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Attorney General Nessel Issues Statement on Latest Mifepristone Court Opinion
August 17, 2023
LANSING – Yesterday, the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in the ongoing legal proceedings on the legality of certain prescription standards and dosage allowances for the drug mifepristone, one of two drugs used in the typical two-drug medication abortion regimen. The Court vacated two injunctions against the standards set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000 and 2019 while affirming an injunction against prescription under the FDA’s 2016 and 2021 modified standards, however, none of the Fifth Circuit’s rulings will carry any enforcement effect per a stay of enforcement issued by the Supreme Court of the United States pending timely appeal to that Court. The rulings would not remove mifepristone from the market, but would collectively mandate the FDA revert to its pre-2016 prescription standards.
As a plaintiff state in separate litigation, State of Washington, et al. v. FDA, et al., Michigan is additionally, at least temporarily, shielded from the effects of court opinions detrimental to the full freedoms and liberties enjoyed by Michigan residents pursuant to an order prohibiting the FDA from altering its standards for mifepristone in the plaintiff states.
In response to the ruling, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued the following statement:
“Abortion remains legal and available in Michigan and this court opinion will have no effect on the standards or practices of mifepristone prescription in the state. The Court rulings here are presently unenforceable by order of the United States Supreme Court, and my participation on behalf of the state in another lawsuit alongside the State of Washington resulted in a blanket prohibition on the alteration of FDA standards within our state while the legal assault on the constitutional rights of Michigan women make their way to the high court. We will continue to defend Michigan as a safe haven in our region for women to access reproductive healthcare and, as always, my department’s top priority will be to safeguard the health, safety, and wellbeing of the residents of our state.
“The people of Michigan spoke loud and clear last November when they further secured their rights to reproductive freedom by enshrining them in our state’s constitution. My department will continue its efforts to defend those rights from any judge in the country who would reach into our state, our communities, homes, and doctor’s appointments, and eviscerate access to the safe, reliable, medication that enables over half of all abortions and with a better safety record than some of the most used and known prescription drugs in the country.”