Mifepristone and misoprostol when combined cause an abortion. Medical abortions account for about half of all abortions in the US, as well in Michigan. The drug combination can be obtained from clinics or obtained from pharmacies with a prescription.
On the subject:
A group representing four Texas doctors and four anti-abortion groups sued the FDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, alleging the government overstepped its authority by partially approving a drug that has no therapeutic effect.
If the Trump-appointed judge presiding over the case rules in favor of anti-abortion groups, medical abortions could be shut down across the country unless the decision is stayed or overturned by a higher court.
Earlier this month, Michigan voters approved Article 3, which enshrines abortion rights in the state Constitution. The proposal officially goes into effect 45 days after Election Day, which is Dec. 23.
A federal court ruling on a nationwide ban on commonly used abortion drugs won’t end abortions in the state, but it could force providers to resort to more intrusive medical procedures or use only one of two drugs commonly used for medical abortions, making service is less efficient.
In a statement released Monday by Bridge Michigan, Planned Parenthood of Michigan said, “The science is clear: Mifepristone is safe. This is supported by almost 20 years of data demonstrating the safety and effectiveness of medical abortion using mifepristone.
“This lawsuit, filed in Texas, is a dangerous, unwarranted political attack on abortion access that will have serious consequences for sexual and reproductive health in Michigan and beyond. And this is another brazen and dangerous attempt to control people’s ability to make decisions about their own bodies, lives and futures.”
John Bursch, a former Michigan solicitor general and head of appellate advocacy for the Alliance Defending Freedom, the group behind the lawsuit, was not immediately available for comment.
The judge presiding over the case, Matthew Kaczmark, was appointed by President Donald Trump and has a track record of conservative rulings and viewpoints.
In one recent case, Kaczmarek was thrown out LGBTQ anti-discrimination protections seeking medical attention. And before he was appointed to the bench, Kaczmark disagreed with the Supreme Court’s ruling that legalized same-sex marriage.
When Kaczmarik was tried in federal court, Planned Parenthood issued a statement saying Kaczmarik was “an active opponent of reproductive rights, including access to birth control and emergency contraception.”
Mifepristone, first developed in France in the 1980s under the name RU-486, inhibits the production of progesterone, which is key to fetal development. Combined with misoprostol, which induces labor by stimulating the uterus, this combination of drugs Efficiency is 95 to 97 percent when terminating a pregnancy up to about 10 weeks.
Mifepristone is also used in some cancer treatments and in the treatment of miscarriages.
“To take it (mifepristone) off the market would mean that many women who use it for many purposes would not be able to use it,” said Dr. Timothy Johnson, an OB/GYN professor at the University of Michigan. “It is one of the safest drugs.”
The lawsuit, filed Friday, alleges that the FDA erred by approving the drug for use when the agency said it provided “significant therapeutic benefit” over existing treatments.
“Pregnancy is not a disease, and drugs for chemical abortion offer no therapeutic advantage over surgical abortion,” the lawsuit alleges. “By asserting these patently false findings, the FDA exceeded its regulatory authority in approving drugs.”
Greer Donleyan adjunct professor of law at the University of Pittsburgh and an expert on abortion law, told Bridge Michigan that the Texas case is “a very frivolous lawsuit.
“They are trying to argue that medical abortion is dangerous and should not have been approved. But it is one of the most studied drugs on the planet. It’s really a lot safer than drugs that people think are safe, like penicillin and Viagra.”
According to the results of the study published National Institutes of Health. Among these deaths, 20 died after medical abortions, mostly from infections. That’s less than two women a year who die from complications after taking the birth control pill.
For comparison, there were 522 Viagra-related deaths of use during the first 13 months the erectile dysfunction drug was on the market.
Donley acknowledged that the federal district court judge presiding over the case “could” issue an order halting the use of mifepristone nationwide. “In general, county courses, while they should be rare, can issue nationwide bans,” Donley said.