Federal judges blocks abortion pill approval

The recent decisions by federal judges in Texas and Washington regarding the distribution and prescribing of mifepristone, a drug used for medication abortions, could have significant implications for access to abortion in the US. District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk issued a stay that will shut down the prescribing and distribution of mifepristone in seven days, while U.S. District Judge Thomas Rice blocked the FDA from altering the status quo and rights related to the availability of mifepristone in 17 states and Washington, D.C. The rulings could impact the authority of the entire Food and Drug Administration and eventually reach the Supreme Court. The lawsuit against mifepristone was brought by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal group that has helped author states’ anti-abortion laws. Medication abortion is the most common method for terminating a pregnancy, and pregnant Americans have increasingly turned to abortion pills following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in June. Many of the country’s leading medical organizations, including the American Medical Associations and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist, said medication abortion is safe and effective. The medical groups said years of clinical evidence shows there is a greater risk of complications or mortality for procedures like wisdom tooth removal, cancer screening, colonoscopy, or even the use of Viagra. In the U.S. medication abortion is a two-step process. It includes first taking mifepristone followed up 24 hours later with a dose of misoprostol.

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