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WASHINGTON D.C. — In the middle of the night, two Trump-nominated judges of a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals panel largely denied the Biden administration’s request to issue a stay of the district court ruling in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine et al v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration et al, meaning that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of mifepristone is still in grave jeopardy. However, the courts’ orders have not yet taken effect, leaving abortion access intact for now.

Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America: 

“We are furious that yet another court would choose to jeopardize the health and futures of the millions of people who rely on mifepristone for abortion care. This baseless case is a politically motivated attack to further restrict access to abortion that will place care out of reach for patients — and we will not stand for it. The federal judiciary has — for the second time this week — rejected science and the law, and this time, the court decided they had the authority to re-write mifepristone’s label. If allowed to stand, the consequences of this decision will be catastrophic not just for medication abortion access, but the entire drug approval system."

No court has ever ordered the FDA to take a medication off the market because of their own judgment about the safety of the medication. If allowed to take effect, the ruling could devastate the ability of patients to access the drug for medication abortion and miscarriage care nationwide – even in states where abortion remains legal – and disrupt the FDA’s process for approving essential drugs.

In fact, 650 individuals, companies, and groups filed briefs this week urging the 5th Circuit to keep access to medication abortion. 

“[R]regulatory flexibility and respect for FDA’s scientific judgment are crucial to fostering the development of new and innovative drugs. The district court’s decision will shatter FDA’s ‘gold standard’ of review,” said an amicus brief by Pharmaceutical companies, pharmaceutical company executives, and industry investors, including Pfizer Inc., Gilead Sciences, Inc., and Biotechnology Innovation Organization.

An amicus brief by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), American Medical Association (AMA) and 10 other medical and health organizations explains that Judge Kacsmaryk’s “decision is rife with medically inappropriate assumptions and terminology. It disregards decades of unambiguous analysis supporting the use of mifepristone in miscarriage and abortion care. It relies on pseudoscience and on speculation, and adopts wholesale and without appropriate judicial inquiry the assertions of a small group of declarants who are ideologically opposed to abortion care and at odds with the overwhelming majority of the medical community and the FDA.”

This attack isn't about mifepristone’s safety. Instead, it is a transparent attempt by anti-abortion activists to use the judicial system to ban abortion nationwide.

If allowed to stand, the consequences of this disastrous ruling will fall most on those who are disproportionately affected by abortion bans: Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities, people with low incomes, immigrants, and those living in rural communities.

Read Planned Parenthood’s statement on the district court decision blocking the FDA’s approval of mifepristone here.


Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable sexual and reproductive health care for all people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect, and without judgment, striving to create equitable access to health care. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable education and information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the independently incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates operating health centers across the U.S.


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