US: Access to abortion pill mifepristone at stake in federal appeals court hearing


A federal appeals court will hear arguments Wednesday afternoon in a closely watched lawsuit that seeks to pull the abortion pill mifepristone from the U.S. market.

The hearing at the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans comes 11 months after the Supreme Court ruled there was no longer a federal constitutional right to abortion.

Lawyers from the Department of Justice, who are representing the Food and Drug Administration, and attorneys for a group of anti-abortion doctors called the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine each will have 40 minutes to present their case before the three-judge panel.

The outcome of the hearing, set to begin at 2 p.m. ET, could determine whether women will continue to have access to what has become the common method to terminate a pregnancy in the U.S.


Mifepristone, used in combination with another drug, misoprostol, accounts for about half of all abortions domestically.


READ ALSO:Ghana recorded 21 abortions daily among teenage girls in 2022

The judges who will hear the arguments all were nominated by Republican presidents.

Judges James Ho and Cory Wilson were appointed by Donald Trump. Judge Jennifer Elrod was appointed by George W. Bush.

The panel’s ruling could come at any time after the arguments. But regardless of what that ruling says, the losing side is certain to ask the high court to hear an appeal of the decision.

If the Supreme Court accepts the case for appeal, mifepristone will remain widely available until the high court issues a final decision in the case.

But if it refuses to hear an appeal, the 5th Circuit decision will be the final word on the drug’s fate.

Challenge to mifepristone
The Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine in November sued the FDA in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, challenging the agency’s authorization of mifepristone, which occurred in 2000.

The group argued the agency did not use the correct process to approve mifepristone, claimed the medication is unsafe, and asked a judge to order the drug withdrawn from the market.

Those claims were strongly disputed by the FDA, leading medical associations, nearly half the U.S. states, and more than 200 members of Congress.

Those entities argued in court filings that the FDA properly approved mifepristone and that the approval was based on extensive data that supported the medication’s safety and effectiveness.


FACEBOOK: @NewsAf247

TWITTER: @NewsAf24

INSTAGRAM : Af24news