< Judges' dueling decisions put access to a key abortion drug in jeopardy nationwide

What does all of this mean? The FDA has just blocked another lawsuit, this time removing the drug from the market. In 2000, the FDA cleared the first medication, mifepristone, for use in the United States. The FDA’s approval of mifepristone is paused for the next seven days due to a ruling. Access to a key medication for abortion is in jeopardy after a federal judge in Texas sided with anti-abortion advocates in an unprecedented lawsuit.

To assist us in resolving the matter, we have enlisted the services of national correspondent Sarah McCammon. Hello, Sarah.

Hello, Adrian. My name is Sarah McCammon.

FLORIDO: Okay. So you have been covering these cases for weeks. What is the importance of this medication?

Legislation and litigation have been the primary focus of this medication. This medication has been widely used by many people because of the significance of this pill, especially when abortion is illegal and restricted in more than a dozen states. It is used in over half of all medication abortions, and it has been on the market for more than 20 years, making it incredibly significant. Well, Adrian, this is because mifepristone, which is part of a two-drug protocol used to terminate first-trimester pregnancies, has been the subject of major legislation and litigation in the United States.

FLORIDO: Well, these two cases that I mentioned seem to go in opposite directions. What are they about, and what just happened?

Matthew Kaczmarek, the judge appointed by former President Donald Trump, asked a federal judge more than 20 years ago to take mifepristone off the market, which is an issue that is widely expected to pull nationwide injunctions. So, in this case, both the regulation and FDA approval of mifepristone were challenged by anti-abortion groups, which came last year in late 2020 – the first time such a case came to the center of attention.

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It is difficult to know exactly what they mean, but we do know that Judge Kaczmarek’s decisions are still being read by people. They were also successful, to a greater or lesser extent. Several weeks ago, a group of Democratic state attorneys filed a case in response to that. The second case is a direct response to the Washington case. In order to prevent the drug from being taken off the market and to relax the rules, another federal judge was asked to do the opposite of what the FDA is doing.

FLORIDO: And what occurs in the interim – within the following seven days?

It is likely that this will also be appealed to the Supreme Court, and it is not clear how exactly each of these rulings will affect the other. I don’t fully know what will happen next. There was a lot of uncertainty leading up to Adrian’s hearing today, especially if there were dueling decisions. But I still think everyone is taking it in stride. So, I think differently as you might expect, and opponents of abortion rights tell me they’re reading this decision differently. Advocates of abortion rights hope it will help preserve access to abortion pills, while opponents of abortion rights tell me they’re reading this decision differently.

FLORIDO: What other information are you receiving today from groups advocating for abortion rights and other organizations?

Anti-abortion organizations would appreciate that, I believe. It is highly probable that this case will ultimately be presented to the U.S. Supreme Court, and there appears to be consensus among all parties once more. However, Adrian, it is indeed a favorable Friday, as it pertains to the Christian holiday being observed today before the Easter weekend. The group known as Students for Life of America released a statement expressing that anti-abortion rights groups are celebrating extensively. These medications will safeguard the ability to access this verdict in Washington, instilling hope that this will persist, while abortion rights groups voice their worries, anger, and dissatisfaction. MCCAMMON: Well.

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FLORIDO: I have been conversing with Sarah McCammon from NPR. Thank you very much.

MCCAMMON: I appreciate your gratitude.

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