Texas judge to decide abortion pill case with nationwide repercussions

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Published Monday, February 13, 2023
by Roz Brown

(Texas News Service) Medication is now believed to be used in more than half of all abortions in the U.S., but a Texas judge could soon force one of two abortion pills off the market nationwide.

A conservative legal advocacy organization filed a lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration last November, claiming a medication approved 23 years ago comes with medical risks.

Rachel Fey, vice president of policy and strategic partnerships for the group Power To Decide, said a favorable ruling for anti-abortion groups could prevent health care providers from prescribing the medication, even in states where abortion is legal.

"In very specifically filing this case in Amarillo, Texas -- with the intent of getting this judge -- the plaintiffs here are going about trying to ban abortion medication nationwide, and that's a really alarming thing," Fey explained.

The judge in the case was a religious liberty lawyer before President Donald Trump appointed him to the bench in 2019. In October, he blocked the Biden administration from ending Trump's "Remain in Mexico" immigration program. He has also ruled against policies meant to protect the LGBTQ community from discrimination. A decision is expected by February 24.

Fey believes the attacks on the abortion medication are politically motivated.

"The safety profile of mifepristone is pretty incredible," Fey contended. "It's evaluated and reevaluated, so the idea that this has not been studied or looked at or safe is absolutely obscene."

Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year, many states have passed near-total bans on abortion. Fey thinks anti-abortion groups will not be satisfied until it is illegal nationwide. She predicted they will then go after birth control, and other reproductive health care.

"My home state is Massachusetts," Fey remarked. "People in Massachusetts should be alarmed at the idea that one judge in Texas can decide whether or not medication abortion is available to them."

Medication abortions now account for more than half of all facility-based abortions in the U.S., according to the Guttmacher Institute.

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