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CHICAGO - Late Wednesday evening, April 12, 2023, two judges of a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, granted in part, but in large part denied, the requests of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Danco, the manufacturer of one of the two abortion medications, to stay Judge Kaczmaryk’s ruling, which overturned the federal Food and Drug Administration’s approval of mifepristone.

Late last Friday, April 7, 2023, Judge Kaczmarky in Texas and Judge Thomas Rice in Washington state offered opposite rulings on mifepristone, one of the two medications most commonly used in medication abortion. Because these decisions are made by federal judges, the rulings have consequences across the nation and even in states where abortion is enshrined by law like here in Illinois. 

The following statement is attributed to Jennifer Welch, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Illinois.

“Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL) continues to offer medication abortion as an option to our patients using a safe and effective mifepristone/misoprostol regimen, which remains legal in Illinois. We continue to monitor this situation closely and will look to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FDA for guidance. PPIL is prepared to provide medication abortion with or without mifepristone.

While these competing decisions are murky, what is clear is that medication abortion using mifepristone is trusted and safe. Approximately 500 pharmaceutical company executives recently signed an open industry letter sharply criticizing the decision by a federal judge in Texas to override FDA approval of mifepristone, noting that the ruling could set a precedent that would undermine the ability to get any safe, FDA-approved medication to Americans who need it.

The FDA approved mifepristone more than 20 years ago, and it has since been used by more than five million people to safely end an early pregnancy. The recent legal battles further emphasize the fact that medical decisions should not be made by politicians or courts but by trusted medical professionals. PPIL will continue to offer all abortion-care options available because everyone should have the ability to make a decision that is best for their bodies, their lives and their futures.”


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Mary Jane Maharry
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