AG Ellen Rosenblum Joins Multistate Coalition to Defend and Protect Access to Medication Abortion

February 10, 2023
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If FDA Approval of Medication Abortion is revoked, all states, including Oregon, will be impacted 

Salem, Oregon – Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum today joined a multistate coalition to defend and protect safe access to medication abortion nationwide. In an amicus brief filed in Alliance of Hippocratic Medicine v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a case pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, the coalition of 22 attorneys general ask the court to reject a challenge brought by anti-abortion groups seeking to revoke the FDA’s approval of the medication abortion drug, mifepristone. The brief warns that withdrawing federal approval for mifepristone would drastically reduce access to safe abortion care and miscarriage management for millions of people across the country, including in Oregon. A ban on mifepristone would affect all states, including those where abortion is legal. The coalition is urging the court to reject this baseless attempt to undermine the FDA’s authority, upend decades of medical practice, and trample the rule of law.

“Abortion access throughout our country is already in crisis after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade,” said Attorney General Rosenblum. If the court revokes the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, the consequences will be catastrophic. Even here in Oregon where abortion remains legal, people would lose the freedom to make their own decisions about their body. As Attorney General, I will fight to keep abortion, — including this medicine — safe, legal, and accessible to everyone in Oregon.”

In 2000, the FDA approved mifepristone as a single-dose oral medication used for early-term abortions. Since its approval, mifepristone has been safely used by approximately five million persons to terminate a pregnancy and is used in more than half of all abortions today. Decades of clinical research and studies have confirmed mifepristone’s safety and efficacy.

If the district court orders the FDA to withdraw or suspend approval for mifepristone, the medication would be removed from the market nationwide. In their brief, the coalition argues that requiring the FDA to withdraw or suspend its approval of mifepristone, despite the overwhelming clinical data demonstrating its safety and efficacy, risks undermining the integrity of the FDA-approval process for other drugs, not just the abortion pill.

The availability of the abortion pill has been particularly critical in providing access to abortion in low-income, underserved, and rural communities. The coalition also asserts that revoking the FDA approval of mifepristone would force millions to seek more invasive and expensive procedural abortion, which would disproportionately harm vulnerable, low-income, and underserved communities. Without access to mifepristone, demand for procedural abortions would significantly increase, leading to overburdened clinics, longer wait times, later and more risky procedures, and more complicated and costly logistics for many patients, especially those in low-income and rural communities. According to 2020 data, 89 percent of U.S. counties have no abortion clinic, and 38 percent of women of reproductive age reside in counties with no clinics. Moreover, lack of access to safe abortion care leads to worsened health outcomes and higher mortality, especially for Black women.

Today’s amicus brief was filed by the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington, Wisconsin, and Washington D.C.