Abortion Pills Are Still Available Right Now Despite Ruling in Texas

  • A Texas judge ruled to suspend mifepristone’s FDA approval, but gave seven days before it would take effect.
  • That gives the Biden administration time to appeal, and means the abortion pill is still available.
  • The future legal status of the drug was also complicated by a contradictory ruling issued in Washington state also on Friday.

Mifepristone, an abortion pill used in a medication abortion, is still available, despite a Texas judge’s ruling on Friday to suspend the drug’s Food and Drug Administration approval.

Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, issued a stay on the abortion drug’s FDA approval, which was granted more than 20 years ago, arguing that it was unlawful.

However, the judge gave seven days before the ruling would take effect, giving the Biden administration time to appeal the decision and request emergency relief. 

For now, the drug is still legal and available in states in which it was legal and available prior to Friday’s ruling. (In some states it is banned.)

It’s unclear what will happen next, but the Biden administration is very likely to appeal. The case would then go to the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which has been described as “the country’s most politically conservative circuit court.”

From there, if appealed, the case would go to the US Supreme Court.

However, Friday’s ruling is also complicated by a contradictory ruling that was issued by a judge in Washington state the same day that forbids the FDA from pulling mifepristone off the market.

If access to the drug is ultimately revoked, it would drastically impact reproductive care across the US. Research suggests that medication abortions account for more than half of all abortions in the country.

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