Texas judge considers of cancelling FDA approval of abortion pill in US

By Rek Hanibal Published on March 15, 2023
Texas judge considers of cancelling FDA approval of abortion pill in US

The pill, mifepristone, can be taken at home and used in over half of US pregnancy terminations.

A lawsuit filed by an anti-abortion group in Texas argues that the drug's safety was never adequately studied. 

The drug has been approved for use for over 20 years. 

The case, which will be decided by Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, follows the US Supreme Court's historic overruling last year of the constitutional right to abortion. 

The Texas lawsuit, filed by the Alliance for Hippocratic medicine, an anti-abortion organisation, argues that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved mifepristone before adequate testing was carried out. 

President Joe Biden's administration has responded to the lawsuit, arguing that the drug's approval was well supported by science.

US Department of Justice lawyers wrote that it would be unprecedented for a court to second-guess the FDA's approval and remove a drug from the market, especially after two decades.

Citing security concerns, Judge Kacsmaryk had urged attorneys not to publicise the date of Wednesday's hearing, saying "less advertisement is better".

"This is not a gag order but just a request for the courtesy given the death threats and harassing phone calls and voicemails that this division has received," said the judge, according to a teleconference transcript from Friday. 

Some media outlets criticised the rare request, citing transparency concerns, and sent a letter to the court. On Monday, the judge disclosed the date of the hearing. 

Protests are expected outside the federal court in Amarillo.


Rek Hanibal

Rek Hanibal

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