Judge blocks access to abortion-inducing drug

U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk has decided that it was not enough for Roe v. Wade to be overturned. Now he is challenging the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of mifepristone. Mifepristone is an abortion-inducing drug that blocks the hormone progesterone, making the pregnancy unable to continue.

This ruling was issued Friday and was set to go into effect by the end of the week until the Justice Department appealed to block it temporarily. As of right now, the appeal was granted by the Supreme Court until Wednesday, when the next decision shall be made.

There are so many other pressing issues, but the government refuses to leave women’s bodies alone.

This all stemmed from a coalition of anti-abortion groups called the Alliance For Hippocratic Medicine (AHM) wanting to overturn the 2000 approval of mifepristone. A panel of judges informed them, however, that it was too late to challenge this action as it was 23 years ago, but they could challenge the decisions made by the FDA from 2016 and on.

In 2016, the FDA decided that mifepristone could be taken to terminate pregnancies from seven weeks gestation to 10 weeks. They also decided that patients would not need to visit clinics in person three times, but instead just once after the drug was taken.

In 2019, the FDA approved a generic form of the drug. Originally, in 2000, the approved drug was called “Mifeprex.” However, this approval allowed 200 milligrams of mifepristone tablets to be administered.

Finally, in 2021, the FDA approved the distribution of mifepristone through other sources aside from clinics, medical offices and hospitals. Now, the drug could be administered through the mail via telehealth.

The strangest aspect to all of this is the language being used to fight against mifepristone. One would think that a lawsuit such as this would be based on science. However, that is not the case.

To begin, Kacsmaryk referred to the two-pill treatment (mifepristone and misoprostol) as a “chemical abortion.” This terminology is not scientifically accurate and is typically used in anti-abortion sentiments in order to provoke fear of the drug.

He also personified the embryo, saying that mifepristone “starves the unborn human until death.” By calling the embryo an “unborn human,” he is using emotionally charged language in order to gather support.

It is just unfathomable that Kacsmaryk refuses to see the one person truly affected by all of this: the woman who is forced to carry the embryo. He is so quick to empathize with a clump of cells before he acknowledges the woman who has to bear this burden.

So, what will happen next? If this lawsuit is taken seriously and the approval of mifepristone is somehow overturned, there are a couple of options left.

Most abortion clinics have decided that they will instead prescribe misoprostol by itself. This drug induces contractions in order to carry out the abortion. While this still works, it is not as effective as the two-drug treatment and has many side effects including nausea, diarrhea, chills, vomiting and cramping.

Otherwise, women would have to go through a surgical abortion if possible. While this is slightly more effective and takes less time, the costs are much greater than a medication abortion. The average cost of a Planned Parenthood medication abortion is $580, whereas the average cost of a surgical abortion ranges from $600 to $2,000.

There are so many other pressing issues, but the government refuses to leave women’s bodies alone. Rather than look at all of the gun violence in our country that is killing our children, they want to call an embryo a human and leave a woman to handle the consequences of a decision she had no say in. It just doesn’t make sense and all that is left to do now is hope that the obvious idiocy of this lawsuit is realized.



Featured photo courtesy of Karolina Grabowska, Pexels