Missouri and two other states are suing the Biden administration after chemical abortion pills were approved for delivery via mail services.
Attorney General Andrew Bailey of Missouri is leading the legal challenge, which names President Joe Biden, the Food and Drug Administration, and the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
“Unelected federal bureaucrats do not have the statutory authority to approve the shipment of these dangerous chemical abortion drugs in the mail,” said Bailey in a Nov. 7 press release. “The FDA’s guidance is not only unlawful, but would cost the lives of both women and their unborn children. I am proud to be leading a coalition of states to halt the FDA’s illegal federal overreach in its tracks.”
Joined by Kansas and Idaho, Missouri has asked the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas to block a 2016 rollback of most of the safety precautions the FDA had put in place on mifepristone, which it approved in 2000, as well as the FDA’s 2019 approval of generic mifepristone. Additionally, the plaintiffs want the court to block notices enacted in 2021 and 2023 that permit drugs used to induce an abortion to be shipped in the mail.
In 2021, the FDA announced it had reduced the regulations that restricted the distribution of the drugs used in chemical abortions. The agency ruled that “mifepristone must be dispensed by or under the supervision of a certified prescriber or by certified pharmacies for prescriptions issued by certified prescribers” but could “be dispensed in-person or by mail” through the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.
The FDA said in its notice that it did not recommend buying mifepristone online.
“The FDA does not have regulatory oversight of prescription medicines from outside the legitimate U.S. drug supply chain; therefore, the FDA cannot ensure the safety, effectiveness, or quality of those medications,” the agency noted.
The lawsuit states that the FDA “has the statutory responsibility to protect the health, safety, and welfare of all Americans by rejecting or limiting the use of drugs dangerous to the public.”
“The FDA has failed in this responsibility. Specifically, it failed America’s women and girls when it chose politics over science and approved risky, untested chemical abortion drugs for use in the United States,” the claim continues. “And it has continued to fail them by turning a blind eye to these harms and repeatedly removing even the most basic precautionary requirements associated with the use of these risky drugs.”
The attorney generals argue that the FDA’s actions, including the deregulating of chemical abortion drugs, were improper and should be vacated.
“The only way for the FDA to approve a chemical abortion drug was for FDA to use its accelerated drug approval authority. This required that the FDA call pregnancy an ‘illness’ and argue that these dangerous chemical abortion drugs provide a ‘meaningful therapeutic benefit’ over existing treatments,” the complaint states. “Pregnancy is not an illness, and chemical abortion drugs do not provide a ‘therapeutic benefit’ over surgical abortion. The FDA exceeded its regulatory authority by approving the drug based on these transparently false conclusions.”