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ACOG Condemns the Court Decision Overturning FDA Approval of Mifepristone


Washington, D.C.—The following is a statement from Iffath Abbasi Hoskins, MD, FACOG, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and Maureen G. Phipps, MD, MPH, FACOG, chief executive officer of ACOG:

“Today’s decision by a sole federal district judge in Texas to overturn FDA approval of mifepristone is a grievous legal overstep into America’s well-established regulatory system. The decision itself betrays the bias and prejudice that informed its rhetoric, which deliberately ignores decades of evidence-based scientific data and eschews clinically appropriate language about mifepristone, a critical medication used for both abortion and miscarriage management.

“This decision decidedly misrepresents medication abortion care. It is inflammatory, brazenly substitutes the court’s judgment for that of trained professionals, and distorts the reality of the ACOG members who compassionately provide abortion care, of the millions of patients whose health and lives have been impacted by medication abortion, and of the decades of decisive scientific data that prove its safety and efficacy.

“Mifepristone has been used safely and effectively for medication abortion for more than two decades. That safety and efficacy is backed up by robust, evidence-based, clinical data and its observed use by millions of people with support from clinicians, including obstetrician–gynecologists. Regardless of the opinion of one judge on this matter, mifepristone is a safe, effective part of comprehensive health care.

“The lawsuit that led to this egregious decision was brought not to protect the health and well-being of those in need of medication abortion, but rather as a politically motivated effort to impose personal bias onto people’s lives and bodily autonomy. 

“Last year’s overturn of the protections offered by Roe v. Wade was a cataclysmic disaster for the reproductive health of people across the country. Today’s decision is just as concerning. Medication abortion has played a critical role in helping people continue to access needed abortion care. It also provides people with an alternative to an abortion procedure; in fact, more than half of people who receive abortion care choose medication abortion. 

“Today’s decision is clearly a transparent effort to make it harder for people to access medication abortion. It will force people to turn to other means of accessing abortion care; it will force clinicians to prescribe less safe, less effective regimens for medication abortion; and it will impose greater harm on those who already struggle to access needed reproductive health care, thus increasing health inequities.

“It is clear that the judge disregarded the strong medical argument that we presented in our amicus brief. This case—and its decision—shows that opponents of abortion will continue to interfere with the provision of safe, effective, and legal abortion care.”

The language we use when discussing reproductive health is profoundly impactful. Learn more from ACOG’s Guide to Language and Abortion. ACOG’s existing guidance, Practice Bulletin on Medication Abortion Up to 70 Days of Gestation and Practice Bulletin on Early Pregnancy Loss, remain in place and contain information about evidence-based treatment regimens.