12 States Are Pushing Back Against Excessive Restrictions on the Abortion Pill

In the midst of an unprecedented federal lawsuit in Texas involving the abortion pill mifepristone, 12 pro-choice states are now suing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over its limitations on the drug.

The lawsuit — filed late last week by officials in Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Vermont — alleges that the FDA’s “excessive restrictions” on the pill “have no basis in medical science.” Currently, patients and their prescribing physicians must sign agreements that mifepristone will be used to end a pregnancy. Plaintiffs in the suit want to nix these requirements and make the pill more accessible.

“The federal government has known for years that mifepristone is safe and effective,” Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in a statement. “In the wake of the Supreme Court’s radical decision overturning Roe v. Wade, the FDA is now exposing doctors, pharmacists, and patients to unnecessary risk.”

Yes, you read that correctly: This is actually good news for abortion access.

According to CNN, the lawsuit appears to be a hedge from liberal states waiting to see how a federal judge rules in an alarming case out of Texas, which aims to revoke mifepristone’s FDA approval (and take it off shelves permanently). The concurrent litigation over the same drug could result in contradictory rulings, which would prompt the Supreme Court to intervene.

As The New York Times noted, the Washington case also asks the judge to affirm that the FDA’s “approval of mifepristone is lawful and valid,” and to enjoin the agency “from taking any action to remove mifepristone from the market or reduce its availability.”

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