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April 12, 2023

Dueling Abortion Pill Opinions

On the same day, two federal judges issued competing opinions regarding the abortion pill mifepristone:

  • A federal judge in Texas blocked the FDA’s approval of the medication in 2000, ruling for the plaintiffs in an unprecedented lawsuit that could derail nationwide access to the pill that is widely used in chemical abortions.  The judge stayed the ruling for seven days to enable the government to appeal to the Fifth Circuit.
  • The U.S. has appealed the Texas ruling and has asked the Fifth Circuit to stay the lower court ruling pending appeal.

Later on Friday, a federal judge in Washington state countered the Texas judge’s ruling by ordering U.S. authorities not to restrict access to mifepristone in the 17 Democratic-led states that had sued over the issue. The U.S. has asked the Washington state district court judge to clarify his opinion in view of the Texas decision.

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