Abortion activists are anxiously awaiting a federal judge’s ruling that could decide the fate of mifepristone, the pill that accounts for more than half of all abortions across the country. The Texas judge, Matthew Kacsmaryk, is expected to have a decision on the case to reverse the FDA’s approval of mifepristone by February 24th. 

The conservative advocacy group, Alliance Defending Freedom, filed the lawsuit in November of last year, arguing the false claim that mifepristone has dangerous medical risks. The drug has been approved by the FDA since 2000, and the Department of Health and Human Services, the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists all concur that it is a safe and effective method of abortion and treatment for early pregnancy loss. 

Legal experts have criticized the lawsuit as having no legal or scientific standing, however, the ruling lies in the hands of the sole judge in Amarillo, Texas, an appointee of former President Trump and a Christian activist. Judge Kacsmaryk was scouted out by the conservative organization, knowing that he was their best opportunity at rolling back reproductive freedoms. He is a member of the Federalist Society and was previously deputy general counsel to the First Liberty Institute, a conservative Christian legal organization. Judge Kacsmaryk has a history of ruling against birth control, immigration, and LGBTQ protections.  

Even in the most progressive states, women could lose access to medication abortion because of this lawsuit. In the wake of the overturn of Roe v. Wade, a nationwide restriction on mifepristone would have severe consequences for women seeking abortion and miscarriage care across the country. A protest has been planned by abortion supporters outside of the federal courthouse in Amarillo on Saturday. We will not stand by and watch extremists roll back the clock on reproductive rights.  

Sources: Reuters 2/13/2023, NPR 2/1/2023

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