Attorney General Ford Criticizes Appellate Court for Decision Permitting Restrictions on Access to Medication Abortion

Aug. 17, 2023

Carson City, NV – Today, Attorney General Ford reacted to a recent decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that maintains medically unnecessary and burdensome barriers on accessing the medication abortion drug mifepristone. AG Ford stressed, however, that mifepristone will still be available to patients, albeit with these restrictions.

In a decision on Wednesday, the court ruled that while mifepristone can remain on the market, changes that the FDA had made in recent years to increase ease of access to the medication will not be immediately implemented. This means that mifepristone cannot be mailed to patients, and non-physician providers cannot prescribe the medication.

    “Wednesday’s decision is the most recent in a coordinated attempt to attack the bodily autonomy of women,” said AG Ford. “The decision-making ability of the FDA has been undermined and medical necessities have been politicized. The decision on what medication is necessary and safe is between a person and their doctor. It is not the purview of the courts.”

    The FDA has acknowledged that mifepristone is a safe medication, stating that “serious complications have proven to be extremely rare.” In fact, according to the FDA, zero deaths can be attributed to mifepristone during its entire history of use in the United States.

      AG Ford previously joined a coalition of attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in the case and warning that the Fifth Circuit’s order will drastically reduce access to safe abortion care and miscarriage management for millions of people across the country. According to current estimates, medication abortion accounts for approximately 54% of all abortions performed in the United States. Increased demand for procedural abortions in the wake of mifepristone restrictions could result in later and more risky procedures, and more complicated and costly logistics for many patients – especially in states where the right to a procedural abortion has been taken away.