(TotalConservative.com) – A New Orleans federal appellate court has overturned a lower court’s decision to block access to the abortion drug mifepristone. The ruling will preserve access for patients with some restrictions.
The ruling came from the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals based out of New Orleans. In their 2-1 ruling late in the evening on Wednesday, April 12th, they allowed the drug to be available up to seven weeks of pregnancy. It was up to 10 weeks due to a previous rule change. They also prohibited any mail orders, which was another allowance by the FDA after the drug was originally approved in 2000.
When used in combination with misoprostol, the drugs terminate pregnancies by binding progesterone, a necessary hormone for pregnancy to continue, and causing uterine contractions which expel the fetus. The new ruling returns the drug to its original approval conditions: 7 weeks of pregnancy and no mail-order access.
Either side may challenge the ruling leading to an appearance before the Supreme Court.
The judges differed over the rule changes added by the FDA which relaxed conditions for access. The FDA extended the period from 7 to 10 weeks of pregnancy and allowed it to be mail-ordered without a prescription or doctor’s visit. The changes followed the drug’s original approval in 2000 and occurred over several years.
The ruling tolerated the original approval and use of the drug but rejected their relaxed conditions for access. Judges who voted for stricter access conditions were appointed by President Donald Trump whereas the one who wanted original access conditions was appointed by George W. Bush.
The three judges emphasized warnings from the Biden administration and the drug’s manufacturer that there would be “significant public consequences” if it was entirely withdrawn from the market. What those consequences might be were not specified.
The initial suit was brought by the Alliance Defending Freedom, and they challenged the drug’s approval claiming the FDA did not adequately review the risks.
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