A federal judge in Texas has reversed the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the abortion pill mifepristone, a ruling that has pro-life supporters rejoicing, and a move that is especially poignant since it came only days before the Easter holiday.
On Friday, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ruled that the fast-tracked process used to approve the abortion pill was unlawful after a group of physicians and medical associations filed a lawsuit seeking to reverse the FDA’s process that started 22 years ago to approve the drug.
Mifepristone is a part of a two-drug therapy that induces abortions. It is used in conjunction with the second drug, misoprostol, which empties the uterus. In 2016 the FDA approved use of the drug for pregnancies up to ten weeks from inception. Mifepristone is also sometimes used for women who suffer miscarriages or are experiencing Cushing syndrome.
The left supports this drug because it tends to take the emotional impact out of choosing abortion because it makes the act of ending a pregnancy as simple as taking a pill. But it has become a contentious issue of late, especially in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.
“The [FDA] must protect the health, safety, and welfare of all Americans by rejecting or limiting the use of dangerous drugs. But the FDA failed America’s women and girls when it approved chemical abortion drugs for use in the United States,” the physicians and medical associations told the court in their suit, according to CBS News. “And it has repeatedly failed them by removing even the most basic precautionary requirements associated with their use.”
Judge Kacsmaryk, who was appointed by Donald Trump, according to The Daily Beast, wrote that the challenges to the FDA’s approval process will likely succeed on the merits, and added that the FDA has exceeded its authority.
“FDA manipulated and misconstrued the text of Subpart H to greenlight elective chemical abortions on a wide scale,” Kacsmaryk wrote referencing the federal rule the FDA used to approve the drug in 2000.
The judge also blasted the FDA, saying the agency “stonewalled judicial review — until now” and also said the agency had ignored 16-years-worth of petitions questioning the approval of the abortion drug.
“The Court does not second-guess FDA’s decision-making lightly,” Kacsmaryk insisted. “But here, FDA acquiesced on its legitimate safety concerns — in violation of its statutory duty — based on plainly unsound reasoning and studies that did not support its conclusions. There is also evidence indicating FDA faced significant political pressure to forego its proposed safety precautions to better advance the political objective of increased ‘access; to chemical abortion — which was the ‘whole idea of mifepristone.'”
The Texas judge added that the FDA had failed to consider the “psychological effects” of the drug on patients and ignored its safety record, saying, the FDA’s “failure [to account for this] should not be overlooked or understated.”
Kacsmaryk, though, did not immediately halt the distribution of the drug for fear that it might cause harm to patients who had already been undergoing the use of the drug, especially in states where abortion sees more lax restrictions.
The ruling will go into effect in seven days to give the FDA time to appeal, the BBC reported.
Naturally, the Biden administration protested this ruling and the FDA immediately filed an appeal in the case.
“The lawsuit, and this ruling, is another unprecedented step in taking away basic freedoms from women and putting their health at risk,” the admin. said in a statement, CBS added.
Attorney General Merrick Garland also blasted the ruling.
“The Justice Department strongly disagrees with the decision of the District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA and will be appealing the court’s decision and seeking a stay pending appeal,” Garland said in a statement on Friday. “Today’s decision overturns the FDA’s expert judgment, rendered over two decades ago, that mifepristone is safe and effective.”
In fact, an Obama-appointed judge quickly jumped in and issued a ruling of his own ordering that use of the drug be protected in 17 of the most abortion-friendly states, the BBC noted.
But Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal advocacy group that represented the plaintiffs in Texas, praised the ruling, calling it “a significant victory” for women and doctors and a step toward banning a dangerous drug. The group added that the ruling “will protect millions of women and girls that the Biden administration’s FDA put at risk by further expanding the availability of these drugs as it removed one of the few remaining critical safeguards.”
“Although the FDA and abortion activists claim the drugs are safe and effective, they are not. The danger to women is real. Research has shown that chemical abortion drugs have a complication rate four times that of first-trimester surgical abortions. And all abortions end the life of an innocent child,” ADF said.
The timing of all this also can’t be understated.
The fact that this ruling came only days before Easter, when we celebrate Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and his resurrection from the tomb is significant. As Christ died to save our souls, this ruling, if upheld, will likely save millions of lives.
CORRECTION, April 10, 2023: An earlier version of this article included an incorrect acronym for Alliance Defending Freedom. It is ADF.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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