Twelve Democrat-led states challenge FDA restrictions on abortion pill

Twelve Democrat led states challenge FDA restrictions on abortion pill
Twelve Democrat led states challenge FDA restrictions on abortion pill
Khushbu Kumari

State attorneys general from 12 Democratic states sued the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for not doing enough to ensure access to the abortion drug mifepristone.

Twelve Democratic-run states have sued the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to try to lift federal restrictions on the distribution of the abortion pill mifepristone .

In the lawsuit, they allege that those restrictions are not supported by evidence and that options for safe abortion have become limited across the country since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade and with it, federal protection of the right to abortion .

The lawsuit, led by the states of Washington and Oregon, was filed Thursday in federal court in Yakima, Wash., and aims to expand access to mifepristone by allowing any doctor or pharmacy to prescribe and dispense it, such as the most medications. Currently, physicians who prescribe mifepristone and pharmacies that dispense it must obtain special certification.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court, represents the states of Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Meanwhile, Texas is leading a separate lawsuit brought by anti-abortion activists seeking to end access to the drug.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said he is suing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because the restrictions on the abortion drug mifepristone are “totally unreasonable and medically unnecessary.”

Ferguson, who spoke to NPR's All Things Considered on Saturday, is one of 12 Democratic attorneys general who filed the lawsuit accusing the federal agency of excessively regulating the drug.

Mifepristone is usually used in combination with misoprostol to induce first trimester abortion. Ferguson says it is one of only 60 drugs, out of more than 20,000 drugs approved by the FDA, that has additional restrictions that make the drug difficult to prescribe and dispense.

But while misoprostol is freely available, the FDA strictly controls who can prescribe and dispense mifepristone.

Medical abortion accounts for more than half of all abortions in the United States.

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