Focus on the Family has joined 27 pro-life groups and individuals in filing an important brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, urging it to block the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) approval of the abortion pill.
The brief was filed just days before the Fifth Circuit is set to hear oral arguments in a crucial case brought by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), on behalf of four medical organizations and four doctors. Oral arguments are being held on Wednesday May 17, 2023.
The organizations and ADF argue that the FDA violated the law when it approved mifepristone, the first drug in the two-drug regimen known as the abortion pill, in 2000.
The amicus brief (friend of the court brief) was spearheaded by Advancing American Freedom, a nonprofit organization founded by former Vice President Mike Pence committed to advocating for conservative values and policies.
Also joining the brief are 40 Days for Life, My Faith Votes, Young America’s Foundation, Minnesota Family Council, The Family Foundation and many others.
In the brief, the organizations argue that the FDA violated the law when it first approved mifepristone. The FDA approved the drug under Subpart H, a section of law that permits the agency to approve drugs that treat “serious and life-threatening illnesses” as long as they “provide meaningful benefits over existing treatments.”
However, there’s a problem here for mifepristone. As the brief contends,
Because abortion is not a treatment, and pregnancy is not an illness and is not, itself, serious or life-threatening, and because mifepristone is more dangerous and less effective than the alternative, surgical abortion, the FDA abused its own regulation in approving mifepristone in 2000.
“For all these reasons, this Court should uphold the district court’s order staying the FDA’s unlawful approval of mifepristone as an abortifacient,” the brief argues.
The day before oral arguments, ADF Senior Counsel Erin Hawley, who is arguing the case before the Fifth Circuit, issued the following statement:
“The FDA must answer for the damage it has caused to the health of countless women and girls and the rule of law by failing to study how dangerous the chemical abortion drug regimen is and unlawfully removing every meaningful safeguard, even allowing for mail-order abortions.”
The FDA’s unprecedented and unlawful actions to approve chemical abortion drugs and later to remove crucial safeguards placed politics above the health and safety of women and girls. … The public interest weighs in favor of taking a dangerous drug with no meaningful safeguards off the market.
The case in discussion has already been up and down the federal court system. First, on April 7, 2023, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk issued a preliminary injunction and ruled in favor of the four medical organizations and doctors, blocking the FDA’s approval of the abortion pill nationwide. However, the judge stayed (stopped) his order for seven days, permitting time for an appeal.
In that time, the Biden administration appealed the ruling, prompting the Fifth Circuit to issue a ruling that largely upheld – but narrowed – Judge Kacsmaryk’s order. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the district court’s order and permitted the FDA to maintain its original approval of the abortion pill.
After the Supreme Court’s order, the case went back down to the Fifth Circuit to hear arguments on the merits of the case – where the case is now.
This case is tremendously important for the protection of preborn life. Currently over 50% of all abortions are done via the abortion pill.
And the abortion pill isn’t just dangerous to preborn babies. The pill also has serious – and common – side effects for women, including hemorrhage, infection, fever, vomiting, dizziness, and in rare cases, death.
All told, the abortion pill isn’t safe. Not for women. And certainly not for her preborn child. And to top it off, the FDA violated the law when it first approved the abortion pill.
Please pray that that the Fifth Circuit soon concurs and blocks the FDA’s approval of the abortion pill.
The Daily Citizen will keep you updated on important developments in this case.
The case is Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Focus on the Family has been working to turn the cultural tide and save mothers and babies from abortion for years. Since beginning the Option Ultrasound Program in 2004, Focus has helped save nearly half a million lives.
If you are experiencing an unexpected pregnancy and want to learn more about your options, visit My Choice Network.
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