Washington — A federal judge in Texas on Friday halted the Food and Drug Administration's approval of the abortion pill mifepristone, delivering a blow to abortion rights advocates in the wake of the Supreme Court's dismantling of the constitutional right to abortion.
But it wasn't until last November — 22 years after the FDA's approval of the abortion pills — that a group of physicians and medical associations filed a lawsuit seeking to undo the agency's approval of mifepristone.
The lawsuit was filed in the federal district court in Amarillo, where only one judge, Kacsmaryk, is assigned cases.
The challengers claim the agency exceeded its regulatory authority to approve the mifepristone and asked the court to issue a preliminary injunction ordering the FDA to undo its approval of mifepristone.
"FDA manipulated and misconstrued the text of Subpart H to greenlight elective chemical abortions on a wide scale," he wrote, referencing the federal rule under which the abortion pill was approved.
But the FDA said its 2000 approval of the abortion pill rested on a "comprehensive evaluation of the scientific data."
Near-total abortion bans in 12 states supersede restrictions on medication abortion, while 15 states require medication abortion be provided by a physician. »