A federal appeals court in New Orleans upheld certain restrictions on the drug mifepristone, used in chemical abortions. Although the court ruled that the restrictions are valid, it did not entirely uphold them.
The lawsuit was filed by doctors and anti-abortion groups in Texas against the FDA. They were protesting against the agency's approval of a drug, as well as how it was made widely available.
In 2016, the FDA allowed doctors to use the drug to terminate pregnancies up to ten weeks early. In 2021, it also allowed the procedure to be carried out through telehealth.
The groups that sued claimed that the FDA failed to thoroughly study the drug's effects before it was approved. Judge Matthew Kacsmek, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, ruled in their favor and suspended the approval of the drug.
The case was then decided by a three-judge panel of the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals. They ruled that the challenges to mifepristone's approval and the generic version's approval were unlikely to succeed.
Erin Hawley, the attorney for the challengers, stated that she was pleased with the court's decision. She noted that it had restored the original safety precautions for the drug.
The Biden administration isn't pleased with the court's ruling. The Department of Justice will appeal the decision, and Hawley can still challenge the part of it that overturned the lower court's ruling.
The court's decision upholds the important restrictions on the use of mifepristone. This drug is commonly used in chemical abortions, and it is essential that the safety of women is prioritized. By restoring the drug's original safety features, the court has helped to protect women's health.
The judge who ruled in favor of the challengers stated that the FDA did not properly study the effects of the drug before it was approved, which shows the need for a thorough analysis before a medication like this can be marketed. The Biden administration's plan to appeal undermines the interest of women's health by disregarding the drug's risks.