WASHINGTON—A federal judge in Texas ruled today that the Food and Drug Administration must suspend its 2000 approval of mifepristone, one of two drugs used in chemical abortions. Chemical abortions account for 50% of the nation’ abortions, and the decision’s impact on the fight to protect unborn lives is significant. Understanding the impact of such a decision, the judge has paused his order for seven days to permit the government to seek emergency relief from the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
Heritage Foundation scholars Sarah Parshall Perry, a senior legal fellow, and Jay Richards, director of the DeVos Center for Life, Religion, and Family, made the following statement on Friday:
“Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk did the right thing by following the plain letter of the law in issuing this ruling. The FDA’s stated mission is to protect the public health by ensuring the safety, efficacy, and security of drugs and medical devices. But the agency ignored that mission in pushing mifepristone through its accelerated approval process and ignoring the relevant law and science governing chemical abortions.
“To grant its accelerated approval, the FDA had to classify pregnancy as a ‘serious or life-threatening illness,’ and abortion as a ‘therapeutic benefit’ used to treat that ‘illness.’ That doesn’t pass the smell test. What’s more, the FDA failed to perform required testing of mifepristone for adolescent girls in violation of the Pediatric Research and Equity Act.
“While substantial evidence exists that chemical abortion drugs cause even more complications than surgical abortions, the FDA waived the pediatric study requirement without any explanation whatsoever. From the start, the FDA’s lightning-fast approval of mifepristone was nothing but a political power play. For years, it has ignored citizen calls for withdrawal of mifepristone’s approval.”
Heritage’s legal memorandum on the Comstock Act (a federal criminal law that prohibits interstate shipment of abortion drugs) was cited in the plaintiffs’ reply brief in their case against the FDA.
To learn more about the dangers of chemical abortions, see Heritage’s comprehensive report.