First hearing held in Amarillo courtroom for abortion medication case with nationwide implications

Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 8:30 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 15, 2023 at 4:55 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Today a federal judge in Amarillo heard arguments on an abortion medication case with nationwide implications.

The case is to undo approval of an abortion drug, mifepristone, which is one of two drugs used. Anti-abortion advocates filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration alleging it improperly approved the drug 23 years ago.

The lawsuit seeks several actions, including an injunction ordering the FDA to drop its approval of the drug.

This would essentially block the drug’s use nationwide, at least temporarily while the federal judge hears the case.

Inside the courtroom, anti-abortion advocates and doctors were represented by Eric Baptist and Erin Holly. They argued the drug causes irreparable harm to women and girls, as well as to the doctors who have to surgically attend to them when the medical abortion does not take.

They also accused the FDA of deregulating the way the drug itself is handled, and asked for a temporary injunction to stop sales of the drug nationwide, including which states allow abortions. They have asked the judge for “complete and universal” relief from a drug whose “harm knows no bounds.”

Attorneys for President Biden’s Administration said they were unable to find any case where a court “second-guessed FDA’s safety and efficacy determination, much less an example that includes a two decade delay.”

Lawyers also said the effectiveness and safety of the drug has proven itself time and again over a span of two decades, citing its success rate at over 97% and hospitalizations at less than 1%.

They wrapped up by asking the judge if an adverse order is made to stay an injunction until appeal or for at least 21 days.

Judge Kacsmaryk acknowledged the request.

The hearing lasted just around four hours with the judge thanking both sides and saying he would make a ruling as soon as possible.