Ruling is stayed for seven days
A federal district court in Texas issued a ruling today attempting to block access to mifepristone — a medication used in half the abortions in this country — after more than two decades of safe and effective use by millions of people in the United States for both abortion and miscarriage care. The decision does not take effect for seven days, during which time the government is expected to take an emergency appeal.
The case, Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), was brought by extreme anti-abortion groups to a hand-selected, radical Trump-appointed judge, Matthew Kacsmaryk, as part of a larger campaign to ban abortion entirely nationwide.
If this decision blocking the approval of mifepristone takes effect, it has the potential to impact people’s ability to access care in all 50 states, D.C., and U.S. territories; straining clinics and providers who are already grappling with the effects of Roe v. Wade being overturned and abortion banned in more than a dozen states.
Separately, a federal district court in Washington today issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting the FDA from “altering the status quo...as it relates to the availability of mifepristone” in 17 states and Washington, D.C. Massachusetts was not among those states.
“Decisions about abortion care should be left to a patient and their doctor — not politicians and extremists,” said Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts. “The unprecedented attempt by a single judge in Texas to cut off access to this safe abortion and miscarriage medication poses a grave threat to the health and well-being of people seeking reproductive care nationwide. Everyone should have the option to decide what type of care is right for them. The ACLU won’t back down until every person has the freedom and ability to make these most personal and life-changing decisions for themselves and their families.”
Abortion remains legal in Massachusetts because the state legislature worked with the ACLU and other advocates to codify the right to abortion into state law—and most recently, to pass best-in-the-nation protections for abortion providers and patients. People seeking abortion care in Massachusetts can contact the Abortion Legal Hotline, a free and confidential resource to connect Massachusetts-based health care providers, helpers, and patients obtaining care in the state with free legal advice and resources about abortion access and care.