(LifeSiteNews) — A federal appeals court has partially blocked a Texas judge’s ruling to suspend the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the dangerous abortion drug mifepristone.
On Wednesday night, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to grant an emergency stay filed by the Biden Department of Justice (DOJ) requesting that the drugs remain temporarily available pending ongoing litigation.
However, the three-judge panel also ruled that other aspects of the suspension order would remain in place, including the pause on regulations that allow mifepristone to be dispensed via mail. The agency’s 2016 Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) for the drug may also be halted according to the Texas judge’s order.
Mifepristone acts as an abortifacient by preventing the hormone progesterone from reaching the developing baby, thereby ending his or her life. It’s most often taken alongside misoprostol, another drug that induces labor so that a woman can give birth to her dead child. The suspension order would only apply to mifepristone.
The original suspension order was given on Good Friday, April 7, by Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of Amarillo, Texas, who was appointed by President Donald Trump. As previously reported by LifeSiteNews, the order would apply to all 50 states, including where abortion remains legal after the Supreme Court’ Dobbs decision. Shortly after Kacsmaryk’s order — set to go into effect on Friday — a Washington state judge issued another order that would require mifepristone to remain available in the states of Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Michigan, and Washington, D.C.
The drug, which has been proven to cause serious health complications for women who use it, was originally approved by the FDA in 2000. Initially, a requirement for in-person prescription and distribution was in place, and only authorized physicians and medical centers were permitted to dispense the drug. Over the years, the federal agency has loosened restrictions, increasing easy access and further endangering both women and babies from the harmful substance.
Women may now take the drug at home with no medical supervision, a provision which has been criticized by doctors as negligent of women’s health. In January, the FDA updated its guidelines once again to allow retail pharmacies to distribute mifepristone after completing a simple agreement form. Since then, pharmaceutical giants Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid have all announced plans to carry the dangerous drug in states where abortion remains legal.
In the aftermath of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the pro-abortion Biden administration has continuously pushed for increased access to the abortion pill. The White House even considered implementing a public health emergency in order to defend providers of the drug from legal penalties. For the 50th anniversary of the initial Roe decision, President Biden issued a memorandum urging government agencies to “further efforts” of dispensing the deadly abortion pills. In response to questions about Kacsymaryk’s ongoing case, the administration falsely claimed that there is “no question” that mifepristone is “safe.”