US appeals court to weigh fate of abortion pill

US appeals court to weigh fate of abortion pill

Anti-abortion campaigners will argue in a New Orleans federal appeals court on Wednesday to prohibit the abortion drug mifepristone, which may affect abortion availability nationwide.

The Biden administration will ask a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse last month's extraordinary order by U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk in Amarillo, Texas suspending mifepristone's FDA clearance. The panel will also hear from Mifeprex manufacturer Danco Laboratories.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade in June 2022, Republican-led states have passed abortion prohibitions and limitations. Biden's government is defending mifepristone.

The Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine will defend Kacsmaryk's decree. They sued last year, alleging that mifepristone is harmful and that the FDA's approval over 23 years ago was improper.

The government will argue that the plaintiffs have no standing to sue since mifepristone's approval did not hurt them and that decades of data and real-world usage prove the drug's safety.

The plaintiffs filed their action in Amarillo to ensure it would go before conservative and former Christian activist Kacsmaryk and the conservative 5th Circuit on appeal. Republican presidents appointed 12 of the circuit's 16 current judges.

Wednesday's three conservative judges have opposed abortion rights.

Following a U.S. Supreme Court emergency order, mifepristone is still accessible.

Medication abortions—more than half of U.S. abortions—use mifepristone and misoprostol. Use it in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.

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