Published April 18, 2023
UPDATE: The Supreme Court has delayed releasing their decision until Friday, April 21.
This past week, a lot has transpired regarding the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and mifepristone. A ruling restricting the use of mifepristone, made by a Texas judge, was modified by the US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. While the Texas judge halted the use of mifepristone completely, the 5th Circuit ruled that mifepristone could be dispensed according to the FDA rules of 2000.
Before the Texas ruling was modified, a Washington State District Court ruled for 17 states and the District of Columbia that the availability of mifepristone may not be altered.
The Department of Justice filed an appeal to the Supreme Court , which, as of Friday, April 14, has paused these new restrictions through an administrative stay. This stay is in effect until 11:59 pm of April 19, 2023. Responses must be filed by April 18, 12:00 pm. Again, all eyes are on the Supreme Court as Justices will weigh in on this appeal.
Here’s a more in-depth look at what happened:
Texas Judge Ruling
On Friday, April 7, a Texas Federal Judge made a preliminary ruling on a case, halting FDA approval of mifepristone (the first abortion pill) nationwide. Mifepristone stops the supply of progesterone to a developing pregnancy thereby ending the pregnancy. This ruling was to be effective on Saturday, April 15th unless reversed through an appeal.
Appeal to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals
The Biden administration challenged this ruling, bringing it to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals, on April 12, decided to keep in place a portion of this court order. Here’s what held:
- Disallowing the sending of chemical abortion drugs through the mail, which the FDA had been allowing since 2020;
- Moving the gestational age limit for the use of mifepristone back from 10 weeks to 7;
- Requiring three in-person doctor visits prior to and after starting a chemical abortion regimen;
- Requiring that patients be checked for complications after starting a chemical abortion;
- Requiring the reporting of all adverse events, not just fatal ones, a rule the FDA changed in 2016.
Held in place, the ruling would reverse numerous decisions the FDA has made over the past 10 years to expand the use of mifepristone in abortions and remove safeguards for women.
This was a huge victory, especially for the pro-life medical professionals who have been working tirelessly to protect their patients (both born and unborn).
The Supreme Court gets involved:
In response, on April 14th, Justice Alito issued an “administrative stay” temporarily suspending these rulings on mifepristone.
What does this mean?
All eyes are back on the Supreme Court as we wait to see what will happen next. The Supreme Court has announced they will release their decision on Wednesday, April 19th.
Even if the Supreme Court upholds these new restrictions of mifepristone, as of right now, it appears the reinstatement REMS and moving the gestational age will not be upheld in Washington State.
In a separate lawsuit, a Washington State Federal Judge ruled that the FDA can’t alter the current status quo as related to mifepristone, thereby challenging the Texas District Court.
The battle is far from over. Washington State has a long history of protecting abortion at whatever cost. In fact, on April 4th, Govenor Inslee announced that he would be purchasing a three-year supply of mifepristone to be distributed to abortion providers/clinics across the state of Washington.
Care Net of Puget Sound’s Response
While praising God for any success that the ADF (Alliance Defending Freedom) might have in protecting women from the dangerous, possibly life-threatening complications of medical abortions, we know that our battles against spiritual darkness (Ephesians 6:12) are far from over in our country and in our communities.
Over 16,000 lives are reported lost to abortion every year just in our state and over 1 out of every 10 pregnancies in our state will end in abortion.
Whether the FDA abortion pill restrictions are upheld in our state or not, we know women will still need the hope and life-affirming options that Care Net of Puget Sound has to offer. We will continue to provide the same life-affirming, compassionate, and practical care we’ve been providing for over 40 years.
Thank you for standing with us as we support life and offer free pregnancy help to women in need.
Our Prayer Requests:
- Pray for the Supreme Court and Justice Alito. Pray the Supreme Court’s decision will recognize the risks and dangers of mifepristone and hold the FDA accountable to protect women.
- Pray for the teams at Alliance Defending Freedom and AAPLOG. Pray God will strengthen them as they continue to advocate for the unborn and for women at the national level.
- Pray for our leaders in Washington who are so adamantly protecting abortion at all costs. Pray God will open their eyes to what they are actually promoting and protecting under the guise of “healthcare.”
- Pray for those in the abortion industry in Washington State. From receptionists to doctors to nurses to abortion advocates, pray that God will remove their blindness as he did for Saul through Ananias (Acts 9).
- Pray for us at Care Net of Puget Sound. Over the past two years, we have seen a 50% increase in women considering abortion. Pray that God will strengthen this ministry as we continue to offer life-affirming care and free pregnancy help to women in desperate search of hope and support.
Opportunities to Continue to Support Life
If you would like to support life by committing to pray for Care Net of Puget Sound on a regular basis, please consider joining our prayer team here. If would like to make a gift to help women receive unplanned pregnancy help, you can make pregnancy center donations today.