Only 18 months after its bombshell ruling in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning the US Constitutional right to an abortion, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear yet another case that could have a major impact on Americans’ reproductive freedom. The case is an appeal from the ruling of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in the Texas case, FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, which challenged the Federal Drug Administration’s approval of mifepristone and its restrictions on how it can be accessed by those who need it for abortion or miscarriage care. Mifepristone is scientifically proven to be safe and effective after more than 20 years of use in the United States.
My attorneys at the Oregon Department of Justice and I are watching this matter closely. We’re pleased the Supreme Court refused to consider the most extreme argument that would have threatened mifepristone’s original approval over 20 years ago by the FDA. However, the excessive restrictions on this important drug that the Fifth Circuit has said it will impose have no basis in medical science.
Of the more than 20,000 drugs approved by the FDA, only 60 — including mifepristone — have extra restrictions meant to be reserved for inherently dangerous drugs. Others include opioids like fentanyl, and high-dose sedatives used by psychiatric patients. Mifepristone is singled out for this excessively burdensome regulation despite ample evidence that it is safer than Tylenol.
It is important to note that the case Oregon brought with the state of Washington last year challenging the current restrictions on mifepristone is still active, and the preliminary injunction we received from the federal judge in Washington preserving access to mifepristone in Oregon and the 17 states that joined us remains in place.
I will continue to fight for reproductive freedom, which includes the right to be able to readily access abortion medication in Oregon.