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  • 1440 Daily Digest

Abortion Pill Ruling

A pair of opposing judicial decisions over the weekend left the status of a common abortion pill up in the air, with two federal judges issuing contradictory rulings on whether Mifepristone should remain on the market. The pill, one of two drugs used for medically induced abortions, appears likely to remain available in the short term.

In the first ruling, Texas Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk found the Food and Drug Administration ignored safety concerns during an accelerated decision-making process when considering the drug roughly two decades ago (read ruling). The judge also found mailing of abortion-inducing drugs violates the Comstock Act, passed in 1873.

Minutes after issuing the decision, Washington state Judge Thomas Rice issued a separate ruling requiring Mifepristone to remain available—arguing, in part, it was unusual for the judicial wing to intervene in executive branch regulatory decisions (read ruling). Legal experts say the case is likely to be heard by the Supreme Court.

Mifepristone is authorized for use up to 10 weeks into gestation. Surveys suggest drug-induced abortions—as opposed to surgical procedures—account for more than half of all abortions in the US each year.

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