AG Frey Joins Coalition Supporting Access to Medication Abortion in Amicus Brief


Former State Rep from Portland, Dick Farnsworth, at a Rally at Lincoln Park Last Year.

Kaitlyn Gardner, Drove Down to Portland From Alna for the City Hall Rally Several Years Ago.

Aurora, 3, of Gray Holds Her Own Sign at  Rally in Portland Last Year.

Attorney General Aaron Frey 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 vs. US Food and Drug Administration (FD), a case pending in the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas, the coalition of 22 attorneys general aslk 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 Maine.  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.

In 2000, the FDA approved mifepristone as a single-dose oral medication 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 aboartions 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 our 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.

“This case is a concerted, years-long effort to chip away at access to reproductive care,” said Attorney General Frey.  “This challenge, brought by anti-abortion activists, is an outrageous imposition on the freedom of Mainers to make medical decisions about their own bodies, their lives and their futures. I urge the court to reject it.”

The matter is before US District Judge Mathew Karsmaryk, who was appointed by Donald Trump.  If this Judge rules against the FDA on its approva, it is estmated that 40 million people will lose access to abortion care.   It is not known when he will rule on the case.