Attorney General Rosenblum Joins Multistate Coalition to Protect Access to Medication Abortion Drug Mifepristone

October 13, 2023
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Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum today joined a multistate coalition of 24 attorneys general in fighting to protect access to medication abortion nationwide. The coalition of attorneys general filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) and Danco Laboratories LLC’s petitions to reverse the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that reinstated restrictions on the abortion medication, mifepristone.

Mifepristone is the only FDA-approved abortion medication. The coalition argues that the Fifth Circuit’s ruling has dangerous consequences to reproductive health care outcomes, particularly for low-income and underserved communities.

The attorneys general ask the Supreme Court to reverse the Fifth Circuit’s poorly reasoned decision that restricts how mifepristone can be prescribed and dispensed. The brief highlights that the decision ignores decades of high-quality evidence and clinical research that shows mifepristone is safe and effective.

“For the past 23 years, the prescription drug mifepristone has been used safely and effectively for abortions and miscarriages 5 million times —with extremely low rates of serious complication. In our view, the Fifth Circuit’s ruling is not supported by the science —nor the data—and should be reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court, without regard to ideology,” said Attorney General Rosenblum.

The amicus coalition notes that if the Fifth Circuit’s decision is permitted to take effect, it could disrupt access to the most common method of abortion. The ruling could lead many individuals to undergo procedural abortion, or to push abortion procedures later in pregnancy, increasing both the dangers and the costs involved, or even depriving individuals of access to reproductive health care altogether.

The coalition further argues that the ruling 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.

Last January, the Oregon Department of Justice launched the Oregon Reproductive Rights Hotline, a collaborative initiative staffed by Oregon law firms. The Hotline, which can be reached by calling (503) 431-6460, fills an important need for callers to understand the status of our reproductive health laws, including those related to medication abortion.

Oregon is joined in the amicus brief by Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York (which drafted the brief), North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.