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Texas judge to decide fate of abortion pill in US

By AFP
February 11, 2023

WASHINGTON: A conservative Texas judge is poised to rule on whether to impose a nationwide ban on a drug used for more than half of the abortions in the United States.

Mifepristone, also known as RU-486, is one component of a two-drug regimen used for medication abortion and has been on the US market for more than 20 years. Anti-abortion groups, galvanized by the Supreme Court´s ruling in June overturning the constitutional right to an abortion, have now set their sights on obtaining a ban on the abortion pill.

In a lawsuit filed in November with a Texas judge appointed by former Republican president Donald Trump, an alliance of anti-abortion groups claims the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should never have approved the “dangerous” drug.

“The FDA failed America´s women and girls when it chose politics over science and approved chemical abortion drugs for use in the United States,” they said.

Attorneys for the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal advocacy group, asked the judge to impose an immediate injunction withdrawing mifepristone from the list of FDA-approved drugs.

The FDA urged the judge to reject the request. “The public interest would be dramatically harmed by effectively withdrawing from the marketplace a safe and effective drug that has lawfully been on the market for 22 years,” it said.

US District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk has given the parties until February 24 to file briefs in the case and is expected to rule sometime after that. Around 15 US states have imposed restrictions on abortion since the Supreme Court ruling and banned sales of the abortion pill.