(LifeSiteNews) — A federal judge in Texas has issued an order putting on hold the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, the first of the two abortion pills used in sequence for more than half of all US abortions. The order will go into effect on April 14.
The delayed effect of the order, issued on Friday, April 7 (Good Friday), was to allow time for the FDA to seek emergency relief from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal.
The order from Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk would apply to all 50 states, including those where abortion is currently legal. However, just two hours after Kacsmaryk issued his order, a different judge in the state of Washington made a conflicting Order requiring the abortion drug to remain on the market in the states of Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Michigan and the District of Columbia.
Kacsmaryk is a Trump administration appointee in Amarillo, Texas. The Washington judge, Spokane-based Judge Thomas O. Rice, is an Obama administration appointee.
It is noteworthy that the judge in Washington admitted there were serious issues with the FDA’s approval of the abortion drug and “potentially internally inconsistent FDA findings regarding mifepristone’s safety profile.”
These are “dueling” cases that will both be appealed quickly to different Circuit Courts of Appeal. Very likely this will end up in the Supreme Court.
It is important to note that these Court Orders only apply to the drug mifepristone, which is the first of the two abortion pills used in sequence for a chemical abortion. Mifepristone is designed to kill the pre-born baby while the second pill, misoprostol, is then meant to expel the dead baby. Abortion advocates are telling the public that abortions can still be accomplished using just the second drug, but a 2019 study found that was only 78% effective. Abortions using just the second drug also have worse side effects for the woman.
Editor’s note: This article was updated Tuesday April 11, 2023.