Recent Mifepristone Fight Shows Reproductive Autonomy at Risk for All
April 26. 2023
For Immediate Release
Apr 26, 2023
Statement from Noreen Farrell, Executive Director at Equal Rights Advocates, on the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the FDA’s approval of abortion drug Mifepristone
San Francisco, April 26, 2023 – This past week’s clash about the fate of the nation’s commonly-used (and FDA approved) abortion medication is a stark reminder that full reproductive autonomy will not be safe for anyone until the far-right demagoguery is decidedly defeated in our next election.
In an order issued April 21, the Supreme Court blocked restrictions ordered by a lower federal court in Texas on mifepristone while a lawsuit brought by anti-abortion groups targeting the pill proceeds. Mifepristone is the first of two medications used in a medication abortion (also known as the “abortion pill”). Mifepristone has been safe and legal in the United States since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the brand name Mifeprex nearly 20 years ago. As a result of the Supreme Court’s order, access to the drug will remain unchanged, for now.
There is no sigh of relief here. The sobering fact is that but for a few votes on the Supreme Court, a deeply conservative lower court without medical expertise could have upended this country’s science-based FDA approval process. The threat of political and ideological attacks on our government’s regulatory authority safeguarding the public health is real and it is perilous. The legitimacy of our judiciary, regulatory process, and democracy is on the line.
The stakes for abortion defense just got higher, more complicated, and more dire for millions across the country who depend on safe, routine and low cost healthcare options. Since the Dobbs decision less than a year ago, and with the increasing number of states passing abortion restrictions, pre-existing inequalities have been significantly exacerbated. Studies show that abortion restrictions correlate with increased suicide risk among women, increased challenges for more than 5 million Latinas to access abortions, and increased maternal and infant death rates in states with abortion restrictions. With bodily autonomy so critical to work choices and economic security, Equal Rights Advocates stands strong with partners across the country in this fight of our lifetimes for women’s health and equality.
Noreen Farrell is available for interviews upon request. Contact Naziah Ahmad at [email protected] or (704) 290-6869.