Attorney General Phil Weiser joins multistate coalition urging U.S. Supreme Court to reverse lower court’s harmful ruling on medication abortion
Oct. 13, 2023 (DENVER) – Attorney General Phil Weiser today joined a multistate coalition of 24 attorneys general in protecting access to medication abortion nationwide. The coalition filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and Danco Laboratories LLC’s petitions to reverse a lower court ruling that reinstated certain medically unnecessary restrictions on the medication mifepristone—restrictions that had previously been eliminated.
Mifepristone is the only FDA-approved abortion medication, and the coalition argues the earlier ruling has dangerous consequences on reproductive health care outcomes, particularly for people who earn low incomes and other underserved communities.
“Last year, when the U.S. Supreme Court wrongly overturned Roe v. Wade, they left it to the states to legislate access to abortion care and reproductive care for their residents,” Weiser said. “Time and again, Coloradans have affirmed our strong desire for reproductive freedom and safe, legal abortion care, and that freedom will be threatened if this ruling restricting access to mifepristone is allowed to stand. Moreover, this challenge to the FDA’s authority is dangerous and needs to be turned back by the Supreme Court.”
The attorneys general are urging the Supreme Court to grant the petitions to bring the case on medication abortion before the court. The coalition asks the Court to reverse the poorly reasoned lower court decision that restricts how mifepristone can be prescribed and dispensed. The brief highlights how that decision ignores decades of high-quality evidence and clinical research that shows mifepristone is safe and effective.
If the lower court decision is permitted to take effect, it could disrupt access to the most common method of abortion, harming people in need of abortion care or management of pregnancy loss, with widespread implications for the health care system. The ruling could lead many individuals to undergo procedural abortion, push abortion procedures later in pregnancy, drive up risks, costs, and delays, and deprive many people of any access to reproductive health care.
If allowed to stand, the ruling would have consequences beyond the reproductive health care system and people seeking medical abortions. It would create widespread confusion among providers, distributers, 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.
Previously, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed continued access to mifepristone while the case is being decided.