HealthDay News — Whether women will continue to be able to get a medication abortion using the drug mifepristone in the United States hinges on the impending ruling of a federal judge in Texas. The case will soon be decided by U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, CBS News reported.
In the lawsuit, an anti-abortion group is seeking reversal of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of the medication mifepristone, one of two drugs typically used to induce a medication abortion. The drug is also used to treat miscarriages, CBS News reported.
“A lot of people rely on this medication,” Kristyn Brandi, M.D., an ob/gyn based in New Jersey, told CBS News. “It is something that has been the standard of care for over 20 years.” Brandi called a potential ban “devastating.” Women will still be able to access a medication abortion using the other drug in the two-part combination, misoprostol, she said, but it is a little less effective and may carry higher risks for side effects on its own.
Mifepristone can be ordered online with a prescription, CBS News reported, even in states where surgical abortions are restricted. In its lawsuit, the group known as the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine alleges that the drug has not been sufficiently studied.
The senior counsel for another group, conservative Christian legal advocacy organization Alliance Defending Freedom, spoke in favor of the lawsuit. Julie Marie Blake told CBS News she was “confident that when any court looks at the law and looks at the science, it will realize that the FDA has completely failed its responsibility to protect women and girls.”
The FDA did not comment on the lawsuit, CBS News reported.
Meanwhile, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists called mifepristone “safe and effective.”
“If there is a nationwide injunction, then the drug used for medication abortions will be off the market in all 50 states at least, and during the period where the injunction is in force,” Meghan Boone, an associate professor at Wake Forest University School of Law, told CBS News.