ICYMI: Democratic AGs Take Legal Action To Expand Access to Abortion Pill

February 27, 2023

Lawsuit Filed Against FDA over Unnecessary Restrictions On Mife

Washington, DC — On Friday, a group of Democratic Attorneys General filed a lawsuit to make one of two pills used in medication abortion, mifepristone, more accessible. The lawsuit addresses the issue that mifepristone is unnecessarily singled out for excessive and burdensome regulations on prescribing and dispensing the pill, restrictions known as REMS. The suit is the latest action from Democratic AGs in their efforts to protect and expand abortion access amid Republican attacks on reproductive health care. The lawsuit was co-led by Washington AG Bob Ferguson and Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum.

NPRDemocratic state attorneys general sue Biden administration over abortion pill rules

  • “[The lawsuit] accuses the FDA ‘singling out mifepristone…for a unique set of restrictions,’ and asks the court to declare the drug to be safe and effective, and invalidate the additional regulation, known as a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy or REMS.”
  • “Regarding mifepristone, ‘what we’re asking the court to do is remove those restrictions and make access to this important medication more available to women across the country,’ Ferguson says.”

AxiosDemocratic AGs sue FDA over “unnecessary” abortion pill restrictions

  • “‘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,’ the AGs lawsuit says.”
  • “‘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.’”

CNN: 12 blue states sue FDA, saying it’s too strict in limiting abortion drugs as legal battle over mifepristone heats up

  • “The suit is a possible hedge by states waiting to see how a federal judge in Texas rules in a lawsuit brought by anti-abortion groups seeking to block the FDA’s approval of mifepristone altogether. Conflicting rulings could mean the Supreme Court is asked to sort out the issue.”

New York Times: 12 States Sue F.D.A., Seeking Removal of Special Restrictions on Abortion Pill

  • “Ameet Sarpatwari, a lawyer and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, said the timing and content of the lawsuit were strategic. ‘It is a legally and politically savvy move to file this complaint now,’ he said. ‘If you have a federal judge in one jurisdiction saying the approval was lawful, and actually enjoining F.D.A. from taking action to restrict access, that would stand in exact conflict with what many presume the Texas judge may do, which is actually rescind the approval of the drug.’”
  • “Kristin Beneski, first assistant attorney general for Washington State, said the goal of the new lawsuit ‘is to protect and expand access to medication abortion.’ She added, ‘It’s not right for one judge in Texas to decide for all Americans whether they can access the gold standard of care for early pregnancy termination.’”

Here’s a look at more of the headlines from the lawsuit:


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