Attorney General Phil Weiser urges U.S. Supreme Court to overturn medication abortion restrictions
Jan. 31, 2024 (DENVER) – Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser today joined a multistate coalition of 24 attorneys general to protect access to medication abortion nationwide. The coalition filed a court brief in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s and Danco Laboratories LLC’s efforts to reverse a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that reinstated certain restrictions on the medication known as mifepristone, after the FDA had determined those restrictions were medically unnecessary.
Because mifepristone is the only medication approved by the FDA for abortion care, Weiser and the coalition argue that the Fifth Circuit’s ruling reinstating medically unnecessary restrictions on mifepristone has dangerous consequences for reproductive health care outcomes, particularly for low-income and underserved communities.
“Ensuring access to medication abortion is vital to protecting equality, bodily autonomy, and the overall well-being of those seeking reproductive healthcare,” said Weiser. “We are committed to preserving access to mifepristone and empowering individuals to make informed decisions about their own health. And the lower court’s radical decision, if allowed to stand, would undermine the authority of the FDA, disrupt our drug approval system, and open the door to a range of challenges to safe and effective medications.”
The court brief urges the Supreme Court to reverse the Fifth Circuit’s decision to restrict how mifepristone can be prescribed and dispensed. The amicus brief highlights that the Fifth Circuit’s decision ignores decades of high-quality evidence and clinical research that shows mifepristone is safe and effective. The coalition also pointed out that the FDA’s decisions in 2016 to approve a modified label and reform the conditions for prescribing mifepristone were supported by robust safety data and decades of clinical experience.
The coalition notes that if the Fifth Circuit’s decision is permitted to take effect, it could disrupt access to the most common method of abortion, harming countless Americans in need of medical care or pregnancy loss management, with widespread disruptions for the health care system. Among other things, the lower court decision could lead many individuals to undergo procedural abortion, driving up risks, costs, and delays, and deprive many Americans of access to reproductive health care altogether. The coalition further argues that the ruling would create widespread confusion among providers, distributors, and pharmacies, and radically destabilize the regulatory process for drug approvals, stifling scientific innovation and imperiling the development and availability of thousands of drugs nationwide.
Joining Weiser in submitting today’s amicus brief are the attorneys general of Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai‘i, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.
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