State attorneys general sue FDA to drop restrictions on abortion pill

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U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris meets with reproductive rights leaders in the Ceremonial office at the White House on Friday. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 24 (UPI) — A group of state attorneys general accused the Food and Drug Administration of excessively regulating the abortion pill mifepristone, according to a lawsuit filed in Washington state.

The complaint asks the court to declare that the abortion pill is safe and effective, and to prevent the FDA from taking action that would remove the pill from the market or reduce its availability.

Mifepristone was approved more than 20 years ago and induces first-trimester abortions when taken with another drug, misoprostol.

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who co-led the suit, told NPR that if the restrictions were removed, it would make it much easier for women to get the medication.

Regarding mifepristone, “what we’re asking the court to do is remove those restrictions and make access to this important medication more available to women across the country,” Ferguson said.

The Biden administration has taken steps to make the drug more accessible, like allowing it to be delivered by mail and making it more available at pharmacies.

However, a group of physicians have sued the FDA in Texas, asking the court to overturn the agency’s approval of the pill. A federal judge’s ruling could come any day.

Also on Friday, Vice President Kamala Harris defended mifepristone in a meeting with reproductive rights advocates at the White House. Harris said that the looming court decision in Texas was a threat to the American public health system.

“Again, this is not just an attack on women’s fundamental freedoms; it is an attack on the very foundation of our public health system,” Harris said.

“Those who would attack this process and the ability of the FDA to make a decision ought to look in their own medicine cabinets, to figure out whether they’re prepared to say those medications … should no longer be available to them. Because that is what we are talking about.”

Harris said she hoped that the meeting Friday would highlight the threats that Americans face in terms of access to medicine.

“We are here today to talk about what we will do to highlight this issue to make sure that people in America are aware of what is happening, so we can make sure that people in America are protected in terms of us fighting for their rights to have access to the medication that they need,” she said.

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