States Challenge FDA’s Abortion Pill Approval


The abortion pill mifepristone will likely face another challenge as three states with abortion bans, Missouri, Idaho, and Kansas, have filed a case against the US Food and Drug Administration, which could lead to curtailment of the drug. The Supreme Court had recently upheld the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, but in a case brought by the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, a group of anti-abortion doctors, the court found that they did not have sufficient standing to seek redress.

The current case, filed in November 2023, allows the court to consider the merits of the case, including whether the FDA’s removal of in-person doctor visits for mifepristone was based on sufficient scientific evidence. According to Erin Hawley, senior counsel for the conservative legal advocacy organization Alliance Defending Freedom, the state-based case will continue undeterred, despite the Supreme Court’s decision. Hawley, who is also the wife of Senator Josh Hawley, argues that the court’s unanimous ruling was based on unclear court precedent regarding whether associations have the ability to sue on behalf of their members.

The FDA’s warning label on mifepristone estimates that 2.9% to 4.6% of self-managed abortion patients will go to the emergency room due to complications, translating to roughly 20,000 emergency visits for self-managed abortion patients. Anti-abortion advocates, including SBA Pro-Life America, have praised the state-based case and vowed to continue fighting to stop dangerous mail-order abortion drugs. The states in this case, Missouri, Idaho, and Kansas, have different abortion laws and restrictions, with Missouri being the strictest.

According to the states’ attorneys general, they possess standing that the doctors did not, and it is essential that the case continue to ensure that the FDA operates within the law. Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach stated that the case would continue undeterred to protect both women and unborn children.

Gabrielle M. Etzel
Gabrielle M. Etzel
Healthcare Reporter. Previously, Etzel served as a staff reporter at Campus Reform and as a freelance writer. After graduating from Grove City College, she earned her master's in public policy and administration from Baylor University, where she conducted research on domestic sex trafficking. In her free time, Etzel enjoys being with her family in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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