Several Democrat state attorneys general filed a lawsuit on Friday against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), challenging the agency’s restrictions on mifepristone, the the first of two drugs used in a medication abortion.
Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson is leading the lawsuit and is joined by attorneys general from Oregon, Nevada, Delaware, Arizona, Illinois, Connecticut, Colorado, Vermont, New Mexico, Michigan, and Rhode Island. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington and claims that the FDA’s abortion pill restrictions are unnecessary and “burdensome” because the FDA has deemed the drug “safe and effective.” The lawsuit claims:
FDA’s decision to continue these burdensome restrictions in January 2023 on a drug that has been on the market for more than two decades with only ‘exceedingly rare’ adverse events has no basis in science. It only serves to make mifepristone harder for doctors to prescribe, harder for pharmacies to fill, harder for patients to access, and more burdensome for the Plaintiff States and their health care providers to dispense.
The lawsuit also argues against the FDA’s use of REMS restrictions for mifepristone, because those restrictions are also used to cover “dangerous drugs such as fentanyl and other opioids.”
“This case is about whether it is improper and discriminatory for FDA to relegate mifepristone…to the very limited class of dangerous drugs that are subject to a REMS,” the complaint states.
Ferguson, in a press release about the lawsuit, claimed that the FDA has singled out mifepristone, “despite ample evidence that the drug is safer than Tylenol.” He made no mention that an unborn baby dies when a medication abortion takes place.
Ferguson also filed a preliminary injunction asking the court to halt the enforcement of the FDA’s restrictions on mifepristone while the case continues. Ferguson said:
The federal government has known for years that mifepristone is safe and effective. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s radical decision overturning Roe v. Wade, the FDA is now exposing doctors, pharmacists and patients to unnecessary risk. The FDA’s excessive restrictions on this important drug have no basis in medical science.
The Democrat-led lawsuit against the FDA comes as a Texas judge weighs a case which could ultimately see the abortion pill taken off the market.
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in November of 2022 against the FDA on behalf of four national medical associations and several doctors, alleging that the agency “chose politics over science and approved chemical abortion drugs for use in the United States.” The lawsuit points to six discrete agency actions since the legalization of mifepristone and misoprostol in 2000 and asks the court to hold the actions unlawful.
Overall, mifepristone is used for more than half of all abortions in the United States. In 2020, the drug accounted for 53 percent of all abortions, up from 39 percent in 2017, the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute found.
In a medication abortion, mifepristone blocks the action of progesterone, which the mother’s body produces to nourish the pregnancy. When progesterone is blocked, the lining of the mother’s uterus deteriorates, and blood and nourishment are cut off from the developing baby, who then dies inside the mother’s womb. The drug misoprostol (also called Cytotec) then causes contractions and bleeding to expel the baby from the mother’s uterus, according to former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino.
The case is Washington v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, No. 1:23-cv-03026 in the United States District Court Eastern District of Washington.