo that medical abortion is safe and effective, as proven by 22 years of approved use.

They wrote that requiring the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to remove mifepristone would force patients to have a procedural abortion or “absolutely refuse to have an abortion,” with “devastating consequences” for residents of their states.

“Procedural abortion is not only more invasive than medical abortion, but is also generally more costly and difficult to obtain,” the attorney general wrote. “Indeed, the availability of mifepristone has been particularly important in ensuring access to abortion in low-income, low-income and rural communities where procedural abortion may not be available.”

“And since medical abortion is the most common method of terminating a pregnancy in the first trimester, removing access to this method will lead to an increase in the number of abortions in later pregnancy, further increasing costs and medical risks,” they added.

The lawsuit, filed in mid-November by the anti-abortion legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom, on behalf of four anti-abortion medical organizations and four anti-abortion doctors, alleges that the FDA overstepped its authority in 2000 when it approved the use of mifepristone. to terminate a pregnancy.

The lawsuit calls for a Trump-appointed U.S. District Court Judge to completely withdraw the abortion pill from the market, or at least restore dosing and dosage requirements before they were approved before the FDA made changes in 2016 and during pandemics.

Competing Arguments

The memo filed by the Democratic attorney general is significantly different from the memo by 23 Republican attorneys general filed last week.

Democratic attorneys general condemned claims made in the lawsuit, including that medical abortion is unsafe and ineffective.

They pointed to a comprehensive study by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, which “concluded that medical abortion, like procedural abortion, is safe and effective and that complications from medical abortion are rare, i.e., “do not occur.” more than a fraction of a percent of patients.”

“The relatively few side effects associated with medical abortion are within the acceptable range for FDA approval,” the attorney general wrote. “Indeed, data shows that medical abortion is as safe or safer than many other types of FDA-approved drugs and products, including Viagra (four times safer), penicillin (twice as safe), and even acetaminophen.”

Attorneys general also wrote that it would be impossible to cover up the number and type of complications that anti-abortion groups claim mifepristone causes in medical abortions.

“Given the widespread use of mifepristone, if Plaintiffs’ claims about the degree of risk associated with medical abortion were accurate, these harmful effects would be impossible to cover up at the population level,” the attorneys general wrote. “But the amici have not seen such effects – and in fact the opposite is true.”

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