A federal appeals court has ruled that the abortion pill can remain on the market, but with strict limitations on its availability, including a ban on delivery through the mail.

Mifepristone is a drug that is used in most abortion medications in the U.S. and has been FDA approved since 2000. In the majority of medication abortions, it is combined with another drug called misoprostol.

The abortion pill accounts for over half of all abortions in the U.S.

Late Wednesday night, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed in a 42-page order that mifepristone will be approved for use up to seven weeks of pregnancy, and will no longer be permitted to be sent in the mail.

Prior to this ruling, it was available for use up to 10 weeks of pregnancy and for mail order.

Mifepristone was also available in retail pharmacies, and in-person visits with medical professionals were not required to obtain a prescription. These policies have temporarily been blocked by the court’s ruling as well.

Praising the Fifth Circuit ruling, Students for Life of American President Kristan Hawkins called it “an acknowledgment that women’s lives and health have been sacrificed, along with preborn infants, to fast track a quick sale.”

“The only benefit to stripping away vital protections was to Corporate Abortion, which allowed them to lie about the dangers and absolve them of any problems, as they dropped some pills in the mail and walked away from whatever happened next,” said Hawkins.

Last week, in another federal court case, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ruled in favor of a pro-life group that sued the FDA over its approval of the abortion pill.

Kacsmaryk’s ruling, which takes effect on Friday, invalidates the drug’s approval because the FDA failed to study the safety of the drug in terms of its potential impact on the hormone-blocking regimen on adolescent females. They also allegedly ignored significant evidence that chemical abortion drugs lead to more complications than surgical abortions.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Senior Counsel Erin Hawley spoke on the FDA’s irresponsible approval of the abortion drug, saying, “The FDA put politics ahead of the health of women and girls when it impermissibly failed to study how dangerous the chemical abortion drug regimen is and when it unlawfully removed every meaningful safeguard that it previously implemented. The FDA should have to answer for the damage it has done to the rule of law and the harm it has caused to countless women and girls.”

The Court of Appeals also addressed this issue, suggesting that the FDA “cannot deny that serious complications from mifepristone” occur. The court also called out the FDA for comparing the safety of mifepristone to that of ibuprofen.

“FDA’s own documents show that mifepristone bears no resemblance to ibuprofen,” the court said.

They added that “as a result of FDA’s failure to regulate this potent drug, these doctors have had to devote significant time and resources to caring for women experiencing mifepristone’s harmful effects. This harm is sufficiently concrete.”

In a statement condemning Kacsmaryk’s pro-life decision, Joe Biden said,

“Today a single federal district judge in Texas ruled that a prescription medication that has been available for more than 22 years, approved by the FDA and used safely and effectively by millions of women here and around the world, should no longer be approved in the United States. The Court in this case has substituted its judgment for FDA, the expert agency that approves drugs. If this ruling were to stand, then there will be virtually no prescription, approved by the FDA, that would be safe from these kinds of political, ideological attacks…

My administration will fight this ruling. The Department of Justice has already filed an appeal and will seek an immediate stay of the decision.”

Joe Biden’s lawyers are fighting against the pro-life rulings that restrict chemical abortion drugs. They said that if the ruling went into effect, it would “thwart FDA’s scientific judgment and severely harm women, particularly those for whom mifepristone is a medical or practical necessity.”

The DOJ requested that the Fifth Circuit put its ruling on hold, saying, “This harm would be felt throughout the country, given that mifepristone has lawful uses in every State. The order would undermine healthcare systems and the reliance interests of businesses and medical providers. In contrast, plaintiffs present no evidence that they will be injured at all, much less irreparably harmed, by maintaining the status quo they left unchallenged for years.”

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