Intended for healthcare professionals


Opposing rulings on mifepristone in US leave access to medical abortion in jeopardy

BMJ 2023 ; 381 doi: (Published 11 April 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;381:p822
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York

The legal status of abortion in the US has become uncertain after two federal judges published conflicting legal rulings on 7 April on access to mifepristone, one of the drugs used in medical abortion.

The cases from two states mean that the matter will probably go to the Supreme Court, which previously overturned the right to abortion.

On 7 April Texas federal judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ruled that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had improperly approved mifepristone and he prohibited its use throughout the US. He suspended his ruling for seven days and called on the FDA to re-evaluate the drug. 1

Judge Kacsmaryk was ruling on a case brought by the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine and other groups that oppose abortion and question the safety of the FDA’s approval of mifepristone.

On the same day, federal judge Thomas Rice in the state of Washington ruled in favour of maintaining mifepristone’s availability in 17 states and the District of Columbia (Washington, DC) that joined in the lawsuit. 2

US Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement that the Justice Department “strongly disagrees” with …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription