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Attorney General William Tong


Attorney General Tong Joins Multistate Coalition to Defend and Protect Access to Medication Abortion

Coalition Argues that Revoking FDA Approval of Medication Abortion Would Endanger Lives Nationwide

(Hartford, CT) -- Attorney General William Tong today joined a multistate coalition to defend and protect safe access to medication abortion nationwide. In an amicus brief filed in Alliance of Hippocratic Medicine v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a case pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, the coalition of 22 attorneys general ask the court to reject a challenge brought by anti-abortion groups seeking to revoke the FDA’s approval of the medication abortion drug, mifepristone. The brief warns that withdrawing federal approval for mifepristone would drastically reduce access to safe abortion care and miscarriage management for millions of people across the country, including in Connecticut. A ban on mifepristone would affect states where abortion is legal. The coalition is urging the court to reject this baseless attempt to undermine the FDA’s authority, upend decades of medical practice, and trample the rule of law.

“Mifepristone has been safely used for medication abortion for more than two decades. This lawsuit is one more radical effort to reject science and inject partisan politics into the doctor-patient relationship. The ban this group is seeking would impact every state—including Connecticut—and would force women who choose to end their pregnancies into unnecessary surgical procedures. This reckless challenge has zero basis in science or the law and must be rejected,” said Attorney General Tong.

“The consequences of this case could go as far as taking mifepristone entirely off the market nationwide — which would significantly compromise abortion access even in states like Connecticut where abortion rights are protected. Mifepristone is safe, effective, and has been used by more than five million people since the FDA approved it more than 20 years ago. This case has nothing to do with patient safety and everything to do with anti-abortion rights activists and politicians who are actively working to dismantle sexual and reproductive health care across the country. We are grateful for Attorney General Tong and the attorneys general from 21 other states and the District of Columbia who are standing up to these dangerous attempts to overrule established medical science and further erode our rights to make our own private medical decisions,” stated Gretchen Raffa, Vice President of Public Policy, Advocacy, and Organizing at Planned Parenthood of Southern New England.

"Anti-abortion extremists and politicians will not stop at overturning Roe as they continue their inflammatory and politically motivated campaign to ban abortion nationwide, including attempts to undermine the FDA’s approval of mifepristone. Let’s be clear-- mifepristone, one of two medications most commonly used in medication abortion, has a 20 year track record as a safe, effective, FDA approved option for ending an early pregnancy and miscarriage management. Everyone should have the ability to make decisions about their own reproductive lives and futures, including choosing the method of abortion that works best for their circumstances. We are grateful for the leadership of Attorney General William Tong as we continue our fight to ensure abortion and pregnancy-related care is affordable, available, and readily accessible to anyone who needs it,” said Liz Gustafson, State Director, Pro-Choice Connecticut.

In 2000, the FDA approved mifepristone as a single-dose oral medication used for early-term abortions. Since its approval, mifepristone has been safely used by approximately five million persons to terminate a pregnancy and is used in more than half of all abortions today. Decades of clinical research and studies have confirmed mifepristone’s safety and efficacy.

If the district court orders the FDA to withdraw or suspend approval for mifepristone, the medication would be removed from the market nationwide. In their brief, the coalition argues that requiring the FDA to withdraw or suspend its approval of mifepristone, despite the overwhelming clinical data demonstrating its safety and efficacy, risks undermining the integrity of the FDA-approval process for other drugs.

The availability of the abortion pill has been particularly critical in providing access to abortion in low-income, underserved, and rural communities. The coalition also asserts that revoking the FDA approval of mifepristone would force millions to seek more invasive and expensive procedural abortion, which would disproportionately harm vulnerable, low-income, and underserved communities. Without access to mifepristone, demand for procedural abortions would significantly increase, leading to overburdened clinics, longer wait times, later and more risky procedures, and more complicated and costly logistics for many patients, especially those in low-income and rural communities. According to 2020 data, 89 percent of U.S. counties have no abortion clinic, and 38 percent of women of reproductive age reside in counties with no clinics. Moreover, lack of access to safe abortion care leads to worsened health outcomes and higher mortality, especially for Black women.

Today’s amicus brief was filed by the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington, Wisconsin, and Washington D.C.

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