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AG Nessel Joins Multistate Coalition to Urge Supreme Court to Reverse Lower Court’s Ruling on Medication Abortion
October 16, 2023
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined a multistate coalition of 24 attorneys general in protecting access to medication abortion nationwide. The coalition of attorneys general filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) and Danco Laboratories LLC’s petitions asking the U.S. Supreme Court to accept their appeal and reverse the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit’s ruling that reinstated certain medically unnecessary, and previously eliminated, restrictions on mifepristone. Mifepristone is the only FDA-approved abortion medication, and the coalition argues that the Fifth Circuit’s ruling has dangerous consequences on reproductive healthcare outcomes, particularly for low-income and underserved communities.
“If the Fifth Circuit’s decision stands, it could endanger scores of women who rely on the availability of mifepristone as a safe alternative to invasive procedures, as it has been for over 20 years,” Nessel said. “Research has proven that mifepristone is a safe and reliable reproductive health care option for those who need it. If this decision is not reversed, it will significantly restrict access to this FDA approved medication without any public health-related rationale."
AG Nessel and the coalition are urging the Supreme Court to grant the petitions to bring the case on medication abortion before the court. The coalition asks the Supreme Court to reverse the Fifth Circuit’s poorly reasoned decision that restricts how mifepristone can be prescribed and dispensed. The amicus brief highlights that the Fifth Circuit’s decision ignores decades of high-quality evidence and clinical research that shows mifepristone is safe and effective.
The coalition notes that if the Fifth Circuit’s decision is permitted to take effect, it could disrupt access to the most common method of abortion, harming countless individuals in need of abortion care or management of pregnancy loss, with widespread implications for the healthcare system. Among other things, the ruling could lead many individuals to undergo procedural abortion, push abortion procedures to later in pregnancy, drive up risks, costs, and delays, as well as deprive many individuals of access to reproductive healthcare altogether. The coalition further argues that the ruling would create widespread confusion among providers, distributors, and pharmacies, radically destabilizing the regulatory process for drug approvals, stifling scientific innovation, and imperiling the development and availability of thousands of drugs nationwide.
AG Nessel has vowed to ensure that Michigan remains a safe haven for women across the country to access reproductive healthcare. Her history of efforts to protect reproductive rights in Michigan and across the country includes championing the placement of an abortion access proposal on the ballot last November – a proposal that passed with more than fifty-six percent support from Michigan voters. Nessel has also taken legal action in multiple cases to protect access to reproductive healthcare across America, including joining a coalition of states urging the Biden Administration to scrap Trump-era rules that allow employers to interfere in the reproductive health decisions of their employees. She also joined coalitions to protest restrictive abortion laws in Texas, Mississippi, Ohio, Idaho, Louisiana, and Indiana.
Joining AG Nessel in submitting the amicus brief are the attorneys general of Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.