Apr. 14, 2023
Carson City, NV – Today, Attorney General Aaron Ford announced he has joined a multistate coalition to of 20 attorneys general to challenge the decision issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that would leave in place restrictions on access to the medication abortion drug mifepristone and, as a result, restrict access to medication abortion nationwide.
The coalition’s amicus brief, filed in the United States Supreme Court, urges the court to stay the approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of mifepristone. The ruling would also ban access to mifepristone by mail and would block the ability of non-doctors to prescribe and dispense the medication. The coalition warns that the Fifth Circuit’s order will drastically reduce access to safe abortion care and miscarriage management for millions of people across the country.
“I will exhaust every option available to ensure that Nevadans have the right to bodily autonomy and the ability to make their own reproductive health care choices,” said AG Ford. “Mifepristone is medically safe and should be accessible for those who need it. This ruling must be overturned so that patients can make their own, knowledgeable choices in consultation with their doctors.”
The decisions comes in response to motions filed by the FDA and Danco Laboratories, LLC to stay the April 7 from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. The District Court’s decision stayed the effective date of the FDA’s original approval of mifepristone in 2000.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the 2000 approval but left in place the district court’s stay on other FDA regulatory actions regarding mifepristone, including the 2016 elimination of certain dispensing requirements, the 2019 approval of the generic drug and the 2021 elimination of the in-person dispensing requirement. Attorney General Ford and the coalition are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to stay this decision pending the appeal, given the critical role medication abortion plays in reproductive health care, and the need for ease-of-access, particularly in low-income, underserved, and rural communities.
The coalition notes that if the appellate court decision takes effect, it could drastically curtail abortion access for millions of Americans. According to current estimates, medication abortion accounts for over half, approximately 54 percent, of all abortions performed in the United States. Reducing medication options will make it more challenging for millions of Americans to access safe medication abortions and could result in substantially increased demand for procedural abortions. This increased demand could result in later and more risky procedures, and more complicated and costly logistics for many patients – especially where procedural abortion is unavailable.
Joining Attorney General Ford in filing today’s amicus brief are the attorneys general of Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai’i, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.
Read the brief.