Attorney General Ken Paxton joined ten other states in a friend-of-the-court brief requesting that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit stay a nationwide injunction suspending important health and safety requirements imposed by federal law for prescription of the abortifacient mifepristone. Federal and state laws require physical examinations and in-person dispensing of mifepristone to ensure that physicians check for contraindications and inform women of the significant risk to her own body, including possible infection, hemorrhage, and even death.
“This medication is strictly required to be dispensed in-person due to the serious risks it poses to women’s health. The ongoing pandemic does not change the need for close examination and observation of a patient using mifepristone,” said Attorney General Paxton. “The COVID-19 pandemic only reinforces the need to follow reasonable guidelines when prescribing potentially dangerous medications to prevent patients from being forced into hospitals already dealing with the strain of the pandemic. To argue otherwise demonstrates lack of true interest in women’s health and safety.”
The district court’s current injunction prevents the Food and Drug Administration from enforcing provisions of the Elements to Assure Safe Use for the mifepristone Risk Evaluation & Mitigation Strategy (REMS). Use of abortion medications with close physician supervision presents risks to patient health and safety, and mifepristone is approved strictly through 10 weeks of pregnancy, with later use involving a higher risk of failure, infection, and risk to the patient’s life.
Read a copy of the amicus brief here.