Texas Court Hears Lawsuit Against Abortion Pill
A federal jury in Texas will hold a hearing this week that could result in a nationwide ban on the abortion pill mifepristone.
Mifepristone is used in conjunction with misoprostol to block the hormone progesterone from reaching a pregnant woman’s uterus, thus terminating a pregnancy that is less than 12 weeks along. This two-step drug combination is the most common method of abortion used in the United States. In many cases, women seeking abortion this way obtain the drugs via mail.
The upcoming hearing centers on a November 2022 lawsuit filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) against the FDA’s 2000 approval of mifepristone. Filed on behalf of four physicians and several pro-life groups including the Catholic Medical Association and the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, the lawsuit seeks to head off the predicted increase in chemical abortions following the Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate Roe v. Wade.
Indeed, the Biden Justice Department has made a considerable effort to promote chemical abortions in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision – even in states with very restrictive abortion laws. Less than a month after the ruling, Attorney General Merrick Garland established a “reproductive rights task force” in order to keep tabs on any state/ local decisions that might interfere with the use or availability of mifepristone.
The lawsuit accuses the FDA of ignoring harmful side effects when approving mifepristone and cites a section of the US Federal Law on Obscenity which prohibits the mailing of “obscene or crime-inciting matter.” Though many would consider mifepristone “crime-inciting,” it is not currently illegal to send abortion drugs by mail.
“The FDA’s reckless decisions to approve and deregulate chemical abortion drugs put the profits and political agenda of the abortion industry over the law and abundant evidence that abortion drugs present harm to women, girls, and their unborn babies,” reads an amicus brief filed by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Any ruling that suspends FDA approval of mifepristone is likely to reach the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and perhaps the Supreme Court. It’s possible the ruling could result in a nationwide ban against mifepristone, making it nearly impossible for women to seek abortion legally.
Understandably, the case has already been described as “bigger than Dobbs.”
The Texas hearing will be held Wednesday, March 14th at the behest of Trump-appointed US District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk. Though details remain sparse, Kacsmaryk was asked in November 2022 by a group of concerned physicians to hold a hearing regarding the legality of mifepristone. He is said to have met with a group of anonymous lawyers last week before setting the date for this Wednesday.
News of the hearing was kept hush-hush until Tuesday in order to avoid public outcry and violence. According to Kacsmaryk, threats against himself, his court, and. his family have increased following his decision to hear the case.
“This is playing with the safety and lives of the judge and everyone involved in the case,” said Tom McClusky, Director of Governmental Affairs for the advocacy group CatholicVote.
Despite his reasons, Kacsmaryk’s decision to keep the hearing a secret evades the “public access to federal court proceedings” doctrine enshrined in the American judicial system and has been widely criticized. The event will take place in the remote Texas town of Amarillo, with Judge Kacsmaryk hearing arguments from lawyers representing the US Justice Department, the ADF, and the company that manufactures mifepristone.
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The FDA’s decisions to approve and deregulate chemical abortion drugs is EXACTLY in line with our Constitution! I’m not addressing the underlying issue of abortion; my own opinion on that is a totally separate matter. My comment here regards the lack of federal authority to prohibit ANY drug or substance. In order to ban a drug, they would need exactly the same kind of amendment that they needed to ban alcohol, so deregulating a drug is bringing the government back into compliance with the Constitution.
I can’t understand why we’ve put up with the government usurping this right all along.