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Unlawful FDA approval of chemical abortion drugs before 5th Circuit

ADF attorneys available for media interviews following expedited hearing Wednesday
Woman sitting on a couch in a hospital gown

WHO: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys

WHAT: Available for media interviews following oral arguments in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration

WHEN: Immediately following hearing, which begins at 1 p.m. CDT, Wed., May 17

WHERE: U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, Room 209, 600 Camp St., New Orleans; or listen live. To schedule an interview, contact ADF Media Relations Specialist Hayden Sledge at (205) 767-4705.

NEW ORLEANS – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing four medical associations and four doctors experienced in caring for pregnant and post-abortive women will be available for media interviews Wednesday following oral arguments at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In the case, ADF attorneys are asking the 5th Circuit to uphold a federal district court’s decision protecting the health and safety of women and girls against chemical abortion drugs.

“The FDA must answer for the damage it has caused to the health of countless women and girls and the rule of law by failing to study how dangerous the chemical abortion drug regimen is and unlawfully removing every meaningful safeguard, even allowing for mail-order abortions,” said ADF Senior Counsel Erin Hawley, vice president of the ADF Center for Life and Regulatory Practice, who will be arguing before the court on behalf of the medical associations and doctors. “The FDA’s unprecedented and unlawful actions to approve chemical abortion drugs and later to remove crucial safeguards placed politics above the health and safety of women and girls. These illegal actions do not reflect ‘scientific’ judgment but rather reveal politically driven decisions to push a dangerous drug regimen without regard to women’s health or the rule of law. The public interest weighs in favor of taking a dangerous drug with no meaningful safeguards off the market.”

Last month, a different panel of the 5th Circuit ruled to let portions of the district court’s order go into effect, including prohibiting abortionists from sending chemical abortion drugs through the mail, which the FDA had been allowing since 2021 in direct violation of longstanding federal law. Additionally, in 2016, the FDA extended the permissible gestational age of the baby for which a girl or woman may take chemical abortion drugs—from seven weeks’ gestation to 10 weeks’ gestation. The 5th Circuit affirmed moving that back to seven weeks’ gestation to protect the mother from adverse complications that increase with gestational age, reinstating necessary doctor visits, and bringing back the requirement that abortionists must check women for complications after their chemical abortions. After an emergency appeal by the FDA, the U.S. Supreme Court opted to pause any implementation of the district court’s decision until the full appeal concludes.

ADF attorneys filed the lawsuit against the FDA in November 2022 on behalf of the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Pediatricians, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations, and doctors Shaun Jester, Regina Frost-Clark, Tyler Johnson, and George Delgado. It is the first lawsuit to challenge federal government officials for their illegal approval of chemical abortion drugs that harm women and girls.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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Erin Hawley, Senior Counsel, Vice President of Center for Life & Regulatory Practice
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Senior Counsel, Vice President of Center for Life & Regulatory Practice
Erin Morrow Hawley serves as senior counsel and vice president of the Center for Life and Regulatory Practice at Alliance Defending Freedom.