Ruling on Mifepristone Tightens Rules Temporarily


Ale Lossing


With a new ruling on Friday, April 8, a U.S. District Judge Matthew Kascmaryks, single-handedly started a movement to remove Mifepristone off of the market. 

  Mifepristone is a pill that is used for most of the country’s medical abortions. According to Representative Jeff Jackson, the federal district judge from Texas had 2 major points on his order. “(the judge) said first, that the FDA was wrong to approve this because it’s not safe for the women who take it. The counterargument is that it’s been approved for 20 years and is widely recognized to be safer than Tylenol… Second, the judge also banned sending any abortion medication through the mail,” said Representative Jackson. 

  Judge Kascmaryks warns that “The Court does not second-guess FDA’s decision-making lightly. But here, FDA acquiesced on its legitimate safety concerns- in violation of its statutory duty- based on unsound reasoning and studies that did not support its conclusions,” stated Kascmaryks in the ruling. His reasoning on his disfavor on Mifepristone is “the lack of restrictions resulted in many deaths and many more severe or life-threatening adverse reactions”.

  The banning of the mail revives the Cornstock Act from 1873, which was designed to censor what could and could not be sent through the mail. The Act states that you can not send anything related to abortion or contraception, but it hasn’t been enforced since the 1930s. 

  On April 13th, the U.S. Court of Appeals the Fifth Circuit instead placed restrictions on the usage of mifepristone and the ability of mailing the drug temporarily. The usage of mifepristone continues to be able to be used up to seven weeks of pregnancy but it is no longer able to be mailed while it is still being appealed. Before Judge Kascmaryks’ ruling, women were able to use mifepristone for up to ten weeks. 

   Meanwhile others like Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, California Governor Gavin Newsom and New York Governor Kathy Hochul have announced that they have begun stockpiling Mifepristone in the event that access to the drug is put to a halt.