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Attorney General Josh Stein Acts to Protect Medication Abortion Access

For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Contact: Nazneen Ahmed

Coalition of 24 Attorneys General Urges U.S. Supreme Court to Reverse Lower Court’s Ruling Restricting Access to Mifepristone

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. Supreme Court to protect access to medication abortion nationwide. Attorney General Stein and a multistate coalition of 24 attorneys general filed the brief in support of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) and Danco Laboratories LLC’s efforts to reverse a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruling that reinstated certain medically unnecessary restrictions on the medication abortion drug mifepristone. These restrictions on mifepristone could have dangerous consequences for women’s reproductive health care, particularly for underserved communities.

“No woman should ever have to worry about whether she can get the medication she needs,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I will continue to do everything in my power to stand up for women’s reproductive freedoms.”

The attorneys general are urging the Supreme Court to reverse the Fifth Circuit’s decision to restrict how mifepristone can be prescribed and dispensed. The coalition points out that the appellate court ignored decades of high-quality evidence and clinical research proving that mifepristone is safe and effective.

In the brief, Attorney General Stein notes that if the Fifth Circuit’s decision is permitted to take effect, it could disrupt access to an effective method of abortion, harming countless women in need of medical care or pregnancy loss management. The lower court decision could also lead many people to undergo procedural abortions; create widespread confusion among providers, distributors, and pharmacies; and drive up risks, costs, and delays for reproductive health care more broadly. Finally, overruling the FDA’s regulations would radically destabilize the approval process for a wide range of drugs, stifling scientific innovation and imperiling the development and availability of thousands of drugs nationwide.

Attorney General Stein is joined in filing this brief by the Attorneys General of Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai‘i, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.

A copy of the brief is available here.